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How to distribute video to paying customers

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Patrick MillerHow to distribute video to paying customers
by on May 20, 2016 at 8:21:37 pm

Hey everyone,

For years now, I have been filming the 8th grade graduation for a local school. I put together a montage, interview the students, film the ceremony, etc. I have always pre-sold DVD's of the graduation. The parents buy a copy through the school office. I usually sell around 50 copies at $20 a piece. This is where I make most of my money for the gig.

Here is my question: Is there a better way for me to do this? DVD's are a thing of the past, and not even HD quality. I would love to distribute the video in a more efficient way that gives the parents a high res version of the video.

The problem is, I cannot simply send them a downloadable link to the video file. If I did that, they could easily share it among themselves, and there would be no reason to pay $20 per person. I need some kind of system that only gives a copy to the parents who paid for one.

Maybe there is a webpage or a service out there catered to exactly what I am trying to do? Thanks so much for the help.

Pat
http://www.patmillervideo.com


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Mark SuszkoRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on May 23, 2016 at 2:30:24 pm

You can make them blu ray instead of DVD. That's High def, and playable on Blue Ray players as well as game systems like xbox. Your workflow is basically the same, just using BD media and a BD-capable burner/

You can technically put high def video on a DVD, as files, but that makes them only playable on a computer.


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Patrick MillerRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on May 23, 2016 at 7:10:55 pm

Yes I have thought about that, and almost everyone these days owns a Blu Ray player But I was hoping to find an option that involved a digital file and maybe dispersing the video using the internet somehow. Could I make it streamable for them to playback, but only authorized people could view the video?

Just brainstorming.. The hard copy on bluray might still be the answer.


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Mark SuszkoRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on May 23, 2016 at 8:08:23 pm

Vimeo offers this, as does Amazon, but they want a piece of your action.


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Greg BallRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on Jun 9, 2016 at 7:37:53 pm

How about putting it on a thumb drive?

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Mark SuszkoRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on Jun 9, 2016 at 8:05:17 pm

That is possible, but, thumb drives cost more than blank media, and unless you buy a duplicating tower for them (they do make such things), you're dubs are done one at time. Which may not be bad for an occasional twenty dubs, but believe me is torture for fifty or more. Playing long videos direct off a thumb drive comes up against problems with FAT32 or other storage formats - remember how longer songs sounded on 8-track, with the interruption mid-song to click over to the next track?

And then what? Unless it's encrypted or something, it just takes one person to pirate that file, and you are done making any more money.


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Mark SuszkoRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on Jun 9, 2016 at 8:20:45 pm

My final answer still comes down to this: the ONLY way to avoid losing out to piracy on these small gigs, is to pre-sell with a minimum number of orders, and make the parents be the order takers and enforcers. If you don't get the minimum number of orders to make your profit, you don't release, or, if you're really drastically hard-core, you don't record it. You get paid in advance for fifty orders, and any extra dubs after that, charge whatever the market will bear, but it isn't likely to be much, because dishonest and cheapskate parents in the group will share between each other or post to the web anyway. You don't want to have to make a career out of watching the net and issuing take-down notices, do you?


There * is * a way to pirate-proof a product of this sort... by giving it away, thus taking away the pirate's financial incentive, but promoting the wider sharing of the content, beyond your original market space. How do you do that? You find an underwriter or sponsor for the program, get your production fees and profit up-front, then release the media for free, but branded with the underwriter's advertising. Which also lets you up-sell your ad production services, making the commercials that are inserted into the thing.

A few possible underwriters for a high school show:

soft drink bottlers
grocery store chains
sporting goods store
Franchise restaurants
Car dealership
Youth clothing store/formalwear store
Department store
US armed forces recruiting
local bank or credit union
Dental clinic
Sports rehab clinic
Music (instrument) store
Local water or theme park
Local movie theatre chain
Realtor

Yes, that's more legwork for you to set up. But you get paid off the top. Guaranteed.


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Patrick MillerRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on Jun 9, 2016 at 8:21:54 pm

Thanks for the advice. I agree with Mark. It's looking like my best bet is to still make hard copies on Bluray and disperse the video that way.

My only other thought was this:
This is an 8th grade graduation, the copies are pre-sold. I could create a downloadable link and send that out to the people who paid. If they share it, no big deal really since I already got paid. Only problem is, will these parents transfer that knowledge to other parents next year, then less copies will be sold?


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Mark SuszkoRe: How to distribute video to paying customers
by on Jun 9, 2016 at 9:14:10 pm

I'd count on it.


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