Distrify Blog

The future of online film distribution and marketing


Distrify is a suite of online tools that empowers all stakeholders in the film production & distribution value chain, enabling more effective sharing and easier monetisation of content.

Posted by
accidentalmedia
9 Apr 2014 with tags:

We are constantly innovating at Distrify, and sometimes we forget to tell people about the cool things we’re building. After the successful pre-order crowdfunding campaign we did with Lucia, we’ve now had an opportunity to build out crowd-funding tools to include a familiar fundraising target with  progress-thermometer.

Our new crowd-funding tools were developed as part of the Portable Fundraiser project we did with Scottish Documentary Institute. You can read about the pay-it-forward part of that project on the Huffington Post, but today we are excited to share a bit more about our crowd-funding tools.

The D-Word is the premiere online community for documentary professionals. Started fifteen years ago by acclaimed filmmaker Doug Block, the community is incredibly active and experienced significant growth after Distrify’s Peter Gerard rebuilt the website and forum software about seven years ago. The D-Word has always been free, occasionally raising running-costs via crowd-funding, so when they wanted to fund a redesign, Ben Kempas (co-host of The D-Word and producer of marketing and distribution for Scottish Documentary Institute) suggested using the new Distrify crowd-funding tools he helped develop.

The campaign has been a huge success, raising far beyond the target of $15k in only a few weeks. There are a couple days left in the campaign, in case you want to add your support.

Distrify’s crowd-funding approach is different from other platforms in a few key ways, meaning it is not suited to every project. 

  1. You can use multiple fund-raising videos and embed them in different places. The ability to donate is always directly available in every video, no matter where someone finds it. The D-Word created a series of videos showcasing members’ testimonials. They launched a new video each week with members talking about The D-Word. All the videos were posted to Facebook and to The D-Word homepage as well as on a special testimonials page where one could watch all the videos. 
  2. Multi-currency - supporters can donate in their local currency and the donation is converted to the campaign currency to show overall progress. People always feel more comfortable donating in their own familiar currency. 
  3. Instant rewards - Distrify’s approach is based on a concept where all perks are available immediately upon donating. Rather than offer pre-orders, you can give instant rentals or downloads of previous films as perks for your supporters.
  4. Target does not have to be reached. All campaigns are “Flexible” in nature, rather than an all-or-nothing approach. Since we are providing perks immediately, it does not make sense to have an all-or-nothing target. As such, our approach may not be suitable to all projects. You can also continue raising funds after the campaign end-date.
  5. You get immediate access to customer details so you can thank them and email them straight away. As always, Distrify provides your customer details in real-time so you can communicate with them in whichever way you prefer.

The Portable Fundraiser project has been generously supported by NESTA. All of these new features are experimental. For now, we’re being selective about use of our crowd-funding and other Portable Fundraiser tools, so if you have a project that you think would benefit from our unique approach, get in touch


Posted by
kobishely

Couldn’t make it to Cannes? No problem: Catch up on the discussion with Andy Green at MIP.  

MIPDOC: Crowdfunding platforms are helping to transform the way factual content is funded and distributed – but they are not an end in themselves and quality is still key, crowdfunding pioneer Andrew Green has warned.

Green, co-founder and chief operating officer of UK VoD platform Distrify, told delegates in Cannes that raising money for factual had never been easy but crowdfunding platforms were making it easier and the “data as currency” they create offers particular value.

Read the full report on C21 Media - here 


Posted by
accidentalmedia
1 Apr 2014 with tags:
Distrify unveils the USB Popcorn Popper®.
The patent-pending invention brings the world’s favorite movie treat to the comfort of VOD, one kernel at a time.
Distrify co-founder Andy Green was frustrated with the lack of tasty snacks available on his laptop. “While most people’s laptop keyboards are filled with nutritious crumbs, the flavor just isn’t what you want when watching a movie. We wanted a simple way to make popcorn while watching our favorite movies on Distrify,” Green explains. “I realized that the power in a USB port was sufficient to heat a popcorn kernel to a perfect popping temperature.”
"Since most of our movies are watched via the internet, we’ve always been searching for a way to tap into the most lucrative revenue available from the movie business," says Distrify co-founder Peter Gerard. "Our patented USB Popcorn Popper® is the most efficient way to pop popcorn. We charge movie fans on a per-kernel-popped basis, meaning you are never paying for un-popped kernels at the bottom of your bowl."
"It’s healthy, too!" adds Green. "When you have to wait for each kernel to pop individually, you are much less likely to overeat."
The device will go on sale soon from Distrify.com - pricing has not been announced. Distrify plans to release mobile versions designed for iPhone and Android later this year.

