How A Free Movie Made $1 Million In 14 Days

from the doing-it-right dept

Sheri Candler points us to a fascinating case study by Peter Broderick, about how the independent documentary film Hungry For Change was able to leverage the use of "free" to make over $1 million in just two weeks. The summary:
The release of HUNGRY FOR CHANGE was unprecedented. The film:
  • premiered online (having never screened publicly before)
  • was available worldwide
  • was absolutely free (for 10 days only)
The results were remarkable:
  • 453,841 views around the world during the 10 day premiere
  • over $1.02 million in sales of DVDs and recipe books in the first 14 days
The full case study is worth reading, but these are some of the key points: The filmmakers, James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch, had done things in the past like allowing free public screenings of an earlier movie they had made. Anyone who registered was able to host their own screening of the film, free of charge. Those who registered got a "screening resource pack" to help facilitate the process. Normally, movies that offer screenings charge for them, but the filmmakers here believed that they would make that up in other ways, and there's evidence to suggest that was true. On top of that, the filmmakers kept their website updated regularly with new content -- making it a good way to continue to connect with fans over the long term, rather than having the movie be a one-off experience.

They also tried different DVD pricing schemes, and found that "free" had pretty cool results, in that it increased both sales and connections with fans:
In December 2010, FOOD MATTERS DVDs were put on sale from the website for one week at half price. This resulted in 4600 sales, the best week in 2.5 years of sales. In October 2011, the filmmakers took a more radical approach with even better results. They allowed all comers to watch FOOD MATTERS for free for 8 days. This stimulated direct and indirect sales of 9800 DVDs, twice as many as were sold when it was offered at half price. Even more impressive, over 37,000 people joined the mailing list during this event.
So, with the new movie, they were even more committed to "free." They decided to release the movie for free, globally, online. The results were really impressive:
Global Reach - The Free Worldwide Online Premiere was an instant hit. On its first day (March 21st) there were 45,211 plays. Tens of thousands of people watched the film each day. The premiere ended with a bang with 58,292 plays on the final day (March 31st). Altogether there were almost half a million views from more than 150 countries across the globe in just 10 days. These are astonishing numbers for an independent film that had never been seen before, had no paid advertising, and was not available through any retail channels.

Subscribers - There were 229,000 sign-ups in 14 days, a significantly greater number than FOOD MATTERS had gained in the previous 4 years. James estimates that less than 30% of the HUNGRY FOR CHANGE sign-ups were FOOD MATTERS subscribers, which means that at least 160,000 were new subscribers, almost doubling James and Laurentine’s already substantial online following.

Revenue - Everyone who viewed HUNGRY FOR CHANGE was given access to three special offers: the DVD for $34.95, the new recipe book for $49.95, or the DVD and the recipe book for $74.95. Each order came with free bonuses and free shipping. In the first 14 days, over 20,800 orders were placed totaling over $1 million in sales. Although most purchasers had already seen the film for free, many wanted to buy a copy for themselves or purchase it as a gift for family or friends.
There's so much in this case study that highlights key points we've made over the years. The filmmakers used the film to connect (and also have used and continue to use their website to further that connection) -- and that clearly drove people to support the film monetarily as well. Even if people didn't necessarily pay immediately, just building that connection to the work and to the filmmakers can end up paying nicely over the long run.

On top of that (as you hopefully know), I love it when content creators come up with creative bundles of offerings. In this case, the idea of doing a cookbook to go with the movie makes a ton of sense, given the topic of the movie. And even if the cookbook might seem "expensive" as a standalone, it sure looks like plenty of people were willing to pay.

Finally, the fact that so many people were willing and happy to pay for the DVD even after watching the film for free online speaks, again, to the ridiculousness of silly movie release windows. For years, we've been arguing that the DVD of the movie you just saw should be available to buy as you leave the theater. People are more than willing to pay for the DVD, even if they already saw the movie. In fact, it seems clear that lots of people want the DVD right after seeing the film. Striking while the iron is hot makes a tremendous amount of sense, but the classic Hollywood response is to worry about piracy, and make fans wait months before the movie is available on DVD... at which point the people have already forgotten about it.

