Thinking about how to find your Audiences.

Thinking about how to find your documentary’s audiences, Part I

This article parallels some content I’ve been teaching in my How to grow and monetize an audience for your independent production” seminar. (Not currently scheduled anywhere but got great attendance and review in New York (March) and San Francisco (June). I’ve also written on the subject Why is the First Audience so Important.

You must find that first audience, what this writer calls the “Insanely Interested”, for two reasons:

1. You cannot market to everyone, and films that are tightly focused perform better (the site with that reference seems to have lost its archives sadly). Key quote:

And it’s not that there is some big new trend of more women going to the movies. Rather, said Vinny Bruzzese, executive vice president of the motion-picture group for research firm OTX, the over-performance among women for certain films shows that “studios are catching on that you have to make the movie for a specific audience tend to overperform.”

2. Reaching a single target audience is easier because you can work out where they “hang out” online and in the physical world, making it much easier to target.

From the article, just ahead a graphic representation of the hierarchy of audiences.

Filmmakers are in many ways a romantic lot, embracing new advances while also clinging to the old notion of success: The opening at Sundance to rave reviews, the wide theatrical release, then national television and the Academy Award. For some, it’s still true, but for every Louie Psihoyos there are thousands of expensively-made documentaries that simply never got anywhere. And the reason for that has much to do with approaching audience.

Micro audiences can be of two types. One costs a lot of money to get, and the other costs much less. Filmmakers who can dispense with the dreams of grandeur can often find success and profit in the right kid of micro-audience.

TubeMogul Rolls Out HTML5 Analytics.

TubeMogul Rolls Out HTML5 Analytics

This is an important step in HTML5 adoption, because without Analytics, publishers monetizing content with ads would be working in the dark.

Online analytics and monetization firm TubeMogul is making its reporting features available to companies that deliver video through HTML5 video players. By doing so, publishers can get the same analytics from the iPhone and iPad as they receive through Flash video players online.

Personally, I avoid any media with advertising so this isn’t going to help me.

Evidence Shows You Can, In Fact Compete with Free.

Evidence Shows You Can, In Fact, ‘Compete’ With ‘Free’

Modplan points us to a recent talk given by professor Michael D. Smith at Google. Smith is fromCarnegie Mellon and is discussing some of his recent papers, such as one on whether or not “piracy” acts as promotion for movies and another one on how digital sales, when set up right, don’t actually cannibalize other sales. That latter one debunks the silly claim from Jeff Zucker and many others that they’re “trading analog dollars for digital pennies.”

If you can’t compete with “free”, you probably can’t compete in a digital era. This article is a pretty thorough debunking of the myth that you can’t compete with free, and highlights the importance of meeting customer needs, rather than your own needs.

One bit of research involved the natural experiment that happened when NBC Universal, due to a contract dispute with Apple, removed its TV shows from iTunes for almost a year before putting them back. So, what happened when the content got pulled? Well, first, piracy rates increased — and not just in absolute numbers. The research compared piracy rates against the other major TV networks, and found that the rates tracked almost exactly prior to the content getting pulled from iTunes… but the second it got pulled, NBC piracy rates were noticeably higher than the other networks. In other words, not offering consumers a way to buy your content legitimately increase unauthorized access. No shock there, but nice to see the data to support that. Specifically, the data found that the “demand” for unauthorized versions increased by 11%.

Online Video Discovery Shifting from Search to Social Media

Online Video Discovery Shifting From Search To Social Media

Apart from the randomness of finding new programming by flipping channels (and the inefficiency thereof) most people either saw an advertisement for a program or got a recommendation from friends. Back when we had a homogenous TV viewing culture – where there was limited choice – this was the “water  cooler” effect where people discussed the previous night’s TV with each other.

Online people tended to search because of the difficulty of finding new programming that might interest them. But now the trend is back to human recommendation via social media. We’ve come full circle back to where we started.

Even in the depths of the recession, online video ad growth continued to surge by double digits. Spending is still expected to rise robustly over the next few years, but a report from cloud-based online video platform Brightcove and video analytics provider TubeMogul the sites that have been benefiting from the online video’s growth could change. Not surprisingly, Facebook emerges as key traffic driver for online video, with Twitter another major avenue for viewers. Referral traffic for online video from Facebook and Twitter is actually growing faster than refers from traditional search engines. At current growth rates, Facebook will surpass Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) within the year to be the second only to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) for video referral traffic, the report finds.

Will Apple be doing a Ping for Film and Television as well as Music?

Adobe Announces HTML5/CSS3/SVG Pack for Illustrator.

Adobe Announces HTML5/CSS3/SVG Pack for Illustrator

I’ve long said that the company best positioned to supply HDTML 5 tools is Adobe. Glad they seem to think the same way.

Adobe is pleased to announce the availability of the Adobe® Illustrator® CS5 HTML5 Pack. This add-on for Illustrator CS5 15.0.1 provides initial support for HTML5 and CSS3, extends SVG capability in Illustrator CS5, and helps you easily design web and device content. In combination with the HTML5 features available in the Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 11.0.3 updater, these new tools allow web designers to take advantage of the latest advancements in HTML5.