Distrify unveils the USB Popcorn Popper®.

The patent-pending invention brings the world’s favorite movie treat to the comfort of VOD, one kernel at a time.

Distrify co-founder Andy Green was frustrated with the lack of tasty snacks available on his laptop. “While most people’s laptop keyboards are filled with nutritious crumbs, the flavor just isn’t what you want when watching a movie. We wanted a simple way to make popcorn while watching our favorite movies on Distrify,” Green explains. “I realized that the power in a USB port was sufficient to heat a popcorn kernel to a perfect popping temperature.”

"Since most of our movies are watched via the internet, we’ve always been searching for a way to tap into the most lucrative revenue available from the movie business," says Distrify co-founder Peter Gerard. "Our patented USB Popcorn Popper® is the most efficient way to pop popcorn. We charge movie fans on a per-kernel-popped basis, meaning you are never paying for un-popped kernels at the bottom of your bowl."

"It’s healthy, too!" adds Green. "When you have to wait for each kernel to pop individually, you are much less likely to overeat."

The device will go on sale soon from Distrify.com - pricing has not been announced. Distrify plans to release mobile versions designed for iPhone and Android later this year.


Distrify is thrilled to be working with The Metro, the 4th largest newspaper in the US (!) We are enabling streaming rentals of top indie films direct from The Metro’s website so readers can watch the films from their connected devices.

Our first offering is “The Act of Killing”one of the major frontrunners for this year’s Best Documentary Oscar and one of the finest non-fiction films of 2013.

Metro’s press release: For good and bad, movies rarely take up physical space these days. They live in a digital realm, shot and projected digitally. And rather than eat up real estate on shelves, the home versions are just clicks away.

Starting today, Metro is teaming with Distrify, an online film distributor, to bring you films new and old to watch online or buy through its service. For rented movies, viewers have 30 days to watch their selection up to five times. Can’t finish the movie in one sitting? The player will remember where you left off.

You can also discuss the film on our website in our comments section. Share your opinions, start debates, request more information, harangue us for our allegedly terrible taste and whatever else you’d like to say. (But keep it civil.)”

Follow the the movie stream room with updated films here


Posted by
accidentalmedia
30 Dec 2013 with tags:

Here’s a late Christmas present for all our loyal Distrifiers - no more hosting fees! In the past we had a somewhat hard-to-understand “minimum activity fee”, but Santa came down our chimney and took it away.

This makes our pricing a lot easier to understand (and saves a few people money!). Head on over to our plans page to have a look at our new options.


Posted by
kobishely

Want to catch up on great movies this holiday? Well you came to the rights place. We compiled a list of 10 fun, shocking, and brilliant titles for your Christmas holidays. We have it all, world cinema, classic films, and brilliant documentaries, an ideal list, watch the movies on Distrify Ideal Collection.

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Cinema Paradiso

Watch Giuseppe Tornatore’s nostalgic film about a small Sicilian village cinema that took the world by storm 25 years ago

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Wim Wenders’ Story Of His Early Years 

Drawing parallels between his early films and his personal biography, this documentary traces Wim Wenders’ own history, focussing on the director’s life prior to his leaving Germany for the USA after his international breakthrough with The American Friend (1976/77).

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My Father and The Man In Black

Think you know Johnny Cash? See this riveting documentary!” - The Village Voice 

Following his father’s suicide, Jonathan Holiff discovers hundreds of letters and audio diaries, including recorded phone calls with Johnny Cash during his pill-fueled 1960s, triumphs at Folsom and San Quentin, marriage to June Carter, and his conversion in the early 1970s to born-again Christian.

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Future My Love  

A unique love story challenging our collective and personal utopias in search of freedom.

At the brink of losing the idealist love of her life, filmmaker Maja Borg takes us on a poetic road trip through the financial collapse, exploring a radically different economic and social model proposed by 95-year-old futurist Jacque Fresco. 