Either way, once again, Broderick's case study of the movie is really a worthwhile read, so go check it out.


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    PlagueSD (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Unfortunately, the only thing the MPAA sees when they read this is "Blah Blah Blah Blah Piracy Blah Blah Blah Piracy!!"

    They'll never learn.

     

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    bob, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Once again, the studios were there first...

    The studios have been holding free movie screenings on off nights since before all of us were born. Really.

    Here's an ehow link on how to attend them:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2323945_free-movie-screenings-los-angeles.html

    Or you can just join one of the many web sites devoted to them-- web sites funded by the old movie studios.

    http://www.filmmetro.com/

    http://advancescreenings.com/screenings/

    How long until the Internet-is-Great crowd rediscovers the advantages of copyright? Or DRM? Or any of the other things that the creator haters think is bad?

    I'll be waiting right here to tell you that the MPAA thought of them first.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      The MPAA totally host screenings online, worldwide, and free.

      -TOTALLY-.

      That's what you're trying to say, right?

      *Ahem* Bullshit

       

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:33pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      And you don't find it ironic how you're pointing us to the websites?

      Or the fact they all require a payment of a membership, your name, your reactions to the moving being recorded/analysed...

      Just because the payment isn't monetary doesn't mean you aren't paying for it.

      Example: FREE LUNCH with 2 hours sales pitch about time share vacation properties...

       

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        Lowestofthekeys (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

        Shhh, bob is just dictating his thoughts via introspection.

        I mean that's usually why his viewpoints typically spiral off into obscurity, and also why he never does any rebuddles.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:34pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      The "Internet-is-Great" crowd doesn't think copyright is bad. They think death + 70 years is an unreasonable duration.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

        And that SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP are all bullshit one-sided "laws" that would be very bad, and very unconstitutional.

        Oh, the "wonders of copyright and DRM" indeed, restricting customer and consumer rights till the point where you're forced to buy a game again after three installs...

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

        what is the percentage of pirated works is even 25 years old? I'd bet tiny.

         

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          E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

          What does piracy have to do with the obscene lengths of copyright?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

            If piracy is so bad, why do people continue making art? Isn't the entire reason for copyright to give human beings an incentive to create? Until I see real evidence of a short fall in art I will not be convinced of the need to restrict the use of any. How many movies were made last year? How many songs? How many paintings? How many books and articles were written? If the answer to any of these is zero, then I am in favor of copyright. I do not think this is the case, nor do I feel it would be the case if copyright lasted 5-10 years. Why not drop it to one year and bump it up if no new art is created? Wouldn't it help the educational systems in most countries if the knowledge kept under lock via copyright were freely available to those with a desire to learn? Are profits more important than smarter more well informed citizens of the earth? We may even learn how to get all get along one day. People that are willing to share with eachother are usually nicer to eachother. I apologize for this long rambling paragraph, but it happens.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 8:34am

          Re: Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

          http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/movie-pages/movie_70s.html

          Right surely no one watches any of these movies.

          What is the percentage of sold/purchased works is even 25 years old? I'd bet tiny. Of course this is because the studios kick and scream about not letting anyone else release the content but have little interest in actually doing anything with it themselves.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:01pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      "rediscovers the advantages of copyright? Or DRM?"

      Sorry, when did anyone suggest that there were advantages to DRM. It's a technology that adds to the cost of publishing, while limiting or preventing legitimate uses for many purchasers without having one iota of effect on the so called pirates.

      The only advantage would seem to be people who are getting paid to produce a product that has no benefit for anyone at all.

       

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      That One Guy (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      "rediscovers the advantages of copyright? Or DRM?

      I'm sorry, but are you actually trying to claim that DRM has advantages? For anyone? It has plenty of disadvantages:

      -Drives off customers by annoying them, inconveniencing them, or causing the product to flat out not work.
      -Keeps people from becoming customers for those same reasons.
      -Decreases product value by locking it to a specific device/service.

      This next one is the most important, so Pay Attention.

      -Does not, in any way other than mildly annoy, and only temporarily at that, actual pirates. Even then, it only does so for the first people to have to crack the DRM, everyone after that isn't inconvenienced at all.

