Australian movie The Jammed ran in Fairfax Media’s new video on demand service .tv over the weekend after getting promotion on the homepages of www.smh.com.au and www.theage.tv
The question was whether the Fairfax audience would watch movies online.
The result: this e-mail from Ricky Sutton, head of video at Fairfax the following morning: “I wanted to give you quick report on the performance of The Jammed over the weekend as it has done very well. It went live late Friday and between then and Sunday was viewed an amazing 19,417 times. What an excellent start and possibly our largest result for a new content owner to date”.
The Jammed was made by Andrea Buck and Dee McLaughlan from Picture Tank. It's one of thousands of shows now being offered free to view and ad-funded on the four Fairfax VOD sites: www.smh.tv, www.theage.tv, www.brisbanetimes.tv and www.watoday.tv.
The Jammed will now remain online and can be seen here: http://www.smh.com.au/tv/show/the-jammed/the-jammed-20110923-1kojp.html
I got a reaction from producer Andrea Buck.
MediaWave: Has The Jammed been distributed online before?
Andrea Buck: Yes, on iTunes and a couple of other platforms via two different aggregators.
MediaWave: What was attractive about Fairfax’s .tv VOD platform?
Andrea Buck: I liked:
- That the deal did not have to go through an aggregator
- That the film is offered to the public free of charge, which I believe is what they want
- That Fairfax has a huge reach, and the exposure was to the entire Fairfax
readership, not just people looking for a film with ours competing against the blockbusters which would mean only a particular search for our film would have
people find it. It certainly made a huge difference, I believe, that it showed up on the homepages of the SMH and The Age websites
- That dealing with Ricky Sutton was so easy and pleasant
- No upfront costs
MediaWave: What's the deal?
Andrea Buck: 50% rev share on advertising revenue. (All content on the .tv sites is free with commercials)
MediaWave: So you now have The Jammed on multiple online platforms. What's your feeling about which platform will get you the biggest audience? What about the most revenue?
Andrea Buck: The Jammed has been on iTunes without much rev, others have been slim too, so I am hoping Fairfax is the biggest. We have not had any discussions about marketing but I felt we couldn’t do much better than be on the front page.They will also, down the track, link to the film from any articles that are published around the issues of sex trafficking / slavery and the sex trade. We will continue to grow the platforms. Right now we are not doing any work on marketing, but expect we will pick that up again as we release to the education sector.Time will tell which brings the most revenue, and we are fascinated to do a comparison for this, and future films as well.
MediaWave: What was your reaction to the number of views on the first weekend on Fairfax’s .tv sites
Andrea Buck: We were amazed and delighted. It was unexpected since we had not personally put any effort behind it, but on reflection I feel that The Jammed had more exposure than was reflected by how many people saw it through the time of theatrical and DVD release. I think a lot of people got to hear about the film, how good it was, all the awards and such tremendous word of mouth, but then the film simply wasn’t in their nearest multiplex. I think all the exposure from back then is what has driven the Fairfax audience now – in a nutshell the film had more exposure than audience had access to it.
MediaWave: As I understand it, the Fairfax contract is non-exclusive. On that basis, would you say the strategy of putting your content on as many platforms as possible seems to be worthwhile for independent filmmakers to take on?
Andrea Buck: Absolutely. The thing that would make it even more attractive is not having to use aggregators – but often you do.
MediaWave asked Ricky Sutton, head of video at Fairfax for a comment on the performance of The Jammed.
Ricky: .tv is a fast growing platform with multiple Australian independent content owners joining all the time seeking to reach our audience and our audience is reacting positively with viewing numbers rising all the time.
Fairfax has 81% of the digital audience of Australia so we do have great reach. We believe the combination of great shows and movies and our reach creates an opportunity for all.
www.smh.tv and our other sites are there to provide solutions for:
- The public, who want more shows and movies online.
- Content owners who want more distribution and revenue and
- Advertisers who are demanding online video-viewing audiences to sell advertising into.
We are keen to continue to talk to all content owners about their shows and movies, and bless Andrea... it was a pleasure working with her too.