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Foxfire Confessions Of A Girl Gang

Set in the 1950s, a a group of young girls in upstate New York form their own gang.

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One Couch At A Time  

Experience the global Couchsurfing.

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More 

Barbet Schroeder - Maitresse (1976), Barfly (1987), Reversal of Fortune (1990) - directed More, his first feature, in 1969. It created a sensation when it was released and became a cult Sixties classic.

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The Happy Lands

The film tracks the lives of the Brogan, Guthrie and Baxter families as they overcome the economic challenges brought about by the 1926 General Strike.

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Heartbeat Detector 

A psychologist discovers troubling links between Nazism and modern-day big business.

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Pablo’s Winter 

Pablo needs to stop smoking. Why? Because his wife, family and doctor say he should. But Pablo is a stubborn man. He’s worked in the mercury mines of Almadén, Spain, risking his life daily, he’s had five severe heart attacks and smoked 20 Winston’s a day since he was 12. Now in his seventies, Pablo spends most of his day in front of the TV, surrounded by a cloud of smoke, with his back turned firmly towards a village that has lived through better times.
Pablo represents the last generation of Almadén mercury miners, an age old profession with over 2000 years of history. Through a straightforward depiction of life’s everyday moments, Pablo’s Winter explores the decay of the local mining culture, but above all, pays homage to its real protagonists: the miners and their families.


Last week we announced a new marketing partnership with the jolly good team from TankTop.tv - How can this new wonderful friendship can help you filmmakers who put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making a movie? 

Tanktop.tv is a UK start-up that helps users find great content to watch on-demand. The service aggregate on-demand providers onto their site and provide curation and recommendation to allow users to find the best movie to watch. Part search engine, part movie recommendation engine, the company, backed by Telefonica’s Wayra startup accelerator, lets users add movies to a unified ‘watch list,’ be alerted when movies become available, and click through to begin watching. 

Movie fans are increasingly demanding the ability to discover and watch films everywhere.  A DIY film sales platform is key, but you need to get your film spread out through the web if you want to reach eyeballs and earn revenue. By creating this partnership with TankTop.tv and many other partners, we are placing your movies on an audience platform that helps people find out about it. It’s a great catalyst for virality to boost to your movies!

We know you’re not just making movies, you probably are also into watching them, right? So sign up with your Facebook account to Tantop.Tv and you’ll get to discover new films in a fun way. The service  includes critic and user ratings, recency and your previous choices to create a personalized list that’s fun to browse. Now you can build a watchlist for keeping track of the films you want to see on Distrify but also on a selection of streaming platforms. 

So have fun, reach your audience and Distrify you films!


"Pay It Forward works as a gift economy. When a viewer watches a film and finds that they would like to share with others, they can pay a small fee and send the link to somebody else in the form of a voucher"

Wrapping up an exciting week at at IDFA, we’ve announced a unique film-gifting opportunity, Pay-it-Forward, which allows users to buy films for friends or strangers. This innovative feature is a continuation of the online distributor’s ‘portable fundraiser’ project – a collaboration with Scottish Documentary Institute with backing from Nesta.

The film gifting offer will be launched with the online release of FUTURE MY LOVE, directed by the Swedish award-winning artist and film director, Maja Borg.

Developed in close partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute, the new Pay It Forward concept works as a gift economy.  When a viewer watches a film and finds that they would like to share with others, they can pay a small fee and send the link to somebody else in the form of a voucher. Viewers may buy for one or more people, or even an open invitation for viewers around the world to see the film if the ‘giver’ feels it is a film that should be shared and seen by many. This allows a film to be seen on a much wider release and greater exposure than otherwise, generating word of mouth.

The Pay-It-Forward concept reflects ‘big thinking’ themes explored in FUTURE MY LOVE, which considers an alternative culture to the current buy-and-consume economic system. Inher documentary, Borg goes to a retreat in Florida run by social theorist Jacque Fresco seeking for solutions to unhappiness and invites us to look at our relationship with the economy as a human relationship and consider how we might live differently by adopting futurist and radical ideals based around sharing resources and abandoning money. FUTURE MY LOVE has received by film critics.

This is the first time the Pay-it-Forward concept has been used for film distribution. We are excited about all the possibilities for filmmakers to increase awareness and reach for their films. Often film-fans want to share their love of a film by asking others to watch it, and thanks to the new Pay-it-Forward function, they can give the film to anyone, even people they don’t know.

