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Avatar_17f889c2a71a_64 Distrify and The D-Word announce strategic partnership

Members of The D-Word documentary community can now "sell movies socially" with Distrify. The Distrify player can easily be embedded in film profiles and postings on The D-Word.

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Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

We love the idea that the audience can interact with (and hopefully buy) a film rightaway as soon as they come across the embedded trailer anywhere on the web: on your own site, a blog, a news article, social media, and now also on The D-Word.

Here's an example from yesterday's presentation in Edinburgh: BEING SOLD is being sold exclusively on Distrify.

Edited Sat 25 Jun 2011 by The Webmaster

Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Here's the first example of a Distrify player embedded in a film profile on The D-Word: naturally, it's Peter Gerard's. :-)

http://www.d-word.com/documentary/1-Just-to-Get-a-Rep


Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Professional members can add their films on The D-Word by going to
http://www.d-word.com/documentary/new

You can then paste your Distrify URL as trailer, just like a YouTube or Vimeo trailer.

In the near future, you'll be able to transfer your film profile from Distrify to The D-Word and vice versa by simply clicking a button.

If you’re new to Distrify and selling your films online, watch this quick and simple screencast by Andy Green which shows you how to upload your film and start sharing it with the Distrify video player and online shop.


Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Here's an example how a Distrify player can be integrated into a tab on a Facebook page . I made TO BE A NATION AGAIN some 12 years ago, but recent political developments in Scotland have made the film highly topical again. Given I own the online rights, I simply uploaded it on Distrify and made it available to everyone. :-)

Edited Mon 20 Jun 2011 by Ben Kempas

Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Distrify's Andy Green and Peter Gerard will join us in this discussion topic from time to time, answering questions and discussing ideas.


Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

The Distrify widget can not only be used for rental streaming or download-to-own. It can process orders for DVDs or merchandise (with fulfilment of the order still being up to the user), or it can be used to sell cinema tickets online. Here's an example of the player in use at the Edinburgh International Film Festival: http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/films/2011/project-nim


Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

I already mentioned that a Distrify player can be embedded into a Facebook page. Here's a video that shows you how to do it.


Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

OK, enough for now – over to you – what do you think?


Peter Gerard
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Thanks for breaking the news, Ben. Naturally we are very excited by this partnership. We're working hard to build in some cool features for profile/film-sharing for D-Word members. And we've already got a few D-Word films on Distrify, which we are very excited about. We believe documentaries will benefit the most from the shared audience-based distribution approach.


Daniel McGuire
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Well, simple question: How much do the filmmakers get paid for each download (assuming they own the film, and not a distributor?) How much does distrify get?


Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Distrify takes 30% of the price YOU set (or 27.5% if an affiliate is involved). See http://distrify.com/pricing

Looking at yesterday's premiere of BEING SOLD, they're offering various packages between €3.49 for SD streaming and €14.99 for Bluray plus streaming. You can see their choices here but you can define your own.


Kurt Engfehr
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

looks amazing! very excited to see how it works out. great work everyone! reminds me of music players that are working with Facebook and other sites like Reverbnation. love all the info about the film on the player.

Edited Mon 20 Jun 2011 by Kurt Engfehr

Doug Block
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

It's a really user and filmmaker friendly widget that is EXTREMELY exciting. F*ck the middlemen!!!


Phil Hawkins
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Hello! I'm Phil Hawkins, director of BEING SOLD. I thought I'd join in the discussion. If you have any questions about Distrify from a filmmaker's perspective drop me a tweet @philmblog

We have uploaded a documentary to the player called "How did they shoot a feature film in two days?". I hope you'll all enjoy it.

You can also re-watch the discussion about Distrify, The D-Word & Being Sold at http://www.beingsoldthemovie.com/live/ (click on videos and you'll be able to watch it on demand).

Cheers!


Ben Kempas
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

Thanks for dropping in, Phil. As we were able to witness, you already got quite a few sales during your launch. Could you share which of your 'products' of BEING SOLD are selling best?

Doug, while I know what you mean, I think 'middlemen' will remain very important people. Distrify can be a great outlet for distributors and other third-party rights holders, too. It's also an essential tool for the new generation of 'producers of marketing & distribution' (as Jon Reiss calls them).

The fanciest player won't help filmmakers if they fail to identify their target audiences and to keep these audiences 'entertained' over longer periods of time, far beyond the actual film. In the past, it was all too easy to blame broadcasters for not letting you reach your perceived audience. Under the new model, it's entirely up to you to figure out where to find the audience, and their judgement may well be as brutal as the one of that commissioning editor...

The D-Word may actually become one of the new middlemen once we've added enough Distrify widgets as well as editorial content and promotional options. Our community has the potential to be one of the key places where people watch independent documentaries.

Edited Mon 20 Jun 2011 by Ben Kempas

Peter Gerard
Mon 20 Jun 2011Link

I like the idea of letting your audience be the new 'middlemen'.


Ben Kempas
Tue 21 Jun 2011Link

I guess you're referring to Distrify's affiliate scheme which gives everyone who shares the trailer a small share of the resulting sales. That's a brilliant plan indeed.


James Longley
Tue 21 Jun 2011Link

Aha. A master stroke.


Pablo Alvarez
Tue 21 Jun 2011Link

Great stuff guys, indeed, they are a-changing...


Ben Kempas
Tue 21 Jun 2011Link

Thanks guys. James, can we quote you on this?


James Longley
Tue 21 Jun 2011Link

Sure.


Ben Kempas
Tue 21 Jun 2011Link

We should also point out that Distrify supports geo-blocking which will be useful if you don't hold the streaming or download rights to all territories.

Depending on which number is smaller, you can easily define the territories that are allowed or the ones that are blocked.

So go and upload your films! What's keeping you...? :-)


Daniel McGuire
Wed 22 Jun 2011Link

I just wrote a blog post about distrify. <http://danielmcguire.com/?page_id=82>


Daniel McGuire
Wed 22 Jun 2011Link

Distrify might want to adopt this as a slogan:

"Promote with Youtube, Profit with Distrify."


Ben Kempas
Wed 22 Jun 2011Link

Well said, Daniel.

I'm just coming from an intense day with DIY/web/hybrid distribution guru Jon Reiss (Think Outside the Box Office) who said to the Distrify team: "You guys really are on top of it!" His Edinburgh audience was equally impressed.


Ben Kempas
Thu 23 Jun 2011Link

Let this not be a one-way presentation. What questions do you have about Distrify and our collaboration? How can we assist you putting your films out there? What concerns do we need to address?


Peter Gerard
Fri 24 Jun 2011Link

Thanks James, Pablo, Daniel, Doug, Ben. Indeed, if you have any questions for us, please post them here!


Bill Lichtenstein
Sat 25 Jun 2011Link

Wow. Just wow. This is very hopeful and exciting and can't wait to try using it. It seems to address the question of the moment which is how to monitize work across the Internet. Great job!


Peter Gerard
Sat 25 Jun 2011Link

Thanks for the enthusiasm! Of course, Distrify is not a magic solution. We are merely trying to arm filmmakers with the best tools for independent online sales. It's all part of the changing marketplace that we've long been discussing on The D-Word, like with Think Outside the Box Office and Peter Broderick .


Ben Kempas
Tue 28 Jun 2011Link

Don't be so modest, Peter. :-)

I think we should remind people that they can all upload their trailers to Distrify even if they can't make their entire film available for streaming or download at this stage. You can just use the player to collect email addresses, accept DVD orders, or offer merchandise.

So who has tried it already?


Aaron Tait
Tue 28 Jun 2011Link

This is really spectacular! I love how Distrify uses modern web standards and isn't relying on Flash. Awesome stuff guys!


Ben Kempas
Tue 28 Jun 2011Link

Yes, it even works on your iPhone, iPad, or whatever you have.


Ben Kempas
Wed 29 Jun 2011Link

Here's another example for Distrify at work in a D-Word film profile: Cruzeiro (although I'm not sure why they uploaded it as 4:3 with letterbox)

They are offering a download to own.


Ben Kempas
Wed 29 Jun 2011Link

D-Worder Jeanie Finlay has the Distrify player in her film profile for Sound It Out (the Teeside record shop doc that was at SXSW, Sheffield, Edinburgh, and Silverdocs). This is an example of how Distrify can be used for ticket sales. In fact, the EIFF had chosen Distrify to host all of this year's festival's trailers.


Christopher Pavsek
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

This seems like a very cool thing. Kudos to everyone involved!

A question, which perhaps misses the whole point: am I correct that Distrify doesn't have a website where one could find the films that are being distrified? It is entirely up to the filmmaker to have such a site for her/his own film, right?

But why not have a central Distrify site that does that as well, that lists all the distrified films? It seems like a fair bit of traffic might go to such a site and it could be an effective way to attract buyers. So if someone sees, for example, John Burgan's "Memory of Berlin" and buys it, they might then also say, "I wonder what other cool essay films this site has."

But like I said, I might be missing the whole point.


John Burgan
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

[Hmm, well that would require "Memory of Berlin" to be able to clear all its archive rights for a DVD release in the first place <sigh> but nice idea]


Ben Kempas
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

Chris, the point of Distrify is that they're not trying to set up just another portal, like many tried unsuccessfully before them. The point of sales can be anywhere where the player appears.

You can see all films currently using Distrify at http://distrify.com/films – but that's really just a list for reference, not necessarily targeted at the public.

Instead, places like The D-Word could be exactly the sort of website you're describing, at least for the documentary world. It'll need a bit more work on curation, design, and editorial content for the public part of this site, but that's what we're already working on. Stay tuned! :-)


Ben Kempas
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

John – Maybe you should look into 'fair use'... :-) It would be great to have MEMORY OF BERLIN up here. It's such a brilliant film!

