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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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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.


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