ITsART, an innovative streaming platform dubbed the “Netflix of Italian Culture,” rolled out in 26 European countries on Tuesday, with plans to expand to the United States and China next year.
Commissioned by the Italian Ministry of Culture, ITsART is an ad-supported transactional VOD service billed as the world’s first such streamer. He currently gives access to more than 1,250 live and on-demand events and shows, ranging from virtual monuments and museum tours to opera, pop music, dance, theater and movies. Some are exclusively licensed, all are on a revenue sharing basis.
The service, which has the declared objective of promoting the dissemination of the content of Italian artistic and cultural heritage throughout the world, was conceived during the pandemic when Italian cultural institutions suffered from a drop in physical visitors and attempted to respond with various disparate forms of digital distribution.
“Our aim is to provide a common platform that can reach a growing audience of consumers of Italian art and culture across the world, while also supporting the performing and visual arts sector,” said the CEO of ITsART. Guido Casali at a press conference for the European launch held at the Coliseum in Rome.
“We will now focus on increasing the level and depth of our content offering to ensure that Italian culture is accessible to all. “
The ITsART platform is divided into three sections titled Internship, Sites and Stories. Stage characteristics over 250 performing arts shows, some live, from Italian operas, including La Scala in Milan, the Royal Theater in Turin and La Fenice in Venice. The Sights section of the platform allows the viewer to travel through Italy from their home and visit iconic places such as Pompeii, the archaeological park of the Colosseum of Rome and Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Milan. Meanwhile, the The Stories section includes several hundred films, documentaries and biopics of eminent personalities in Italian cinema and culture, past and present.
Prices range from € 2.90 ($ 3.25) for a movie to € 9.90 ($ 11.10) for an exclusive live opera.
On the cinema side, in addition to licensing agreements with several local distributors, ITsArt has announced a partnership with Rome’s Studio Cinecittà which will offer exclusive access to its extensive Archivio Storico Luce archive and to new original documents, exhibitions and podcasts taken from the archive documents produced by Cinecittà which will be available on the streamer in 2022.
ITsArt is operated by Chili TV, the European on-demand film platform supported by Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox and Sony, which owns a 49% of the capital of the Italian cultural streamer, while the majority of the 51% is owned by the Italian government investment bank CDP (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti).