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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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Peter Gerard
Tue 26 Jul 2011Link

In reply to Beth Humpert's post on Mon 25 Jul 2011 :

You can add a number of short videos to one Distrify player. Just keep adding a "new product" and you can add as many videos as you like. Then you just need the one player/preview. You can either sell the shorts individually or group them together as a "package" like a deluxe edition. You can choose to make products "only in a package" or they can be $0.99 each or $5.99 for 10, just like an album. We haven't made a how-to video for this feature yet, but it's all there and some filmmakers are using it to great success. I'll embed an example below (note: this one does not show the packages to Germany, Japan or UK, due to geo-restrictions).

In reply to Steve Ladd's post on Mon 25 Jul 2011 :

Steve, we can handle pretty much any capacity. If you expect some extra publicity, please let us know and we'll boost up our resources, but they should expand dynamically anyway. Please let us know when you expect the extra hype though, and we can join in.


Beth Humpert Dunn
Tue 2 Aug 2011Link

Peter, thanks for the info. Distrify handles the streaming and download of movie files only, is that correct? Sales and fulfillment of physical product are left up to the filmmaker. How are payments handled for these various sales, since you collect and distribute to filmmakers and affiliates?

Have there been customer service issues develop on streaming product, and if so, to whom does a customer go for a solution? Mini example- when I tried to sign up for email on Adventures of Power from the button you embedded above, I had problems. Could not 'continue.' Will try again later. Thanks.


Peter Gerard
Wed 3 Aug 2011Link

We handle all payments through the player, and presently for physical merchandise you get an email notification to fulfil the order. This can also be sent to your fulfilment company, or you can get in touch with us and we can look at deeper integration options. As soon as payments clear to our account you can request a withdrawal from the Income Report on Distrify.

For customer service on streaming and downloads, we handle that for you. If there's a problem with a DVD or other merchandise, we will contact you and ask you to get in touch with the customer to solve the problem.

I will look into the Subscribe issue you are reporting..


Beth Humpert Dunn
Fri 5 Aug 2011Link

Peter, I discovered that my registration to Distrify email list went through, even though it did not appear to on screen.


Peter Gerard
Sat 6 Aug 2011Link

Hi Beth, yes, there was a display bug on that screen. Thanks for reporting it – my engineer fixed it straight away on Wednesday. Cheers


Ben Kempas
Tue 9 Aug 2011Link

The Scotsman newspaper on Distrify.


Mark Barroso
Tue 9 Aug 2011Link

I uploaded my film, but now I'm wondering if the 53 minutes version would be better for on-line viewing than the 72 minute one. Any thoughts on that? Given the choice, do on-line viewers prefer shorter ones? My film is purely entertainment, about a group of radical puppeteers in Chapel Hill that perform huge spectacles in a primitive amphitheater, using recycled materials.

The audience would be primarily the puppeteering community, and secondly the eco/alt-theater crowd, a demographic I just made up.

Edited Tue 9 Aug 2011 by Mark Barroso

Mark Barroso
Tue 9 Aug 2011Link

Well, my upload failed (probably my end), so now that I'm starting from scratch I'll await to hear your thoughts on my question before trying again.


Jon Braeley
Tue 9 Aug 2011Link

Using AT&T extreme DSL from the USA I was averaging 15 to 20 hours to upload HD files – so it's a pain because any one thing can easily stop the upload and you have to start from scratch again. You have to stick with it though and it will work. Safari browser works on smaller files – Firefox was terrible and Chrome works on larger files but Chrome was unstable ... just my experience. I do not and will not ever use Explorer.


Ben Kempas
Fri 16 Sep 2011Link

The uploads mainly depend on the stability and upload bandwidth of your own internet connection. I've never experienced any difficulty here.

In the meantime, Dogwoof (a large distributor for indie docs in the UK, very active in audience engagement) has made a great part of their library available for streaming or purchase via Distrify players on http://dogwoof.tv – worth having a look.


Peter Gerard
Sat 17 Sep 2011Link

I should say, we made some improvements to the Distrify uploader a couple weeks ago to help those with connection problems. It can now continue even if there are a few hiccups in the network.

Dogwoof has made a nice library indeed, and I'll again point out Jon's good work, since he now has a page to encourage users to take advantage of the reseller affiliate programme: http://emptymindfilms.com/watch-now/become-a-partner-its-free/


Christopher Pavsek
Wed 26 Oct 2011Link

Peter – I'm wondering if you guys ever added a way to offer a free download or stream to distrify. I'm about to (or trying to, encoding is messing with me) join up with distrify, and one extremely useful thing would be to allow people to preview a film – like an academic considering purchase


Peter Gerard
Fri 28 Oct 2011Link

This is a common request – something we hope to implement before long. Of course the main issue is that free is not actually free, so we have to build in the pricing model for free. Hope that makes sense!


Christopher Pavsek
Fri 28 Oct 2011Link

It does.
I also just posted a feedback question on distrify; the only way to do so seems to be via some site called "get satisfaction", unless you have tweeter or facebook, etc.;

My upload appeared cropped, but it seems like there's no way to view one's own upload to see how it looks, is there?


Christopher Pavsek
Fri 28 Oct 2011Link

Everything is cool now. Distrify gives prompt feedback. I'm now officially distrified. Send me some money! (I need to replace the trailer; it has a few extra frames at the start...)

Edited Fri 28 Oct 2011 by Christopher Pavsek

Ben Kempas
Sun 6 Nov 2011Link

Strong price points. Do they work for you?


Christopher Pavsek
Sun 6 Nov 2011Link

I don't think i've sold a thing. To be honest, I didn't change them. They were the defaults!

Are you messing with me?

Edited Sun 6 Nov 2011 by Christopher Pavsek

Ben Kempas
Tue 15 Nov 2011Link

Well, the price for your download gets displayed as GBP 13.99 here (which would be USD 22.14) – and that for a 28-minute film that's almost 10 years old? I think that's too much. Might work for a new feature-length film but not for this, I'm afraid.

Also, what has been your strategy for promoting the film? Where is the player embedded? How many times has it been shared? What social media have you used to promote it?

Keep in mind that Distrify is a tool that enables you to deliver straight to your audience. It's not one of those distribution portals that will try and sell the film for you (or not).


Christopher Pavsek
Tue 15 Nov 2011Link

Oh, it'll get embedded as soon as i update my website. but only there. i hear you about the price. i'll change it.


Ben Kempas
Wed 16 Nov 2011Link

Well, the whole idea is to "sell movies socially" on the web. Being social involves some 'going out' on the web, my friend... :-)


Ethan Isenberg
Wed 16 Nov 2011Link

Hey, all. I just finally took a look at Distrify since I have yet to upload a trailer of my film to my own site – although I only finished my trailer a couple months ago.

One issue I see is that customers need to sign up with Distrify or use their FB login in order to buy. That's why I chose Paypal over Google or Amazon checkout on my site when I sell DVDs: Customers don't have to be Paypal members if they don't want to. It's my guess that a number of people would rather not go through with the transaction rather than have to go through this hassle and risk spam, ID theft, etc. And offering FB login helps, but not if they aren't FB members – which I assume is the case for many of my customers.

A second issue is the inability to configure sales tax. I'd be using this for DVD sales, and this means that while anyone in my home state (CA) who buys from my site would pay tax, if they buy from the widget, they wouldn't (technically, the tax would be included). This is another reason why I had decided to go with Paypal over the other checkout options. They allow you to configure sales tax by zipcode range, rather than just state.

(I should add that if you sell products on Amazon via their Sell On Amazon service, i.e. Amazon Marketplace, they also expect you to include sales tax in your sales price. Of course, that's easier said than done, since only some of your customers will be paying tax, and of those, there may be different rates depending on their location!)


Peter Gerard
Thu 17 Nov 2011Link

Hi Ethan,

You don't have to sign up for Distrify specifically. You only need to enter your email address. We will then automatically create your account and send you a password to resume viewing later. All of this information is transmitted securely as well. We currently use PayPal in North America but will soon have other options, since many people don't like PayPal, and PayPal's payment screen deliberately makes the option to pay without an account very, very small...

Regarding sales tax, we can operate that in several different ways. We support transactions all over the world, which of course raises additional issues with sales tax and VAT.

The reason we want you to include postage and tax in your prices is because we want to eliminate any disappointment or surprise that a customer might see when they click to buy at one price and see another price on the checkout screen. Our sales reporting gives you enough information to know which transactions you need to pay tax on, and we are currently enhancing this reporting. Of course, if you have specific needs regarding tax, get in touch and we can discuss further.


Ethan Isenberg
Thu 17 Nov 2011Link

I didn't notice that your offer Paypal as a purchase option. Could it be that the examples I looked at were by non-US filmmakers?

Your solution of automatically signing people up without them formally going through the process sounds like a good one. Is this the same if someone is buying a physical item?

Certainly, implementing tax and VAT for every customer is going to be a challenge. But, I think if you make it customizable enough for each filmmaker, then it can be done right. For US based sellers, following the way it's done in Paypal, where you can configure both a state and zipcode range, will prob cover the bases (although determining the exact zipcode range you need can be a challenge, as I learned here in LA). For sellers from other countries, you'd need to see how comparable services handle those details, but I'd guess it would be a matter of determining similar factors: country, state/territory, city, postal code. Obviously, it would be great if the software automatically figured all this out. But realistically, if you let each client configure the rules the way they need to be, that could be good enough... (although it might be nice to have some recommendations for major areas.)

The thing I'm unclear on is the digital end. Is tax ever charged for streaming & downloading? I took a look at Journeyman Pictures, after Nigel mentioned it, and I noticed that they charge VAT in Euros (and the one download I looked at cost even more than a typical DVD!).


Peter Gerard
Fri 18 Nov 2011Link

We could talk about VAT all day... We have long conversations about it with the accountants regularly!
Most countries apply it on a national level rather than on a state/local level. I will discuss with my team what options we can look at, but we can allow you to sell in Europe without VAT as long as we disclose you as the seller in the receipt. I would guess Journeyman can't do this because they are a distributor rather than a service provider.

For physical items, we only need an email address if the user is paying with PayPal because we can collect shipping details from their PayPal account. If they are paying by card, we take their address before card details.

Payment options are based on what currency you are paying in as a customer, not where the filmmaker is. So if you try to purchase anything from us while in the US you will currently be directed to PayPal no matter what option you choose at checkout. Try it below, and you'll see what I mean.


Ethan Isenberg
Fri 18 Nov 2011Link

I see what you're saying when I try to buy a DVD. However, I could swear that the first time, when I chose "streaming rental", it asked me for my name and city in addition to my email, and only then did it present me with payment options. Does that make sense?

Otherwise, I'm impressed with how much thought has been put into this. I'm considering embedding a YouTube trailer on my frontpage, but then having a link to embed the film, and using Distrify code for that. And of course, I'd use the Distrify version one on other sites.

Could you clarify how money transfers to the filmmaker typically works? Somewhere it indicated that there might be fees involved. Is that always the case with Paypal or bank accounts?

Another question: Where in the app do you link to the filmmaker's site? I don't see it in your example, but I think I saw it in some others.

Edited Fri 18 Nov 2011 by Ethan Isenberg

Peter Gerard
Sun 20 Nov 2011Link

Firstly, there's no point in using YouTube on your site. You can use Distrify and start engaging your audience straight away. YouTube videos can only link users back to YouTube, so they fail to convert viewers into customers or subscribers.

Name and City are optional for digital purchases, you can continue with only your email address.

Typically, PayPal charges a 1% fee for you to receive money from us if you're outside of the EU. We can also use ZashPay, which is a wire transfer that only costs $1, so if you wait until your income is sufficient, that can be a better option.

If you click "Share" the short-URL used there links to where the player is embedded on your site. Also, if someone has bought from you and they click the link in their email to resume viewing, it sends them back to your site.


Ben Kempas
Mon 21 Nov 2011Link

In case you missed it in the IDFA craziness:

"Films Transit International has announced it is set to start making its documentaries available for public viewing on the web through a new strategic partnership with Scottish VOD specialist Distrify."

http://idfa.nl/industry/Festival/latest-news/idfa-daily-2011/news-and-background/19-11-11-films-transit-to-web.aspx


David Herman
Mon 21 Nov 2011Link

way to go Peter! You had traces of cream round your non moustache at Mezrab – didn't guess.


Peter Gerard
Tue 22 Nov 2011Link

Maybe I was too lost in the fog to say anything...


Ethan Isenberg
Tue 22 Nov 2011Link

The reason I would embed YouTube on my own site is that I'm assuming that most viewers would watch it without clicking through to YouTube. Then, if they choose to purchase the $25 DVD, it's natural to follow the buy link on my site, which will direct them to Paypal and net me $23.98. If, on the other hand, there is a buy link in the trailer itself, they will just as likely click on that, and their purchase through Distrify will only net me $17.50.

Encountering the trailer on Facebook, a blog, or some other site, is naturally a different situation.

Regarding ZashPay, is the $1 fee their 75¢ fee + 25¢ to Distrify?

It would be good if there was a more obvious link to the filmmaker's site in the app. Many buyers want to learn more about the film beyond the trailer before purchasing. Doing a Google search for the title is one more step that may be considered to be not worth their while in the midst of a busy day. The fact that the share link brings them to my site would not help in such a case.


Jon Braeley
Tue 22 Nov 2011Link

Well selling DVD's through Distrify is the wrong approach to me. Distrify is for instant gratification – stream now... watch now! I sell DVDs direct from my website and process credit cards in the site without leaving but DVD sales have plunged – in the last year over 40% from my site. We have cut the price 3 times and offered free shipping on my ten titles. Same with our Amazon sales – so It's across the board.
So we just moved to the streaming method and the ability to get the movie player and payment method on other websites and social networks.... thats where Distrify comes in – not with DVD's.


Peter Gerard
Wed 23 Nov 2011Link

My bank charges $1 for ZashPay. We have no hidden fees. It's complicated for us to do US bank transfers, and I'm always trying to find the cheapest way to do this so you get the most money possible. If you know of a better transfer solution, please tell me.

I agree with Jon, DVDs are slowly on their way out. We of course support all merchandise so you can continue to provide options for different tastes.


David Herman
Wed 23 Nov 2011Link

Chocolate cake?


Doug Block
Wed 23 Nov 2011Link

Sex toys?


Ethan Isenberg
Wed 23 Nov 2011Link

Congrats, btw, on the deal with Film Transit. I take it that they have exclusive digital rights to the films that they are putting up. Otherwise, one would think that the filmmakers would prefer to do it themselves, rather than having to split the money with a distributor. After all, that's the model that you're pushing.

This may be a better question for the streaming topic, but with the rising popularity of streaming/downloading, do you find that most people are watching the films on their laptops, tablets, and phones? I'm in the minority of people that have a dedicated home theater PC hooked up to my plasma TV (and both my TV and blu-ray player connect to certain streaming services), so I always try to watch films on the TV. I have a sense that most people don't connect their laptop to the TV either. That means that even if they have Apple TV or the Roku box, they won't be watching content from providers like Distrify on their TV.


Peter Gerard
Thu 24 Nov 2011Link

David and Doug, sounds like you two need to have a date here

Some filmmakers prefer DIY, others do not. With Films Transit we are setting up a model that should be the best of both worlds.

We do have some people watching Distrify films on their Apple TV and others using other boxes. You're right that most people do not have their TVs connected to their PCs, and it's also true that most people who have bought TVs with built-in wifi/internet don't actually use it. For streaming, most people are using their PC or laptop. For downloads we don't know. Also, tablets are certainly more popular for viewing than phones, but people discover trailers on their phones, since that's where a lot of Twitter/FB traffic comes from. So we suppor them all.


Jo-Anne Velin
Thu 24 Nov 2011Link

Peter, can you post the other announcement here yet? I read about it before boarding the train yesterday...


