The Sydney Opera House has launched its own streaming service.

Aptly named Stream, the iconic art venue is hosting recorded live music and theatrical performances on its streaming service which is free to use.

Other videos, like a discussion about artificial intelligence, are available to rent.

While the catalogue is currently small – the Opera House boasts having “over 30 hours of programming” – Stuart Buchanan, the Sydney Opera House’s head of digital programming, said there will also be “digital-first” artworks that “celebrate the ways in which technology is being embraced and disrupted in the performing arts”.

“Artists have always been early adopters of any new technology, and through the pandemic we are seeing a critical mass of audiences follow their lead and embrace streaming as a truly viable alternative to in-venue performance,” he said.

“With Stream we have created a space that is accessible for all audiences anywhere in the world as well as local patrons who cannot visit theatres in-person.”

The Sydney Opera House didn’t build its own streaming service and is instead leaning on Vimeo’s over-the-top (OTT) platform for the back-end.

Currently there are no mobile apps for Stream, meaning users will need to use their device’s browser to watch or cast to a TV.

Traditional art goes digital

It’s the latest move toward digital offerings by a major art venue since the pandemic made in-person visits near impossible.

Audience numbers at the Opera House in January were 65 per cent lower than the same month last year, just before COVID-19 landed in Australia.

Last month, famed French gallery the Louvre uploaded images of its entire collection of artworks to a redesigned website.

More than 480,000 pieces of art are available on the site.

“For the first time, anyone can access the entire collection of works from a computer or smartphone for free, whether they are on display in the museum, on loan, even long-term, or in storage,” said director of the Musée du Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez.

“I am sure that this digital content is going to further inspire people to come to the Louvre to discover the collections in person.”

But no one will be venturing to the Louvre for some time as Paris is currently in lockdown for the third time.

France is averaging nearly 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day and has reported over 95,000 deaths from the disease.