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Advie on which media to use for End Product

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Andy Howard
Advie on which media to use for End Product
on Apr 29, 2019 at 3:33:54 pm

Hi all,

I am a (very) part-time amateur videographer in Ireland, who mainly works with schools/youth clubs covering recitals/concerts/drama/musicals etc.

For the past 10 years or so, I have always produced the end product on DVD, and never received any complaints. I charged a fee for each DVD, which came in a DVD case, and printed label etc. As a 'busines model', this worked well, as it allowed me to take orers, product product to order, and get paid, and donate a portion tot he school/youth club.

This year, I want to produce in HD, and I am thinking of simply producing the end film in HS format on a USB flash drive. Blu-ray has never really caught on in Ireland, and most people don't have Blu-ray players, while most people do have either a Smart TV or Android box, or laptop which can take a USB stick.

My concerns with this are as follows:

1. From a purely business point of view, I am concerned that people will simply share the end product among themselves, i.e. one person will buy a USB version, then simply share the HD file with others. This will make it a non-viable proposition for me really, as I will need to order in a batch of USB drives before the event in order to be ready to fulfill orders. WHat do most of you videographers do? How do you offer the final product? USB? Is there any way to protect the business viability of it?

2. Reliability and compatibility of USB flash drives - Which USB drives have a good read/speed speed, and are compatible with most Smart TV's/Media players for playback on TV. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Advice on which media to use for End Product
on Apr 30, 2019 at 1:57:40 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Apr 30, 2019 at 4:03:11 pm

How big is X-Box gaming in Ireland? Because every X-Box *is* also a BluRay player. And your customers are kids, so... they probably have one?

As to the piracy, your fears are legitimate. Even BluRay can be pirated at little cost. And file-based delivery just makes that even easier. You can count on piracy hurting your sales; it's human nature.

I have a stock answer to this:

Give it away.

Give the programs away for nothing? Am I daft?

No, but you can do one of two things: you can ask for a minimum up-front payment to deliver as many free copies as people want. You don't get the minimum, nobody gets anything. That will leverage the moms of the performing kids to become your sales force and your anti-piracy squad, because they're out for their own kids and their own interest. I experienced exactly this when I did a ballet recital project.

Or, you can take a smaller up-front fee to make it a contract, and make the rest of the money up on advertising placements or sponsorships. Or make it *all* sponsored, with the free give-away. The program comes with commercials or "Thank You" slates on it. Same model as school yearbooks use over here.

You are trading a guaranteed payment amount for the after-event sales, which I believe tend to be spotty at best anyway. Another variation is to get an annual "retainer" fee from the school that covers any expenses and your profit margin, and just do everything "for free" as far as the end users know. The school recoups the cost by billing the parents thru an "activity fee" such as for sports teams. The school also then gets automatic permission slips to appear in public videos from those parents as well. That's an issue at times here in the U.S., don't know of it's the same in G.B. and Ireland.

Either method short-circuit's the pirates' motivation to steal and re-distribute for cash. In fact, the sponsorship model -leverages- free distribution by others, i.e., the sponsors WANT the videos distributed widely as possible.
For school-related productions, the kinds of sponsors or "underwriters" you want to hit up for cash would include
formal wear rentals, fast food and pizza places, youth fashion outlets, electronics and gaming stores, car and motorbike dealers, music stores, and yes, even military recruiters.

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