WGI today announced the release of “WGI Zone”, a free streaming service designed in collaboration with YouTube to replace the Fan Network for WGI Color Guard and Percussion World Championships.
WGI Zone is a one-stop shop that allows fans to stream on-demand digital content in high definition to desktops, tablets, and smartphones. The WGI Zone has also been integrated into the WGI’s app for Android and iOS.
In truth, the streaming service is an answer to a growing nightmare for WGI and copyright lawyers who have had to figure out how to quell the surge of performance videos posted to YouTube by fans in the stands. Similar to what Spotify did for the music industry (creating a way for musicians and labels to recapture a market that was resorting to piracy), WGI Zone promises to honor the rights of copyright holders while monetizing a free video streaming for WGI fans.
“Since watching historical video is such a huge part of the indoor marching arts education, history, and culture, we are thrilled to offer this free service,” says Bart Woodley, WGI Director of Operations. “While there is a significant financial investment required by WGI to provide WGI Zone to our customers, this is another step in our quest for full copyright compliance.”
The WGI Fan Network was discontinued December 1, and since then, WGI has been working to create this new, more affordable service for fans. WGI fans will be able to see a complete live webcast of the upcoming 2015 WGI World Championships on a separate platform via WGIwebcast.com. Championship finalist performances will be made available on WGI Zone at a later date.
“WGI Zone is another key step in our long-standing strategy of sharing our extraordinary championship performances to existing and new audiences alike,” said WGI Executive Director Ron Nankervis. “As we pursue this mission, we are excited to reinvent our video services while making it accessible to all at no cost. We have a new vision for what our online media presence can be going forward.”