Ben Kempas
Thu 24 Nov 2011Link

This one?

Feels like we were pioneers on The D-Word once again... but who gives us credit? :-)


Peter Gerard
Fri 25 Nov 2011Link

The D-Word was mentioned on the front page of IDFA daily on saturday...


David Herman
Fri 25 Nov 2011Link

which saturday?



David Weissman
Sat 5 Jan 2013Link

Wow, I was completely unaware of this collaboration until just now!


Matt Dubuque
Mon 14 Jan 2013Link

Yes indeed, myself as well.

Have there been new developments since November 28, 2011 that I might want to learn about?


Ben Kempas
Wed 16 Jan 2013Link

Yes indeed, we have something pretty cool to announce very soon. Stay tuned!


Matt Dubuque
Wed 16 Jan 2013Link

Thanks Ben, will do, I'll check this channel regularly!


Peter Gerard
Wed 16 Jan 2013Link

Yes, excited to get that announced!


Malkia K. Lydia
Fri 18 Jan 2013Link

I finally read through this topic and the various Distrify examples and links. This looks great. I am very interested in hearing the new announcement. I also would like to hear what has developed for offering free screenings via Distrify. Earlier posters talked about their willingness to pay the associated costs if they offered streaming free to select viewers. I wonder if free viewings could be available on a wider basis via Distrify – say I want to have some free titles on my site, using the same platform and interface as my pay titles. Is there a way to price that type of service where it makes sense for the filmmaker and for Distrify?


Peter Gerard
Sat 19 Jan 2013Link

We have a system in the works for sending out free preview screeners (for festival programmers, reviewers, etc.). We also have an option where you can allow people to view for free if they sign up to your mailing list. The final pricing for these is being worked out and we anticipate launching these products soon, but if you want early access, just let us know.


Brian Parsons
Mon 18 Feb 2013Link

I just saw this too. I spoke with someone at Distrify last year and it sounded great so I'm interesting in hearing more about this collaboration with D-Word. Guess I need to hang out here more often as well since it's filled with fellow doc makers


Brian Parsons
Mon 18 Feb 2013Link

btw, for anyone interested in collaborative film projects, below is a link for the first globally collaborative music doc in history. Filming started in 2000 and ongoing to this day and will be released in volumes. The series features a lot of respected music artists and labels you may recognize, especially if you're in to more underground electronic music, but it doesn't feature electronic music only. There's a list of artists and labels on the Facebook page and we're redoing the website. Anyone into experimental, electronic or more underground music let me know, I'd love to chat, we work with filmmakers around the world so maybe you or someone you know would be interested in being part of the project. Cheers

http://www.facebook.com/InSearchOfSound


Matt Dubuque
Fri 1 Mar 2013Link

I heard that distrify films are now available for viewing by a clicking on a link on our home page, but i can't seem to find it..... where is that?

Great news!


Christopher Pavsek
Fri 1 Mar 2013Link

Can someone explain how to get my distrify film connected to the "watch films" link?


Ben Kempas
Sat 2 Mar 2013Link Tag

In reply to Matt Dubuque's post on Fri 1 Mar 2013 :

'Watch Films' in the top menu.

Official press release here

Screen Daily coverage

Edited Sat 2 Mar 2013 by Ben Kempas

Ben Kempas
Sat 2 Mar 2013Link

In reply to Christopher Pavsek's post on Sat 2 Mar 2013 02:43 CET :

Send us the link and we'll add it. It's a curated collection, nothing automated.


Donald Goldmacher
Sun 3 Mar 2013Link

In reply to Ben Kempas's post on Sat 2 Mar 2013 :
In that case please add www.Heist-themovie.com to the list. We go live on Distrify this week.


Peter Gerard
Mon 4 Mar 2013Link

In reply to Donald Goldmacher's post on Sun 3 Mar 2013 :

I've added Heist – it will appear automatically when your film is available. The collection is geo-filtered so you'll only see films that are available in your region.


Donald Goldmacher
Tue 5 Mar 2013Link

Thank you so much, Peter, for your help.


Peter Gerard
Tue 12 Mar 2013Link

You're welcome!