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This kind of distribution will be particularly useful for documentary films related to a campaign or issue where the fans want to spread the film’s message as widely as possible. Through genuine generosity, anyone can sponsor another viewer’s chance to watch a film.

Ben Kempas, Producer of Marketing and Distribution at the Scottish Documentary Institute adds, “Our film FUTURE MY LOVE features ideas for a world without money. But it has been produced under the current economic system. So how can you release it and still take a step towards the film’s ideals? That’s why we decided to create our own gift economy. Believing in giving feels much better than simply begging others to buy something.

"We first used the joint ‘Portable Fundraiser’ development with Distrify on our hugely successful documentary I AM BREATHING, with a sliding-scale interface enabling community screenings and top-up donations right in the player. We’re very excited to enter a more experimental phase now, trying to distribute a film through the power of gifting it to others – friends and strangers alike.”


Posted by
accidentalmedia
24 Nov 2013 with tags:

Distrify co-founder Peter Gerard has been named as one of the most influential, innovative and interesting people in the creative and media industries as part of the h.Club100 award presented by The Hospital Club in association with Guardian Culture Professionals Network and the British Council.

On Monday, the British Council announced the ten winners of the h.Club100 Creative Entrepreneur category. These are up and coming entrepreneurs who show talent, edginess and entrepreneurial spirit – a small snapshot of the UK’s creative industries from music to fashion, design, TV, publishing and more.  Five of the winners have also won an overseas trip to expand their networks and share their knowledge abroad.

"The Creative Entrepreneur award from British Council and the h.Club 100 list are great recognition of the innovative work that our team at Distrify has been doing," says Peter Gerard. "We are dedicated to providing unique solutions to issues faced by a changing film industry and I am grateful for this prestigious recognition of our hard work."

Via an open call out for new creative businesses, the ten were selected and then invited to interview to select five individuals for the trip. Peter Gerard has been selected for the trip to Nigeria – a unique week of networking and inspiration – meeting other innovators working in creative industries in some of the fastest growing markets in the world.   

"Distrify is one of the only VOD companies contributing real revenue to the Nollywood industry," says Peter Gerard. "Our social film sales technology is a perfect fit for the Nigerian filmmaking community, who have demonstrated a fantastic adeptness with modern technology, particularly social media and ecommerce. The opportunity to travel to Nigeria with British Council will be a great way for us to meet and collaborate with Nigerian filmmakers and tech innovators."

The judging panel comprised of Patrick McKenna (CEO Ingenious), Sue Walter (CEO The Hospital Club) and Beatrice Pembroke (Director, British Council Creative Economy).

Beatrice Pembroke, Director, Creative Economy, British Council, said: “A key part of our work is spotting emerging new trends in the creative industry to share with our network around the world. We think all the winners in the category demonstrate the experimentation and quality of creative innovation in the UK – so well we have broken our own rules and chosen five of them to represent overseas.  We look forward to taking them to meet creative entrepreneurs in Brazil and Nigeria so they can share ideas, develop their networks and be inspired.”

Patrick McKenna, CEO Ingenious, said: “It was a pleasure meeting the creative entrepreneurs and I was really impressed with the vision and ambition of the businesses they are leading.  I think the work the British Council does to support up and coming creative businesses overseas is very important and this programme is an excellent opportunity for these young people to internationalise their outlook and showcase UK creativity abroad.”

Sue Walter, CEO The Hospital Club said, “We are delighted to be working with the British Council on the Creative Entrepreneurs category of the h.Club100, our list to identify the most innovative people working in the Creative industries in 2013.  One of the overall aims of the Hospital Club is to support emerging talent, and it’s been a privilege to meet so many talented young businesses through this programme.  We very much look forward to seeing more of them in future.”


There are endless options to create an internet site for a film, but it’s best to stick to some basic principles regarding the site’s logical structure. As a rule of thumb, we advise you to make your movie site simple. A film or a movie is like a product and the internet site built for it is practically a site for one product. In a world where internet sites are dedicated to thousands of products, to large companies, to themes, communities, cities or political parties, a site dedicated to a film should be proportional - i.e. simple.

