Video on Demand
Whether it's Vimeo, Youtube, Amazon, designing and managing streaming solutions is a nightmare that requires attention to detail, experimentation, and testing to achieve a rock-solid solution.
I've been implementing streaming events for the Robert Richter Free Film Festival. https://vimeo.com/showcase/richterfilmfest
using Vimeo/Livestream. In many ways a nightmare, but I've been learning how to work around limitations in the system. Also, when faced with poor performance and documentation on a number occasions, I was able to get my clients subscription extended for 3 months without any additional charge.
I recently setup a video on demand page for THE VOW FROM HIROSHIMA
They needed the film to be made available for free for 24 hrs AND not allow access in Japan because of a distribution deal. Again, not simple with the limitations of Vimeo's interface and their support, but I was able to make it happen successfully.
I'm working with a Petina Cole on implementing and monetizing her youtube channel. When a video of hers, which I edited, surpassed 4 million views, I started discussing the money making possibilities with her. Hard to image there were so many people interested in miniature horses.
And Petina and I have just created a new youtube channel for Mark Gindick, clown extraordinaire.
I've implemented The Talking Picture Company's library of feature films on Amazon Video on Demand dealing with issues of formats, closed captions, etc.
Here's a link to their most recent feature
Unfortunately since the death of Alan Hruska, author and co-director, the film is no longer available via Amazon.
I've been working with Martin Spinelli of Interaction Media to implement a number of video on demand pages on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/user13993035/vod_pages.
Martin produced and directed the Emmy award-winning documentary Life on Jupiter about Jens Nygaard the legendary founder and conducter of the Jupiter Symphony. Over the last few years we've been shooting performances of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and interviewing musicians and audience members to explore Jens' legacy. We've created 2 VOD pages for home and educational use for the Jupiter project. We've also created VOD pages for a series of documentaries Martin produced and directed in the 60's and 70's. Most of these films have been removed from Vimeo VOD. But visit Martin's website for more information on his films
I've researched the options for online distribution and we settled on working with Vimeo to implement our strategy. With a vimeo pro account for about $20 a month, you get 20 gigs of upload per week and can create video on demand pages and set your own pricing for streaming and download. Although the tools and options for the on demand pages are somewhat limited, it seems like the most cost-effective solution. Vimeo only takes 10% of any revenue. And unlike Amazon which seems to have an ever changing terms of service, etc, (see below when I talk about Bob Richter's experiences) you can have multiple VOD pages for the same film for different markets with different prices (for example, for the home or retail market and for an educational market). The one serious limitation of the Vimeo VOD model is that fact that your films will not show up in Google search results, so you need to promote the VOD titles elsewhere linking to the Vimeo VOD page. Promoting your films is a complex task and crucial to generating income and is true for whatever platform you choose.
I've been helping Bob Richter navigate the complications of working with Amazon with his extensive library of documentaries. They seem to have a moving target of specifications and limitations which they apply in a seeming random manner. Trying to get definitive answers is an exercise in frustration.
For example, Bob had alternative pricing for retail streaming and institutional use (education). After several years with this model, Amazon started sending Bob notifications that you could only have one “version” of a program. We've also gotten “error” messages because some documentaries have examples of commercials which were an integral part of the story and were in no way promotional. We've been able to resolve most of these problems, but it is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or need help with this process.