SNH48 is one of the fastest growing cultural phenomena in the world. Thousands of teens rush to buy tickets for the group’s pop idol concerts across China, including daily performances at the SNH48 Theater in Shanghai. But concert halls only have so many seats, and fan frenzy surrounding SNH48 is much bigger than any single venue can hold.
SNH48 was formed in 2012 and is a Chinese spinoff of the original Japanese idol girl group AKB48. The troupe now has more than one hundred female members. The team is split into a number of companies, which allows performers to share the workload in support of their ongoing live concerts. In addition to regular shows in Shanghai, the group performs routinely in Beijing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen. Tickets for these shows sell out immediately.
Yashushi Akimoto, producer of the AKB48 group on which SNH48 is modelled, realized that young audiences want more than just idols on stage – they want to interact with them, too. Chinese fans have the opportunity to meet and interact with their homeland performers at “handshake events”. The band also offers live streams from its shows to expand the group’s reach. This is important for the SNH48 performers because each year there is a “general election,” in which the fans vote for their favorite performers. Election winners are promoted to more prominent roles.
In late 2015, the SNH48 production team deployed Elemental Live video processing to support live event streaming from the band’s Shanghai theater. The offering was an instant hit with fans, which encouraged an expansion in capabilities. In early 2016, the group implemented Elemental Live to stream concerts from theaters in Beijing and Guangzhou, in addition to Shanghai.
The team behind SNH48 chose Elemental solutions because quality, reliability and scalability were key to providing fans access to the stars’ content via connected devices and helping create a new sort of idol in the China music and entertainment industry. Viewers can now catch every SNH48 performance streaming live in high definition (HD), thanks to Elemental video processing.