Indie Success through Branded Entertainment

Indie Success through Branded Entertainment, Syndication

Report from a panel at the New York Television Festival Digital Day panel.

Almost all of the panels emphasized that branded entertainment is the best way to go to monetize independent online video. Nonetheless, many producers and executives seemed to view brand integration as a necessary evil, yearning for when it is no longer needed. Even Ben Silverman, whose company Electus exclusively does branded entertainment, mentioned that brand integrations helped keep television afloat in its early days before the platform matured.

P2P Backed Film Platform to Reward Influencers

P2P Backed Film Platform to Reward Influencers

Instead of being the “freetards” they are painted with, the P2P community seems to be setting some precedents in alternative business models for distributing, growing an audience and monetizing them.

VODO, short for voluntary donation, has been a great success thus far. With support from several torrent sites including EZTV, The Pirate Bay and isoHunt, all of VODO’s major releases have been downloaded several hundred thousand times. In addition, downloaders have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the filmmakers.

‘Ride the Divide’ a case in DYI Distribution

‘Ride the Divide’ a case in DIY

I love an article about a filmmaker that starts with:

Hunter Weeks went into his work on the feature documentary  “Ride The Divide” with a solid sense of how to get the film out once it was done.

This is so important and yet so overlooked by most filmmakers. It’s a business and you have to think about the Return on Investment right from the start, because you’ll have to be creative about it.

They took on a corporate sponsor and encouraged participants to wear the corporate beanie (but not compulsory). They targeted a limited number of film festivals and when they missed the larger, more public ones, they went straight to distribution.

The film has screened at about 100 times in theaters, in about 70 cities in all, in shows we’ve produced ourselves – sometimes one night, or sometimes three nights in a row in the same place. We also had a licensing fee to screen the film for $295, and we tapped into these hotbed cycling communities – mountain-bike extreme groups all over the country, especially in the mountain region. We had these tremendously successful shows. And that helped sell the DVDs in a pre-release version over the last six months.

One other approach has been to  offer 500 “Living Room Screening Packages” for $99, for which 50 percent of the proceeds go to cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong Foundation. The kit includes a  DVD or Bluray in  wood laser-engraved box by, a limited edition t-shirt byMighty Karma,SmartWool Beanie, Tony Hsieh’s Best Selling book – Deli

TV is Dead. Long Live Web Video

TV is Dead. Long Live Web Video. But Web video isn’t television. It’s something else. Web Video abandoned TV.

So much has changed – Cameras, Bandwidth, YouTube – provide a trifecta of change plus the cognitive surplus we have as a result of being less “couch potato” and more “active creator” leads to a whole new thing: not TV, not web video as it’s been.

But Web video isn’t television. It’s something else entirely. And in the past 5 years, from 2005 to 2010, as Web video has moved to become the fastest growing and most prevalent form of traffic emerging on the Web, something else happened.

Web video abandoned TV. It moved on.

There are plenty of examples of this — but the perhaps most dramatic one is the growth of TED Talks. TED Curator, Chris Anderson, calls this emergence Crowd Accelerated Innovation. His thesis is that Web video accelerates the cycle of humans creating, sharing, and iterating.