New KTX opens doors as virtual venue for movie premieres, concerts, trade events

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2020 10:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 19 2020 12:14 AM

KTX.ph, formerly the ticketing portal of ABS-CBN, is expanding to become a virtual venue for events. FILE/ABS-CBN

Love teams, A-list performers lined up for exclusive shows

MANILA — KTX.ph is opening its doors as a virtual venue that can host simultaneous events, from concerts, movie premieres, to trade shows, promising an exclusive experience for organizers and participants.

The expansion of KTX.ph, formerly the ticketing portal of ABS-CBN live shows, comes amid the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered traditional venues like cinemas, arenas, and convention centers.

“Theoretically, KTX can be bigger than any coliseum. What used to be seating capacity is now simply server space, and we have lots of that,” KTX.ph head Enrico Santos told ABS-CBN News.

The platform is comparable to any physical venue in terms of gating or ticketing, Santos said, with access to a scheduled event open only to patrons.

“It has the exclusivity of a paid audience,” Santos said. “You get your artists up close, you get your music the way you want it, you get the angles and the camera work. The best part of it is it’s convenient. You get front-row seats all the time.”

In recent months, singers Jed Madela and K Brosas each staged a digital concert via KTX.ph. The girl group 4th Impact is set to perform on August 29, similarly with tiered tickets.

The lineup of concerts on the platform also includes Daniel Padilla, Morissette, Moira dela Torre, and the tandem of Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber. Dates have yet to be announced.

LIVE EVENT EXPERIENCE

‘Hello, Stranger’ stars JC Alcantara and Tony Labrusca interact with fans during the series’ ‘Finale Fancon’ on KTX.ph on August 16. KTX.ph

Fans of love teams also have something to look forward to, as movies and mini-series will soon be seen on KTX.ph. Theater productions and film festivals, likewise, are slated to debut on the platform.

Unlike offerings on streaming services, content on KTX.ph are “eventized,” Santos explained. A film, for example, will be available to watch only at a given schedule, with ticket holders having exclusive access.

“It’s a much awaited event that people are raring to watch, and it’s live. You get it first, and you get it simultaneously with the rest of the world. That’s a different experience,” he said.

Premiere nights where stars attend virtually are also possible, whether in the form of a Q&A after the screening or a welcome greeting prior, or both.

A real-time chat box can be used by participants to communicate, whether to field questions or share their enthusiasm, according to Santos.

This was seen during the “Finale Fancon” of the hit boys’ love series “Hello, Stranger,” the first digital fan conference hosted by KTX.ph early this week.

Aside from an advanced screening of the final episode (four days ahead of the regular release), the three-hour event featured live interviews, performances, and games involving the cast and creative team. The lead stars also surprised fans with the announcement of a film sequel. 

“As Filipinos, we want to celebrate, we want an afterparty, we want a finale bang, and that’s what we’re giving in KTX,” Santos said.

The digital gathering ended with the launch of “Hello, Stranger” merchandise, which was readily available to purchase also on KTX.ph, through a buy function that became visible after the stream ended.

The function can be especially useful for trade events, Santos noted. A catalog of clothes, for instance, can be made available after a virtual fashion show. “Puwede ring mag-schedule ng fitting with the couturier with the buy button,” he said.

Donations can be made through the same function for fundraisers.

‘NEXT BEST THING’

Filipino concert goers light up their phones during a performance, a year before the coronavirus pandemic. FILE/Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

The digital space of KTX.ph can be used for any type of gathering, not just for entertainment-related events, Santos pointed out. Religious services, corporate presentations, and workshops can also be hosted on the platform, he said as examples.

“You can set up your own events in the big KTX server, and you can hold your own private party, with your own limited invitation list,” he said.

A ticket, once purchased or gifted, comes in the form of a passcode or link which can only be used on one device at a time. This system, Santos said, is in place to prevent the abuse of any event access. 

While this expansion of KTX.ph primarily addresses the new normal of mass gatherings being a safety risk, Santos believes it will continue to be a valuable platform beyond the pandemic.

Events will have a ready solution to “geographical limitations” of attendees, he said, as KTX.ph will be able to provide digital access to the same content as seen in the physical venue, live.

For now, its mission is to respond to the “hunger” of Filipinos for live experiences shared with others, within the safety of their homes.

“The real hard work is keeping Filipinos that are still in their own homes, still able to bond, communicate, connect, and share a common agenda and keep up to date with what they want to know,” he said.

“We Filipinos are a very communal, social people. We want to enjoy our music together, our movies together, in a big venue. That feeling cannot be replicated, but the next best thing is KTX.”