      Now then, if you'd care to try and find some advantages to DRM, please, go ahead.

       

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        Beech, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:52pm

        Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

        let's not forget that cracking the DRM is viewed as an entertaining challenge by those that do that kind of thing. and there's a lot of prestige in the scene for being the first for cracking DRM. So really, DRM may ENCOURAGE people to crack your program. If that's not a textbook definition of irony i dont know what is

         

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      WDS (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:33pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      And you see no difference between a preview screening at 1 or 2 theaters, and releasing the film over the net to the entire world to anybody and everybody that wants to watch it for a 10 day period?

      I think I understand your problem.

       

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        Beech, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:57pm

        Re: Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

        In addition to that, a worldwide premiere i could have watched. Not one of those links bob put up was anywhere close to where i live. they might as well have a screening on the moon for all it benefits me.

         

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:17pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      The studios have been holding free movie screenings on off nights since before all of us were born. Really.


      bob, in your rush attack (again), you seem to have missed two rather important points.

      (1) The free screenings were on their last movie, not this one, but showed how they learned from that the value of offering the film online for free.

      (2) It wasn't them hosting the screenings, what they did was LET ANYONE host a free screening. That's not what the studios do. At all.

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:00pm

      Re: Once again, the studios were there first...

      Globally, right? Not on any of your links.

      And anyone can do the screening, right?
      Nope

      Yeah, Hollywood has been at this nearly forever in LA and area but not in the "outlands" of the globe or most of the United States for that matter.

      What this has to do with copyright is puzzling other than you just HAD to toss that in there. The linkage to anything to do with DRM is puzzling but the MPAA didn't think of DRM first. Lotus, at least, had it a long, long time ago complete with annoying dongle that didn't work all the time any more than modern DRM works all the time either.


      Free screenings are a device to build up some excitement about a film that isn't filtered through the lenses of those mean ole critics. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

      Because people oppose the length of copyright, Hollywood's constant attempts to marginalize fair use/fair dealing and paranoid need to control every aspect of a movie results in being creator hating. Dunno where you got that from.

      Of course, you and Hollywood are convinced that the people being enticed to actually go see the film or to buy the DVD at some time in the future are, automatically, criminals or at best infringers which is something people might find objectionable. Can't see why they wouldn't.

      Enjoy you're sitting there.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    what these guys did made sense as well as money. dont expect anything similar from the major studios or labels. they're interested in the making money part but as for the using sense part being required in this sort of instance, it's gonna be a no-no

     

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      Zakida Paul (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      That's why a lot of what is produced by major studios is rubbish. The bean counters have all the control and everything must be packaged in a nice wee mass marketable bundle instead of allowing creativity to flow unabated.

       

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    WDS (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Sure it will work here but....

    This scheme will only work if your movie is about food and you have a recipe book that you can bundle with it.

    /sarcasm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Remarkable, but...

    You have to ask the obvious question: How much of the sales are about the movie, and how much of it is people trying to "do the right thing" and donate to a worthy cause?

    I think it is hard to split the two, but I wonder how the movie would have done without the begging angle.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:23pm

      Re:

      Is this the new troll talking point? Getting people to willingly give you their money is now considered "begging"? Sheesh. You guys just seem to be getting beyond desperate lately to try and shoot down anything that involves a creator connecting with fans or offering them something more than just the usual video/album/book.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 5:48pm

        Re: Re:

        Nice attempt to dismiss.

        I am not trying to shoot down anything - I am only trying to make light of what is REALLY going on here. Did the movie make money? Some, but much of the money appears to have been made selling cook books. Might they have had an even bigger success using infomercials, or appear on Coast to Coast AM?

        We will never know - but we do know what business they are in, and it isn't selling movies.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Nice attempt to dismiss."

          No, the nice attempt to dismiss would be your original comment which I replied to. In fact, I bet if we could trace back your every comment on this site, we'd find that most of the one's dismissing this and that or saying artists were "begging" could all be directly attributed to you.

          You are making light of only one thing and that's an artist attempts to make money through non-traditional means. Which for some reason seems taboo to you, if not completely hated outright.