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We recommend 10 sections which are a good structure for creating a site for your film using the Distrify player.

Menus and sections - the site should contain the following menu or sections as a baseline:

1. Homepage, Place the Distrify player always at the top of the page on your home page. The player should be embedded at an optimum size of at least 640x392. Below the player, include SHORT information about the film (could be a tag line), any laurels from festivals you’ve won, and links (preferably small banners) to follow you and your film on social media sites.

Note: The still image you choose for your trailer is one of the most important marketing tools for your film. Think about it as your key art or film poster - if you choose a random image, most chances are that it won’t attract enough attention, but choosing the right image can make a huge difference. This image will serve your film later on when people will share the player on their Facebook and other social media, this is where the player stands on its own. So filmmakers, don’t be lazy, take your time and choose that kick ass image! (To upload a new still image simply go to the preview videos on Distrify and click the pencil icon to edit)

Also consider adding a short description how to rent or buy your film, yes much like airlines insist on showing how to buckle up, the same goes with people on the Internet, they need step by step guidance. So add this at the top of the Distrify player: You can rent or download “movie title” online, anywhere in the world. Click the green button to rent and the purple button to download or buy a DVD. If you rent, the film will be available to watch immediately, and you’ll have 30 days to pause and resume viewing your rental.

If you wish to get your fans to act as your affiliate partner, add this: “You can also embed this video window in your website or blog, and earn a commission every time someone watches it on your site or from a link you send out. Click the “share” button in the video window for details”

2. About page, with a more detailed description of the film. Could be the synopsis you use for film festivals submissions.

3. Filmmakers page - about you, the films you made, where you studied (if you think it’s relevant) and any additional information that might be pertinent. For example, if the film is about disabled children and is based on your own experience as an instructor or therapist, consider adding those details. Also consider the possibility of adding a Director’s Statement, in which you explain what made you do this film and how it affected your life etc. People like to read those things - it gives them another perspective on the film and you as a filmmaker.

4. Credits - mention and thank all the people and organizations without which the film could not have been completed.

5. Screenings and Events - let your site visitors know where the next screening is taking place. You should also update your screenings list in your Distrify player. It is also a good habit to include the history of screenings, especially in film festivals. It makes an impression and adds to the site content. Remember - the richer the content (especially TEXT) - the highest you’ll get on search engines. You should also consider adding the option of requesting or organizing a community screening.

6. Galleries - picture and video gallery are not a must but they add to the overall user experience. If you have a video gallery, choose 3-4 scenes from the film. Also consider adding a 1-2 scenes which were not included in the final edit. If there’s an interview with you as the filmmaker- add it to the video gallery. It’s a good idea to add the interview to the filmmaker’s page. In picture galleries, it’s important to add pictures from the production process, either behind the scenes pictures of the protagonists or pictures of you and the crew. Like the director’s statement, people like to know more about the film. If you are using YouTube for any of these video clips, make sure you add link annotations on the video so people watching on YouTube can immediately click and go back to your website. You should also consider making some of these videos exclusively available to people who sign up to your mailing list – to do this, simply upload them to Distrify and instead of setting a price, mark them as “Free - Email for Media”.

7. Press - in addition to what was written about the film in newspapers and magazines, consider adding citations from other sites, especially blogs. Blogs have become in some cases more powerful and influential than the traditional media. By ‘Press’ we also mean of course audio recordings, podcasts and videos of all kinds.

8. Buy the Movie - probably one of the most important pages in your site and might be the reason you created the site in the first place. Consider to add a “Watch” tab instead of shop, here you should offer all options how to buy your film, streaming, DVD, and more products like t-shirts and posters if you’re thinking of offering them to your audience. If you’re selling everything via your Distrify player, this page will be very similar to your homepage. Check the Lucia homepage.

9. Contact - could be a form or an e-mail or both. A form gives you the opportunity to let your fans and the press to contact directly without giving away your personal e-mail. For some people, it’s important.

10. Blog and/or forum - those 2 mechanisms are easy to install (technically) and are very powerful, you should invest in writing and relating to other people’s comments whenever you have an exciting event to announce. Take a look at filmmaker Pawan Kumar’s blog.

BTW - *Soon we will have some exciting news for you on a new website and player offer.

See below a selection of film websites using the Distrify player we really dig:

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