“Hollywood is a movie-marketing industry; not a movie-making industry.”
More money is spent on marketing and distribution than in production. Money is made, exposure and recognition are achieved when the movies are watched, not when they are made. There are tons of produced content that have never been seen by anyone other than the production teams. Hollywood has become a master at marketing content; making money even out of mediocre quality films. This proves that not only more effort is placed in marketing and distribution, but, most importantly, the ROI for the average film is directly proportional to the quality of the marketing and distribution campaign.
Traditionally, the effectiveness of any marketing and advertising campaign is dependent on the ability to reach and engage a demographic sample. Most advertising campaigns use the “shot-gun” approach in the hope that enough people will be passing by at the time the shots are fired.
Advertising has changed forever… thanks to the Internet. Before the Internet, the only way to know how many people were watching or liked an ad was to survey population samples. Today, thanks to the Internet, not only can we track how many times ads are watched and liked; we can also know where and when they are being watched and by whom. We know their income level, education, ethnicity, city they live in, what they like or dislike, who they are fans of, vote for… and so on. Demographic targeting is razor sharp.
To top this off, Internet advertising is completely measurable! By running multiple ad formats and split testing, we can determine the best ad for the right demographic sample. It is this ability that delivers the best ROI’s for advertising of any other medium.
Another massive advantage of Internet advertising is the ability people have of sharing what they are reading/watching/listening to with friends at the click of a button: both as group “sends” or targeted individual-by-individual. Social Networks have appeared in all shapes and forms to allow people to interact with each other remotely. The speed of Internet connections allows for huge amounts of data to be transferred across the globe almost instantly.
We have developed software and methodologies that enable us to harness the power of the Internet, download and Social Networks to our advantage. Not only can we target individuals and demographics with laser-point accuracy, but we can empower users/viewers to share monetized video content virally through their Social Networks. We are able to track where, when and how content is being watched. We even know if they watched it more than once, whether they paused or skipped parts and exactly what parts they skipped.
This nascent technology is only but recently being used to market films prior to release. We have enclosed relevant case studies to illustrate and cross-reference what we have mentioned above. Please refer to the article on Paranormal Activity. The important point this article makes is that a reasonable marketing budget can deliver huge returns at the Box Office by only opening screens where demand was sufficient to do so profitably. The results proved record returns.
Previously, massive amounts of P&A money would be spent upfront, opening in as many screens as possible and hoping people would come. Then, based on Box Office sales either increase (rarely the case) or decrease the number of screens on a week-by-week basis until the returns are low enough to demand a pull-out from theaters. That meant only Studios with very large P&A budgets could orchestrate large theatrical releases and spread the risk by packaging several movies at once and leveraging their brand power.
Today, thanks to clever technology and the power of the Internet, we can open a movie on screens where we know people are eager to go and watch the content. The campaign analytics can help us be very economical and strategic allowing awakened demand to take initiative over size of up-front P&A investments.
Given the nature of the film, the themes, stars, locations and other elements, we can identify the best target demographics, their hubs and Social Networks. Then it’s time for our proprietary system to do its magic. To that end we engage and work with publicists, agents, the production teams, etc. to gather the necessary material and harness the power of our technology to create viral campaigns which are measured and fine-tuned constantly to achieve the best ROI results.
Due to the fact that the information we gather is the most important determining factor predicting the ROI per theatrical screen to be opened, it makes sense to allow our company to manage the theatrical release as well. We would engage the most appropriate releasing company that will give us the flexibility we require to design an effective theatrical release.
It is also extremely important to engage our company as early as possible in the development and pre-production process.
Apart from the aforementioned pre-distribution and conventional distribution services, we can also distribute the feature film digitally; we do this in-house. Our platform allows us to market and distribute the movie online internationally. We can do this in a combination of ways:
PPV - We can set up on multiple sites where the movie can be watched on a pay-per-view [streaming and/or download-to-own] basis.
Subscriptions - This is great for companies that have extensive libraries or to leverage the success of some films to promote others.
Ad-supported - This offers great advantages by removing the risk factor to the end viewer. They can watch the movies for free in an ad-suuported manner (pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls). Ad revenue varies according to the country and CPM rates different Ad Networks pay. Our system is intelligent to detect the highest paying bid from all the Ad Networks added to our Ad Server and automatically select the highest bidding ads. We would use a combination of ads including overlay banner ads where available to supplement the total number of ads playing per movie view.
Reliability, flexibility, control, these are some of the attributes our proprietary technology offers. Users are also enabled to share their views, ratings and the content itself via Social Networks without compromising the content in any way or form.
We control playback on a territory-by-territory basis which we can set up and change at will. This is important when dealing with other forms of distribution. For instance, let’s say we are dealing for either a theatrical, cable or DVD release in a foreign territory and the company we are dealing with does not want people to be able to access the content online for free during their cable broadcast. We can switch off online ad-supported distribution in that territory without any problems for as long as the contract period might be.
Content can be viewed on mobile devices as well as large digital HD screens anywhere where there are internet connections. And because we offer both streaming and download options, it doesn’t matter how fast or otherwise the Internet connections are… people have the choice to view the content in whatever format is more convenient to them.
Our platform is extremely flexible and optimized to entertain a multitude of digital licensing opportunities. We tried to make sure that no other independent company does it like us.
Advertiser’s Revenue Becomes Direct Monetization
Advertisers crave demographic granularity, the possibility of placing the right kind of ad in front of the specific target market that should be attracted to the product or service being advertised. In addition to the innate ability of the Internet and existing online marketing tools to do that, the fact that we may have a genre movie or one with known marketable stars who have historical traction of millions of online-reachable fans, enables us to design creative campaigns that leverage this power.
We believe in innovation and turning technological advances to our advantage. We thrive in the changes to the film industry caused by the Digital Revolution. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your projects and hopefully partner with you in making your movie a true success.
President/CEO Commodity Films