          Now silence. I've had it up to here [raises hand to head] with stupidity today. Between you and "pirate bay 100% profits" troll, I think I'm done for the day as far as trying to talk rationally to people who apparently have no interest in discussing anything positive as it relates to artists. If they don't shut up and take it like before (i.e. get screwed/cheated by the labels and studios) then they obviously don't know what's in their best interest and are just catering to thieves and begging for scraps from their fans, am I right? Pfft. That's what I think of such nonsense.

          Fyi, you can reply back. But I won't. I'm done with you. But you know, it's funny. You and your kind seem to claim that me and the others on here are all artists haters, but we seem to openly support and love it when artists try new things and make attempts to give us even more reasons to buy, guys like you who claim to support artists do nothing but shoot down any and all such attempts. And that's a verifiable fact based upon the comments in response to such articles. As well as comments in articles where the artists get screwed, "Well, it's their fault" or "I bet he's a prick and brought this on himself". It really is a shame we can't see which comments are yours elsewhere. Otherwise your "nuh uh, that's not what I'm doing" comment above would just fall flat on it's face, like I'm sure it should/does.

           

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            DC, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Desperate to see ACs answer to this.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Fyi, you can reply back. But I won't. I'm done with you."

            Actually, what you meant to say I think is "You are wrong, I am right, and I don't give a damn if you prove me wrong". It's pretty much the same ground that religious people stand on when someone proves their faith to be more hokey than cow tipping.

            " It really is a shame we can't see which comments are yours elsewhere"

            The snowflake remains... you can figure out who I am, I don't hide (unlike some here might do).

            "You are making light of only one thing and that's an artist attempts to make money through non-traditional means. Which for some reason seems taboo to you, if not completely hated outright."

            Not, not taboo. Rather, it is often a question of what did they give up to make it happen. Did they give up a million dollar business to make a few thousand? On another post (regarding 99 cent ebooks) we are having an interesting discussion about results from Steam cheap sales and how it plays out. The economics of the situation are important. What you call a non-traditional means to me is often like the dreaded magic spell, turning gold into lead. Yes, enough lead and you can make some money - but did you give away a lot of gold to get it?

            I think that it often does come down to looking like begging, or worse to me, looking for a sucker to pay a big amount of money to make up for all the free stuff you had to give away.

            More importantly, it's understanding that there is no one right answer here, what works for A doesn't work for B, because these are all still one offs. There is often no real business model to be seen here, and even when you can find one, they are models that wouldn't appear to be functional if a lot of people were doing them at the same time. It's why any discussion about a business model or choice of selling method also has to look at the practicality of something beyond the single instance. We learn from that what is "unique this time, so it works" compared to "unique in a new business model that works".

            I am interested in anything positive - but I am not a sucker for falling for something that is positive for a moment, and negative overall. I stand back a bit, and look at what it really does, the positive and the negatives, and try to find what the real net effect is. Right now, too much of what is discussed here is stepping over dollars to pick up pennies, or worse, trying to compete with piracy by giving even more stuff away - hoping some sucker will buy something over priced to make it all work out. I am not sure that there positive in there, when weighed against the overall effect, is worth it.

            Most important: remember not everyone agrees with you (or Mike). You can go a long way looking at the other side's point of view and learning from it.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 9:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What eactly did they give up?

              Not being facetious, just interested in your viewpoint

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                What did they give up? Well, in this case, they may have given up things like the ability to bring the video to the retail market (as a DVD or other) in the future, because it's already been released and widely viewed.

                They may have pretty much killed the potential retail market for it.

                They may have also sort of shot themselves in the foot for a shot at a long term business. What they are pushing for isn't wrong (eating healthy) but they seem to have gone for more of a short term gain rather than a longer term business plan.

                Basically, once you have established your product to be worth $X, it is pretty much that you always have to work from there or lower to stay competitive with the mind space you have created. If everyone was getting the movie for free, why would people suddenly want to pay for it?

                What is given away is basically all the potential markets they could go to with a "new" or unreleased product, which they have pretty much killed at this point.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 8:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Well, in this case, they may have given up things like the ability to bring the video to the retail market (as a DVD or other) in the future, because it's already been released and widely viewed."

