Machinima started out as a dot-com for gaming-obsessed video makers 15 years ago, and later morphed into a YouTube multi-channel network. Today, it reaches a whopping 170 million viewers each month across a variety of online portals, including Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, Vessel, and its Android and iOS apps. But there’s always room for more success.
Like any media company, Machinima is looking to maximize the earning potential of its IP across all available platforms. So for the first time this week it began selling one its shows via digital download. All five seasons of its animated series “Battlefield Friends” are now available for purchase on on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo and Xbox Live. Fans of the show can stream or download single seasons or get the entire five-season box set on Vimeo On Demand.
Season 5 of “Battlefield Friends” was first made available to Vessel subscribers, which offers a 72-hour first window exclusive to its content for $2.99 a month. Fans who don’t want to pay a premium on Vessel or pay to download can wait for a new episode to drop every Saturday on YouTube.
“I don’t think it’s a huge stretch from television windowing,” Machinima chief creative officer Daniel Tibbets told VideoInk. “You want to be somewhere between 60 and 80% recruitment in the first window, and then each window thereafter you’re adding revenue to it,”
This specific windowing strategy isn’t necessarily the new model for all future Machinima programming, but it is a signpost for the company’s strategic direction.
“Each show is different,” Tibbets said. “We may find a sponsorship-plus-integration opportunity with YouTube, which certainly is better economics than just the indirect media on YouTube, or we may find that a particular franchise that people want to own and keep through digital download. [But] ‘Battlefield Friends’ is a great example of many projects you’re going to be seeing from Machinima that really utilizes each one of these platforms in a unique way. We certainly understand YouTube, and we’re learning very quickly what works and doesn’t work on these other platforms.”