David Weissman
Thu 14 Mar 2013Link

Peter – I assume you've seen the vimeo announcement? http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/03/13/the-dish-model-ctd-11/

How do you see this impacting Distrify?


Peter Gerard
Sun 24 Mar 2013Link

Hi David,
Distrify provides a unique service unlike anything else on the market. We have yet to see any service or product offered by any other that compares. As such, we don't want to predict the impact of other products.
Thanks for using Distrify!


Jeremy Ansell
Mon 6 May 2013Link

I mentioned this before but Distrify causes Chrome to crash on some computers. No other video embeds cause this to happen just Distrify.


John Burgan
Tue 7 May 2013Link

Probably a good idea to contact the Distrify team directly, Jeremy.


Peter Gerard
Sun 12 May 2013Link

Hi Jeremy,

Sorry you're having trouble with Chrome – I also have a lot of trouble with Google's browser. The problem you are experiencing is not related to The D-Word or Distrify. Unfortunately Chrome is one of the buggiest browsers available. In Google's rush to add lots of cool new features it means that they are constantly updating an unstable browser. On my computer it causes all kinds of problems, from random crashes (on many different websites including various video sites) to garbled text on 20% of websites. Interestingly Chrome never crashes on Distrify on any of our computers.

If you are using websites that need the latest cutting edge features that Chrome offers, unfortunately you'll have to put up with some strange behaviour and crashes. To improve things, I would recommend completely removing Chrome and all its related files from your computer and then re-install it from scratch.

Or if you want a more stable web browsing experience, you can try Safari (for Mac) or IE10 (for Windows). In my experience, Firefox has similar stability problems to Chrome since Mozilla has emulated Google's rush to release updates every few weeks.


Matt Dubuque
Sat 29 Jun 2013Link

Hello, small potatoes here, hopefully bigger tomatoes in the future.

I'd like to stream the trailer to my film 100 Trees at Distrify and charge a very modest sum for it.

I did not want it to be free of charge however.

How can I learn more about what might be mutually suitable as a possible way to proceed here?

That would include learning what your costs and requirements were.

I'd like to finish the trailer by July 21.

Edited Sat 29 Jun 2013 by Matt Dubuque

Peter Gerard
Sun 30 Jun 2013Link

Hi Matt,
With Distrify you can set your own price and make it available as long as you want. There's no charge to get your first film uploaded and selling via Distrify and then there are just modest transaction fees on sales coming in. Please have a look here for details and for a link to sign up: https://distrify.com/plan
Hope this helps!
Peter


Matt Dubuque
Sun 30 Jun 2013Link

It does, thanks Peter!


Rich Garella
Sun 21 Jul 2013Link

In reply to Ben Kempas's post on Sat 2 Mar 2013 :

Please add "Who Killed Chea Vichea?" as well. Thanks!
http://www.whokilledcheavichea.com/seeit.html



Rich Garella
Mon 22 Jul 2013Link

Thanks much, Peter – we're excited to be on this platform!


Elizabeth Yoffe
Tue 6 Aug 2013Link

After exploring and using other distribution methods (including turning down a nice offer from a good traditional doc distributor) we have been using Distrify for our film My Big Break. We've been very, very pleased with the sales, the control and the customer service. We'll use Distrify again on our other projects. Thank goodness for you guys.


Peter Gerard
Fri 9 Aug 2013Link

Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for the positive feedback! Would you be happy for us to reprint your testimonial?


Elizabeth Yoffe
Fri 9 Aug 2013Link

Yes. We'd be more than pleased.


Karney Hatch
Wed 28 Aug 2013Link

My first film, "Overdrawn!", is finally streaming online via Distrify:


Peter Gerard
Thu 29 Aug 2013Link

Cool! I've added it to The D-Word collection!


Chihiro Geuzebroek
Wed 2 Oct 2013Link

Just curious about TIMING distrifying your work: Do you wait till you've premiered a big festival, premiered on TV, till X or Y? Or do you just start distrifying when your movie is finished? Would love to hear from D-worders how they approached it!


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