                  Widely viewed movies don't sell well? So movies that do well in theaters sell poorly in retail?

                  People do not purchase dvds of movies they plan to watch ones. They rent them, wait for netflix or if neither of those are available the pirate.

                  People buy movies they know they like that they know they will watch multiple times over the years.

                   

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                  Gwiz (profile), May 3rd, 2012 @ 9:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Well, in this case, they may have given up things like the ability to bring the video to the retail market (as a DVD or other) in the future, because it's already been released and widely viewed.

                  What the hell are you talking about? Did you read the article? They brought the video to the retail market as a DVD the same time as releasing it for free and made a shitload of money.


                  If everyone was getting the movie for free, why would people suddenly want to pay for it?

                  Why don't you ask all those people who shelled out in excess of $1 million right after viewing it for free. Obviously, your preconceived notions of people not paying once they have seen the movie are just not true.


                  What is given away is basically all the potential markets they could go to with a "new" or unreleased product, which they have pretty much killed at this point.

                  Again, what? They used the hype of releasing their "new" product for free and made a a lot of money doing it. Not sure what was killed here at all.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 1:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Kevin Smith released Red State to Netflix...that seemed like a better plan than releasing to DVD, and on top of that he didn't have to go through a studio to do it.

                   

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              Beech, May 3rd, 2012 @ 1:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              troll making sense? shit, i think im having a stroke!!

              the one error that seems most glaring to me for some reason though is this; "The snowflake remains... you can figure out who I am, I don't hide (unlike some here might do)."

              Just so ya know, that snowflake changes from article to article. So on this one you have like a boxy looking orange one, but pick any other article and you'll have a different looking one. So I can figure out who you are on this specific page, but on anywhere else on the site you're right back to being any given AC. unless you have only one arguement you bring up everywhere like the aforementioned "Mr Show me the Contract From the Pirate Bay"

               

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              Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 4:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Actually, what you meant to say I think is "You are wrong, I am right, and I don't give a damn if you prove me wrong". It's pretty much the same ground that religious people stand on when someone proves their faith to be more hokey than cow tipping."

              Actually no, what I meant to say was said. YOU constantly shoot down anything where the artists try anything different. That's a fact. If we could tie you down to all your comments it'd be provable. I won't try debating with someone who doesn't care. Anything new or innovative is bad. That's your standpoint. Or they're catering to scum or giving up "millions" for "pennies" (despite being no way to verify that one way or another, beyond your opinion, which is not fact).

              "The snowflake remains... you can figure out who I am, I don't hide (unlike some here might do)."

              Actually, you do hide. You use the AC moniker. If you didn't want to hide, you'd come up with a unique username and stick with it, or register. Also, the snowflake remains IN A GIVEN ARTICLE. It changes for each article though. So no, we can't figure out who you are. But what I can figure out is people's writing styles. They're often very unique. I've got you pegged already and that's why I said what I did earlier. You're the same AC who says the same thing in most articles like this one. I can't prove this, but I'm about 95% certain that is correct.

              "Not, not taboo. Rather, it is often a question of what did they give up to make it happen. Did they give up a million dollar business to make a few thousand? On another post (regarding 99 cent ebooks) we are having an interesting discussion about results from Steam cheap sales and how it plays out. The economics of the situation are important. What you call a non-traditional means to me is often like the dreaded magic spell, turning gold into lead. Yes, enough lead and you can make some money - but did you give away a lot of gold to get it?"

              Actually, "we" aren't having anything of the sort. You are doing the same thing there as here. Shooting down an author's attempts at giving people more reasons to buy. In fact, based on the comments there and your comments here, I'm sure you're the AC who said "trading dollars for pennies". Meanwhile, EVERYONE ELSE is having an interesting conversation pointing out to you how very wrong you are and how other similar things have been done and citing sources and quotes of people who've done so showing they gain a tremendous short term profit and then long term they also gain more sales.

              "I think that it often does come down to looking like begging, or worse to me, looking for a sucker to pay a big amount of money to make up for all the free stuff you had to give away."