Also, like I said before, you can give Distrify geographical instructions: Define the only countries the film should be available in, or define those that need to be excluded. Whatever list is shorter, really.


Nigel Walker
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

Chris has a good point. Distrify needs a branded web location, a place where people go to browse documentary films and watch them in one place, a web doc channel in essence. This way they can establish themselves as a niche portal for doc films.

What they have right now is the technology to deliver the films and for the filmmaker to make a few dollars but there is no real marketing or sales to drive the audience to the specific players on specific sites, the filmmaker is in the same situation as before, they are still working to establish an audience but now they are giving away 30% of the income. Vimeo will probably do this at some point.

For example I have a film at Journeyman Pictures, they take care of everything network, VOD and DVD sales, they also take 30% [no set up cost] but they have a whole marketing department selling, not just my film but the footage too. And they do sell, more than I imagined for this film. And I do nothing as I really dislike that side of the business.


Ben Kempas
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

Nigel, The D-Word is planning to become exactly that location "where people go to browse documentary films and watch them in one place." We've got the user base to build this on.

The whole point of Distrify is that the filmmaker (or whoever represents him or her) will be in control of the "marketing and sales drive" you're asking for. And yes, it'll be hard work to connect to your audience. If you don't like to do that yourself, you should consider hiring a producer of marketing and distribution (see our Jon Reiss conference, Think Outside the Box Office ).

I don't know about Journeyman's business model, but they certainly didn't develop their own player that allows for sales happening ANYWHERE on the web, wherever the trailer occurs, and they don't allow for any affiliate system. Distrify developed all that, and that didn't come cheap. Prior to our partnership, we examined their business case and learned that their profit margins are perfectly reasonable.


Nigel Walker
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

Don't get me wrong I think it's a great idea with a lot of potential, I'm just giving feedback from one perspective. There's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to distribution. I think it's about finding a combination of techniques that work for you and the resources you have for marketing.

I would imagine most filmmakers are in the position where they have a dollar amount for distribution and they have to choose how to use it. One of the first questions here was how much does it cost?

Journeyman was a great fit for me because I didn't have to hire a producer of marketing and distribution. That was the point, they did it all for what I thought was a reasonable percentage and I could move on to the next project. I'm not suggesting the Distrify model is not good value because you do get more features, it's whether those features are right for your film.

It's an interesting model and quite an accomplishment to bring something like this to fruition.


Christopher Pavsek
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

As Nigel says, Distrify is clearly a cool thing and a hell of an accomplishment already; I was just wondering if it had both options – the way it allows a point of sale anywhere on the web plus a central site – it might not be more effective. It sure seems like it would allow one to take advantage of a lot of the way social media works: you go to a site and see what other people like or similar things to what you've been looking at.

But maybe that'll be where the public side of d-word comes in.

Edited Thu 30 Jun 2011 by Christopher Pavsek

Ben Kempas
Thu 30 Jun 2011Link

Exactly! (To both of you.)


Jon Braeley
Fri 1 Jul 2011Link

I just signed up – I think this could be perfect for me. My films are a specific genre and I know my market more than a distributor would. I have almost 10,000 subscribers between my own website and youtube and I have been looking for a way to sell via streaming but on my own website. Currently I sell DVDs of my ten film titles and ship all over the world.
I wonder if you should sell HD or SD at two different prices – I could not see anything about this on distrify. Currently I have 5 SD films and 5 HD films.


Ben Kempas
Fri 1 Jul 2011Link

Yes, you can upload different versions of the same film, such as HD and SD, or different languages, or the extras you would have put on a DVD, and sell each package at a different price. The feature Being Sold is a good example that offers SD, HD, and packages.


Jon Braeley
Fri 1 Jul 2011Link

Thanks Ben. I may use Distrify just for digital sales only for now because I hired someone to ship DVDs direct from orders on our website and supply Amazon with DVDs. I imagine by next year it may be only online streaming-download as things are moving so fast.
So I think I will be very busy this next few days uploading our films!!
Is there a thumbnail image needed to tell the viewer to click for streaming ot click for purchase do you know?


Ben Kempas
Mon 4 Jul 2011Link

At this stage, Distrify doesn't offer fulfilment services (for DVDs or other merchandise). Any orders will simply be forwarded to you (or the guy you hired) by email.

Here's an example of a D-Worder selling DVDs from a Distrify player: A Place Called Los Pereyra by Andrés Livov.


Nick Verbitsky
Wed 6 Jul 2011Link

Wow, I just checked this out, its f***ing awesome; what a tool for all of us!


Ben Kempas
Wed 6 Jul 2011Link

Can we quote you on this? :-)


Nick Verbitsky
Fri 8 Jul 2011Link

Feel free, BK :0)....I hate when apps come out and they're difficult to work, clunky, etc. My mind just shuts off when it won't just WORK, this thing is really buff-put together right, easy to use, and user-friendly!


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