It seems like an odd idea at first: could you fund a production – film or ongoing series – using iAds? After all, Apple have lined up $60 million in ad spend for the second half of 2010 and that would fund a lot of independent production! But how would it work?
First off iAds go in Apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad – or they will from early next month – and are an integral part of iOS 4. Any developer can add ads to their App simply and 60% of the revenue from ads goes to the App developer (or owner). That’s $36 million that’s going to be paid out to someone, why not your independent project?
I’ve long thought that the future of programming was Apps. An App, like a website, gives a single place for everything about your project: blog, previews, special content, upcoming events, merchandising etc. The advantage of not only having a website, but wrapping it an App is that the App will be a better fan experience, and it’s easy to add in-App purchasing of digital goods.
So, create an App for your project. This App will have:
- An area where you can read the production blog;
- Forums and chat around your project;
- The Twitter feed from your project;
- Connection into your Facebook presence;
- Previews of scenes or trailers of movies;
- The full project, with a little in-App purchasing (or not).
- Calendar for screenings, parties and other events around your project, including signup (filtered for just the geography of the fan if they want, thanks to GPS on most of the devices)
Having everything to do with your project in a mobile app on iPhone or iPad makes it much easier for your fans, friends and followers to stay involved and participate. Involvement will improve. (Connecting with Fans and giving them a reason to buy is a basic tenet of independent production in the digital era.) Plus fans will likely be clicking on some of those ads if they’re well targeted, bringing revenue to the project.
Plus, there a minor security advantage. There’s no download function in Mobile Safari and Apps can’t download very much. Plus there’s no way to actually get anything downloaded within an App out of the App to a computer. That means your finished, high quality version could be viewed in the iDevices without much risk of it being distributed without authorization. (Recognizing though, that it will get distributed unless you project just plain sucks!)
Who’s going to be the first to give it a try?