              Yes, so we're back to my point. Trying anything new at all or giving people a little more bang for their buck is "begging". I could rest my case right here and I wouldn't be wrong at all about anything I said about you. Per your own words as proof.

              "More importantly, it's understanding that there is no one right answer here, what works for A doesn't work for B, because these are all still one offs. There is often no real business model to be seen here, and even when you can find one, they are models that wouldn't appear to be functional if a lot of people were doing them at the same time. It's why any discussion about a business model or choice of selling method also has to look at the practicality of something beyond the single instance. We learn from that what is "unique this time, so it works" compared to "unique in a new business model that works"."

              Ah yes, you had to bring out the "well it won't work for X" or "it won't scale" and the rest of the usual lines to dismiss this. Man PaulT had you guys burned in another article, or it may have been another AC who quoted verbatim the usual "arguments"/"talking points" and you've hit them all. No one said there is just one right answer, so where you get that I have no idea. What has been said in the article is a FREE movie made $1 million in 14 days (to reiterate the headline). Good on the people involved. They are trying new things and they're doing pretty good for themselves. Here comes the AC to wag his finger though and try and smack down that success.

              "I am interested in anything positive - but I am not a sucker for falling for something that is positive for a moment, and negative overall. I stand back a bit, and look at what it really does, the positive and the negatives, and try to find what the real net effect is. Right now, too much of what is discussed here is stepping over dollars to pick up pennies, or worse, trying to compete with piracy by giving even more stuff away - hoping some sucker will buy something over priced to make it all work out. I am not sure that there positive in there, when weighed against the overall effect, is worth it."

              The "dollars for pennies" talking point has worn thin, per the other article where the adults are having some genuine discussion, that has already been shot down. And sorry to say, but you don't appear to be interested in anything positive. If you were, you'd see this article and what happened as positive and applaud it, not attempt to tear it down. You can't just join the article and say "Well, good for them. That's impressive. Would it work for everyone? No. But in this case, for them, it did work and that's great. Can't wait to see what they try next. No sarcasm." I'm sure that'd be difficult for you to do, but try it. It's amazing.

              "Most important: remember not everyone agrees with you (or Mike). You can go a long way looking at the other side's point of view and learning from it."

              No one said everyone agrees with me (or Mike). What I said is you're shooting everything down for artists who don't do what has been done to do like everyone else has been doing and most keep doing. I was talking about you. I can see plenty of things from the other side and learn from it, I'm one of those open minded people. But I tend to realize some people are just dicks and turn to that talking point when they get called out on something, like you've been. It's basically a "I refuse to change my mindset regardless of any proof that negates what I say, but I'm entitled to my opinion and maybe YOU should try and realize you're not right and that people don't agree with you." You try and spin things around rather than own up to what you've been saying which appears to be wrong/arrogant/spiteful/etc.

              Try taking your own advice, you just might grow as a person. But I wouldn't bet a dollar or a few pennies on it.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:48am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "The "dollars for pennies" talking point has worn thin, per the other article where the adults are having some genuine discussion, that has already been shot down."

                Let me start here. You might not like it, but I am one of those adults having that discussion. The point is asked, and the responses as answers are good and accepted as such. Someone put up some good numbers from Steam, as an example, and it will be interesting to see if ebooks follow the same pattern. Clearly, you need a significant boost in sales to be able to come to the same gross income levels, so the price point doesn't just have to be effective, it has to be VERY effective.

                "what I meant to say was said. YOU constantly shoot down anything where the artists try anything different."

                I only question if the idea is really something with legs (ie a repeatable business model, one that could be used by others on a regular basis) or if the thing is a one off, best suited to the first mover, the one who used it, and perhaps only to use it once.

                Remember "Pay what you want"? That is a perfect example of something that works well when only one or two do it. When too many do it, I think that it helps the public to choose not paying more and more often. Short term, single play, the results might be okay. But long term, is it really a business model, or just a snazzy piece of marketing that loses it's luster the second time around?

