After the announcement of HBO Now, content creators are even more emboldened to start the move into direct-to-consumer digital distribution. As our very own Keith Mitchell puts it, “It’s the Netflixation of America”.
Even before the HBO announcement, content creators have been dipping their toes into the digital distro pool via iTunes and other 3rd party aggregators. While this might get their product into digital storefronts that millions of consumers use, they have been underwhelmed by their sales numbers. So what gives? There are a few factors that contribute to this lackluster performance:
- Their content is one of tens of thousands of products on iTunes. Even with a great search, there is no machete big enough to cut through the thick jungle of competing content.
- Even if their content is found, their competitors are listed right next to their titles.
- They don’t know who their customer is so they can’t directly retarget with new or existing content.
- Reporting is slow and limited to sales. Waiting a month for data makes it hard to track the impact of their marketing efforts and social media activity.
So how should a company go about successfully expanding from traditional outlets to digital outlets? We’re glad you asked! There are essentially two general paths your customers will take to purchase your content: serendipitous discovery and targeted marketing. Here’s a proven strategy for funneling customers down those paths to your destination.
It’s been a tremendous start to 2015. I’ve been traveling with Cinevee, a cutting edge digital content distribution company based in Michigan. I’ve been crisscrossing the country from LA to New York to Michigan and back again.
Prior to boarding a flight from LAX to JFK, I knew I was going to need one thing: coffee. So I found myself in line and face to face with the Starbucks’ signage for the launch of their new drink: the Flat White. Let me state for the record that I’m a latte snob because my local coffee shop masterfully and consistently delivers a latte at the perfect temperature every time. So here I am at LAX deciding to give the Flat White a try.
To my great surprise and great pleasure, the Flat White is perfect and it’s at the perfect temperature just like at my local coffee shop. The next morning I’m in Manhattan and I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but there’s a Starbucks on nearly every block in Manhattan. No complaints here. Heck, I remember the first one opening there in 1993. Oddly enough, I was standing in line with Gary Oldman at the time but that’s another story.
So here I am in Manhattan stepping through the freezing temperatures and I order another Flat White. Delicious again. And the perfect temperature again. I probably have ten more flat whites over the next two weeks from LAX to all over Manhattan and in Holland, Michigan and finally back to LA. And you know what? It was perfect every time. Perfect temperature. Every time. I have to say I am really marveling at this coast to coast feat of responsive design and delivery on the part of Starbucks.
At Cinevee, our websites and video players are responsive as well. They are built to adapt to every popular viewing environment: smartphones, tablets and personal computers. Built on Cinevee, our clients enjoy an interface that rearranges from one device to another for optimal quality and speed with their content. Cinevee delivers too. In a responsive way. Every time.
It’s awesome when you can admire a giant company like Starbucks and what they accomplish in the world. And it’s just as awesome to sip a Flat White in an airport and know that I’m off to meet a client to service them with our responsive technology for mobile delivery. At the end of the day, you can’t put a price on that feeling.
The hardest part about selling your movie online isn’t getting people to buy it. Your movie is awesome. If the Oscar statuettes for “Best Picture” and “Best Original Screenplay” met in Vegas and had a love child statuette, that child’s name would be “Best At Being Awesome” and that child would represent your movie.
No, the hardest part is getting people to know that your movie exists. So what’s the secret? The power of ubiquity.