Last night, March 26, VideoInk held its latest monthly event — “Decoding the Premium Digital Distribution Equation” — presented in partnership with Big Screen Little Screen and hosted by Magnet Media at the company’s offices in New York.
If you missed it, shame on you. Screening two independent web series, “Snafu” and “Psychodrama,” and featuring a panel-plus-Q&A session with Kerry Trainor, CEO of Vimeo, and Roland Hamilton, managing director, US, Dailymotion, it was a night of great content and conversation.
So if you missed it, still, shame on you, but here’s a recap.
“Snafu” is a six-episode comedy series set in Brooklyn, following the adventures of Florence, a girl who’s constantly rediscovering her purpose in life. The show airs online on YouTube, and the ladies behind the project, creator/producer Chloe Sanders and producer Haley Rawson, were on hand to screen episode two, which will be available next week. Until then, check out episode one:
“Psychodrama” is a big city tale through and through. The series follows three NY-based friends and actresses, who are advised by their acting coach to seek therapy to work through their neuroses — only the three happen to enlist the same therapist. Hilarity, as usual, ensues. The series, which was created by and stars Kimmy Foskett, Liza Renzulli, and Luisa Fidalgo, is based on true stories from the trio’s real lives. The ladies screened episode one, titled “Indecision,” which is streamed via Vimeo.
Following the screenings, it was time to have a conversation with Kerry Trainor and Roland Hamilton, who joined VideoInk editorial director Sahil Patel, and the crowd in attendance, to chat about digital distribution. Here are the highlights:
Get your content out in front of as many people as possible. Trainor and Hamilton agreed, a multi-platform approach to distribution, especially for independent creators, is the “winning” one.
That said, the ones who “crack the code” on what windowing means in the digital world are going to be the most successful, said Kerry Trainor.
This includes the revenue model creators choose to go with at different intervals. For instance, ad-supported means free for viewers. But it also demands scale from creators. “The challenge is to get scale in an ad model, and it’s hard to get sponsorships for a new show or a new creator,” said Roland Hamilton. Advertisers are interested in guaranteed audiences, which is difficult for even established creators to commit to.
No ads, thank you; just give it to me direct. “We are committed to a no pre-roll environment,” said Kerry Trainor, talking about his company’s approach to helping creators distribute and monetize their work. “We believe the paid market online is just getting started.” For some creators, especially those who are making films, the direct model might make more sense — since it wouldn’t require them to generate as many views as the ad-supported model does to make the same amount of money.
Also, don’t be afraid to experiment. “Being able to pilot content and get instant feedback is a unique value proposition of digital platforms,” said Roland Hamilton.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Both Kerry Trainor and Roland Hamilton referenced how digital platforms are following in the footsteps of premium cable channels when it comes to original content. As it usually goes, first comes third-party/licensed content, which helps build an audience, which creates the opportunity for digital networks to offer original programming. Netflix did this, so did Amazon, so is Dailymotion, and soon, so might Vimeo, said Trainor. It’s a “proven playbook,” he said.
Be sure to come to our next monthly event (mark your calendars: April 24). Details on that will be coming shortly.