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Question about licensing my videos

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Robert Krampf
Question about licensing my videos
on May 17, 2010 at 4:31:44 am

I am new here, and have already learned a lot from searching the forums, but I did not see anything specific on this. I am a long time science educator that has started producing short, educational videos aimed at teachers, students, and science buffs. I am a one man operation, from research to writing, from setting cameras and lights to post production. I manage to crank out at least one video a week, and currently have 160 videos on my site.

I have been approached by a major educational company that is starting up a science education website. They are asking to license about 90 of my videos, and I have no idea at all of what to charge. They want long term rights, at least 10 years, and they really want perpetual rights. They don't have a problem with me continuing to use the videos on my site, but they want an exclusive agreement that I won't license the videos to anyone else.

You can see an example of my work at: http://thehappyscientist.com/science-video/mirage

Any suggestions? Are there "video agents" out there that know the ropes, who would keep me from drastic over/under pricing? Any help would be appreciated.

Have a wonder-filled Day!


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Question about licensing my videos
on May 17, 2010 at 8:07:00 pm

Well I have to say I wasn't really expecting too much but you're just great. I suppose I would ask if you are already making money why you would sell to just one client. Have these videos been profitable?

My wife said you should not do an exclusive because then my kids won't be able to watch the rest.

Nice work. I think you could actually give that goof ball Bill Nye a run for his money!

Best


Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post
Owner/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Robert Krampf
Re: Question about licensing my videos
on May 17, 2010 at 8:31:43 pm

Thanks Rich! I am still very much a noobie, learning new things with every video. I started out working with a small production company, but at video #47, I got a call saying that old debts had caught up with them, and they were out of business. Overnight, I went from just writing and being the talent to doing everything from setting cameras and lights to postproduction. I am having a blast.

June 1 is the first anniversary of my subscription site. Before that, it was all free, to build readership. It is making some money, with about 2000 individual members and 6 school district subscriptions. The business is pretty much paying for itself, but not enough to live on yet.

Still, since I am not a "name", it is tough to get a foot in the door. Most people don't expect much from an amateur videographer, especially a one man show.

What the client really wants is long term or permanent rights to use my videos on their website. They don't mind me continuing to use the videos on my site, but don't want me to license them to anyone else. They are a big name, which could give me good exposure and open some doors. An infusion of cash would also let me do more location shooting,

I don't want to give my work away, but I also don't want to give them a quote that is so high that they shake their heads and walk away. I am wondering if there is a standard for this type thing, or is it just a "get what you can" with each new client?

Have a wonder-filled Day!


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Bob Tompkins
Re: Question about licensing my videos
on May 18, 2010 at 1:31:52 pm

They look great. You are a natural.

I think a good start would be to figure the value of your videos. I don't know how many there are, but high quality videos are expensive to produce. You are selling them all of this value up front and saving them the money of having to produce them. Have they made you an offer? Also, I would not sign a long term deal. You have the talent and the product. If this takes off they will need to pay you more in the future. If it does not then you have everything you started with.

Just my two cents.



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Robert Krampf
Re: Question about licensing my videos
on May 18, 2010 at 1:50:49 pm

Great advice! It is incredibly exciting to have a "big name" in the education world so interested in my videos, and I am trying to keep a level head so I don't jump into something that I will regret later. No offer yet. They have asked me for a price instead. I am still waiting for them to nail down which videos they want to use, and exactly what rights they want to license. It would be MUCH easier if they had made an offer, so I would at least have a starting place.

Have a wonder-filled Day!


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Question about licensing my videos
on May 18, 2010 at 3:02:34 pm

Hi Robert,

Like the others commenting, I am very impressed by the level of natural enthusiasm and knowledge that comes across in your productions.

It is easy to see why someone would want to "lock you down" in an agreement that protects their interests and guarantees your content is under their control for the foreseeable future.