                Remember, one one side there is a wholesale attempt by Mike and others to drag the existing IP industries down to nothing. In doing that, you have to look for replacements for them. What will fill the vacuum? You may be looking at the shiny idea over here that works once. I am seeking the overall concept, the overall market process that will work in the future. Most of the shiny ideas don't fit together very well.

                I don't refuse to change my mindset - but I do have a fairly specific desire to see a more formed up solution to the overall deal. I accept that, in any single circumstance, almost any model may or may not accidentally work out. Yet, most of them don't scale - and that is where I get stuck.

                What you are doing is what Mike does so often here: Getting so close to something, looking at only one small moving part, that you forget that there is a whole machine out there. Either that, or we get the 30,000 foot view with absolutely no details. Can you guys work on finding a way where you can look at the parts, but also look to see how they integrate into the "new" machine? Without it, you just have a pile of shiny parts on your desk that produce very little.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 8:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Remember "Pay what you want"? That is a perfect example of something that works well when only one or two do it. When too many do it, I think that it helps the public to choose not paying more and more often. Short term, single play, the results might be okay. But long term, is it really a business model, or just a snazzy piece of marketing that loses it's luster the second time around?"

                  Countless indie bundles over the last few years continue to perform well.

                  If anyone is begging for money and attention its the major studios. Stuff like this where you get to watch the movie then support the creator if you like them appeals to people. The classic approach where you are forced to pay upfront does not, because we have all wasted money on shitty movies before. Hollywood is begging us to keep giving them money for shitty movies because they know if we see it first we won't like it and won't want to support it.

                  Its hard to succeed in a world of rampant piracy IF you want to continue to make a fortune on shitty projects.

                   

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          DC, May 2nd, 2012 @ 6:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          They produced content people valued.

          They made money.

          They didn't sue anyone.

          How, exactly, is this not a win for everyone?

          Oops .. they did not produce a $100 million dollar movie. Sorry to invade your paradigm.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 8:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            . . . Not to mention, 453,841 people saw the film. It stands to reason that some of those 453,841 people would be interested in seeing Peter Broderick's next film. That's a pretty savvy investment in his future, huh?

             

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    moronnorom (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    Other movie tie-ins

    In this case, the idea of doing a cookbook to go with the movie makes a ton of sense, given the topic of the movie.

    I'd hate to think what they would sell along with the movie if it were porn.

     

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    Tom (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:04pm

    Success???

    "Altogether there were almost half a million views from more than 150 countries"
    "over 20,800 orders were placed"
    How can you call that a success? Just look at how many people viewed it for free - well over 950,000 people didn't spend at least $35, so they lost over $33 million.

    They should have just stayed with the half price offer - at least they wouldn't have lost any sales

    /troll amIdoingitright?

     

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    Mr Big Content, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    But It's Still Pirate Money

    This is not legitimate royalty-payment money. This is fuck-the-movie-studios, thumb-your-nose-at-copyright money. To suggest that anybody other than pirates and pirate sympathizers could make money in this way is just ... dreaming. Wait until you can show us a legitimate movie making money this way, then maybe we'll listen.

    Ultimately, this sort of money is really just as bad as piracy.

     

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    John Doe, May 3rd, 2012 @ 4:12am

    This would never work for action movies

    Yea, well this would never work for an action movie because they couldn't sell cookbooks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    A movie full of bullshit and pseudoscience making 1 million. Well, think "The Secret", "What the bleep do we know?" It's a business model tried many times already. Targeted at the hippie-huffington-post-homeopathy-loving crowd who doesn't have a fucking clue about the scientific method, let alone file sharing. Just brilliant!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2012 @ 1:01am

      Re:

      Most movies are based in fiction, i.e. bullshit and pseudoscience, and go on to make millions. Including those made by the studios. Some of which are pretty sympathetic towards filesharing.

      As an example, the remake of the Karate Kid had Jaden Smith's character present his crush with a burned CD (shock horror!) of classical music. Now you might consider that this would fall under public domain, but in order to use classical music you'd still have to get rights from the performing orchestra or group (even if the composer is long dead). So it's likely that the download in the story wasn't legally made.

      So what was your point again?

       

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    Bloated studio exec, May 4th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Piddly million dollars

    Meh, we spend a million on catering.

     

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