SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has teamed up with Panasonic to live stream some amazing sea creatures – allowing viewers to experience marine magic in high definition from the comfort of their home.
With an audience of over 127,000 SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium sought to brighten up newsfeeds and educate fans both young and old – from watching fascinating animals get fed, to spontaneous moments such as a dugong getting a belly rub, or taking advantage of the opportunity to listen to expert aquarists and have questions answered live on video.
Richard Dilly, General Manager, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, explained: “We may have temporarily closed our doors to the public – but we wanted to give people a closer experience than ever before, whilst also providing families who are stuck indoors, with resources, materials and fun topics to talk about. Working with Panasonic, we are able to bring the vibrant underwater world to life on screens big and small around Australia. We are thrilled that our viewers can dive into our world and enjoy uninterrupted, professional quality live streams at the click of a button.”
The most popular content so far has been the penguin live stream aired in the first week of April which has now received over 100,000 views and around 3,000 comments. Overall, Facebook followers have increased by 35 per cent since live streaming began.
Panasonic X2000: Takes care of streaming while SEA LIFE does what they do best
Powering the stunning underwater display is Panasonic’s X2000 video camera, a convenient, ‘plug and play’ solution for SEA LIFE. The camera is able to connect to Wi-Fi and directly live stream content online in HD quality, without the need for extra equipment. Other features perfect for live streaming include 4k recording, compact size, high resolution audio, a wide – angle + zoom lens and precision face detection.
The professional technology is a hit for SEA LIFE staff, allowing them to focus more on animal interaction and less on technical issues.
Emma Malik, Supervisor – Animal Training & Guest Interaction, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, said: “Lighting and poor sound quality are two big issues we have when filming in the
aquarium. Having a professional set up like Panasonic’s X2000 has meant we are able to produce better quality live streams then just using our mobile phones. ”
“I’m terrible with technology so for me to successfully use this camera the first go is a win in my eyes. It’s simple to use and the zoom lens allows us to capture amazing detail and unplanned moments – whether it be penguins calling in the middle of the str eam or a turtle spraying water out of his nostrils directly into the camera!”
Emma added: “What’s rewarding is getting to show the public our animals and what we do in real-time. Importantly, it’s nice to know that we are bringing a little bit of magic into people’s lives in these uncertain times.”
Following the success of the live streams, SEA LIFE has also launched Tank TV – a 24-hour live stream using Panasonic’s AW-UE4 pan-tilt-zoom camera which can be moved to showcase different areas of the aquarium. The aquarium has been thrilled by the response, which allows the guests to connect at any time for experiences such as the ‘Day and Night on the Reef’ exhibit. This camera was also simple to install and was up and streaming within a day.
Scott Mellish, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic, expanded on the growing live streaming trend: “We’re delighted to partner with SEA LIFE to deliver a solution that not only meets the challenges of changing times, but can also offer new value and grow an audience. Live streaming technology today can provide superior quality visual and audio experiences as well as being highly flexible for a number of business applications – from education and training sessions of all kinds to taking immersive museum and exhibition experiences into the office or home.”
An agile solution for changing times
On a business level, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium was aware of the importance of remaining front of mind and using new and innovative methods to do so. They had previously looked into streaming, but renewed focus when it became apparent that for some time they would be unable to do what they did best – give customers amazing, in person experiences at the aquarium.
With aquarium curators having little video experience, Panasonic worked with SEA LIFE remotely during installation to host video training and provide tips and tricks for camera use and was on call to handle any tech questions.
Richard Dilly added: “With the new live stream, we are striking a balance of different creatures, marine and terrestrial – from penguins to turtles to sharks to coral reefs so that our guests can learn about the diverse environment… that said we certainly haven’t shied away from some of the less serious content, like our dugong, Pig, getting a belly rub!”
Response to the streams has been impressive, often exceeding 33,000+ views. With such an engaged audience, SEA LIFE is taking the opportunity to respond directly to guests’ questions, either live on video or by comment later in the day.
Having seen the benefits in terms of reach, Richard Dilly expects live streaming will continue even when the aquarium re-opens its doors: “The ability to live stream has been massively engaging not only for our guests, but also for our teams – we’ve been telling our aquarists for years that they are the stars of the show, and all of a sudden they’re hitting internet fame talking about their favourite subjects! We have found a new medium and a new way of achieving our purposes – you can’t come to us? No worries, we’ll come to you!”
To catch the next live stream from SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Panasonic head to: https://www.facebook.com/sydneyaquarium/.