But as Bob Tompkins warns, this is quite likely NOT in your best interests. Here are a few of the thoughts that came to my mind... You have not yet built enough of a name to get The Big Money.
  • You stand to lose everything that you might get were you to sign an exclusive deal at this point.
  • Developing organically over time is often a business's best friend. It has sure been that way with Creative COW.
  • In these kinds of situations, it is often a case of "He who talks first, loses." They are counting on you wanting the deal and the more that they can get you to "take mental ownership" of the possibility, the easier for them and the less you will likely get out of it.
  • There is no way that it is in your best interests to sign anything without taking it to a GOOD lawyer first. This is a critical step in the process.Best regards,

    Ron Lindeboom


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    David Roth Weiss
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on May 18, 2010 at 3:46:00 pm

    Like the others here, I think you and the sample you showed us are absolutely terrific, and you should have no problems monetizing your work.

    I agree with much of the advice here as well, especially with much of Ron has said, though I would not be as concerned as he seems to be about an exclusive deal NOT being in your best interest. If it's the RIGHT deal, it could well be in your BEST interest.

    I'd definitely recommend you get an agent or manager to handle this side of things for you. I think a you might find a bidding war in your case, because you are really good at this. If you care to give me a jingle, I might have some recommendations for you here in L.A. Just Google me, you'll find my phone number.

    Good luck,
    David

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor/Colorist
    David Weiss Productions, Inc.
    Los Angeles

    POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

    EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

    A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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    Robert Krampf
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on May 18, 2010 at 7:46:16 pm

    Thanks for the compliments and the great advice Ron and David. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help with this. David, I will definitely be calling.

    Have a wonder-filled Day!


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    Doug Collins
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on May 18, 2010 at 9:41:31 pm

    Only thing I can think of to add is be prepared to walk away if the deal isn't right for you.

    Very cool concept...Survivorman meets Bill Nye.

    Doug



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    David Roth Weiss
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on May 18, 2010 at 10:06:49 pm

    [Doug Collins] "be prepared to walk away if the deal isn't right for you.
    "


    Always good advice. You have to be willing and able to walk away from any negotiation.

    David Roth Weiss
    Director/Editor/Colorist
    David Weiss Productions, Inc.
    Los Angeles

    POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

    EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

    A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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    Robert Krampf
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on May 20, 2010 at 2:49:47 am

    Yes, I am willing to walk away if the deal is not right.

    Have a wonder-filled Day!


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    Robert Krampf
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on May 24, 2010 at 12:13:59 am

    Well, I got back their first offer. $100/video for 95 of my videos. That is about 70% of the entire video content for my site, for a total of $9,500. He said that the original budget was just for stock footage to support their articles, and that he found my site after the budget was set.

    There is no way I can even think about taking that. If even one of my district subscribers switched to their service, I would lose money on the deal. From your experience, is it worth making a counter offer? They are a major encyclopedia, and I really expected them to have more of a budget. Or maybe they do, and they just wanted to see if I was hungry and desperate. Any thoughts?

    Have a wonder-filled Day!


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    Ron Lindeboom
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on May 20, 2010 at 4:07:34 am

    [David Roth Weiss] "I agree with much of the advice here as well, especially with much of Ron has said, though I would not be as concerned as he seems to be about an exclusive deal NOT being in your best interest. If it's the RIGHT deal, it could well be in your BEST interest."

    I think that if it's the RIGHT deal, David, then of course it would be in his best interest. Unfortunately, you and I both know the odds of that happening for anyone.

    ;o)

    Best regards,

    Ron Lindeboom
    CEO, CreativeCOW.net

    Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

    Graveyards are full of people the world couldn't do without.




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    Jonathan Ziegler
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on Jun 27, 2010 at 5:40:46 pm

    Hi there, wasn't sure how all this turned out for you, but I'm researching licensing from a number of sources and found this blog:

    http://biz.izzyvideo.com/blog/ - how to make money online from your videos. This site is free for now - if you watch the videos you'll know they won't be free forever.

    From the same guy that does does izzyvideo.com (video tutorials).

    Jonathan Ziegler
    http://www.electrictiger.com/
    520-360-8293


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    Robert Krampf
    Re: Question about licensing my videos
    on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:09:08 pm

    Thanks! I am very familiar with Izzy's video tutorials, but was not aware of this one. Things are progressing nicely. They could not afford my price for the full 95 videos that they wanted, so they are licensing 30 videos, non-exclusive, for a short, trial period of time, at a much more reasonable (at least from my perspective) price.

    Have a wonder-filled Day!


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