Vodo Sets Up Currency To Encourage More Promotion

from the alternative-economies dept

In the debate over business models that embrace file sharing networks, one of the more interesting projects to watch has been Vodo, which is a platform for filmmakers who wish to release their works via file sharing setups, and to enjoy a promotional boost for doing so. Movies released via Vodo have done quite well, both in getting attention and in getting monetary support. The company has now updated its system and has added an interesting element: an internal currency, called "Do," to encourage people to promote the works.

That is, if you point people to a download -- you can earn some "Do" every time someone visits an artist's website or downloads the work or even agrees to give money to a content creator. This could be interesting to watch, though I do wonder how well it will work. On the positive side, as we were just discussing in our Dark Helmet case study, one of the most important things in getting modern business models to work is to get your biggest fans to help promote you. However, at the same time, we've also warned about the risks of artificial incentives to promote some content, you run the risk of people questioning the motives for the promotion. If Vodo can balance this, it could be quite nice, but that balance is very much an open question. I agree that it's important to make people comfortable promoting you, but I worry that creating such incentives leaves it very much open to gaming, rather than legitimate advocacy.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    trilobug, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 5:26pm

    Name in lights

    Yeah, that was an informative write-up last week. Uh-oh Dark's getting famous - now we can all say we knew you when...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2010 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Name in lights

    ...your helmet was bigger than your ass :)

    On the article though, the only think holding back the internet is the lack of presence of an easy way for paying for things, no Paypal is not it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Sounds like Voodoo to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    I like this a lot....

    This makes so much more sense than any other business model. Imagine this scenerio...

    John goes to the movies with a few friends. They see Where the Wild Things Are.

    Now John and friends like most movies, but they feel the movie really needs a solid plot and storyline. Where the Wild Things Are lacks this.

    So John goes to school the next day and tells everyone he hated the movie. Dont go see it he says, its a waste of time and money. People listen, and dont go see it.

    Now flip the same scenerio over to VoDo. John downloads Where the Wild Things Are and watches it. He hates it, and does not distribute or donate to the movie. He tells his friends he hated it, but hang on... His friends download it anyway, because it doesnt cost them anything. Some of them actually like it, because they dont have the same movie likes and dislikes as John did. 4 of them donate and tell their friends, who then download and donate and it snowballs.

    Compare the two scenerios, in the first, only John and his few friends pay for the movie. In the second, John doesnt pay, but many more people pay, and their friends pay.

    As much sense as this makes, Hollywood will never wrap their miniscule brains around it, because it would require actually creating DECENT content rather than using clever advertising tricks to make their money.

    I am going to download and promote that movie, Person of Interest, it looks really good.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Oct 5th, 2010 @ 6:20am


    This VoDo site is amazing!!! It allows for soo much contribution and so much stuff its just awesome. For example if I donate 5,000 dollars, I get a cameo in the next movie and free airfare and hotel to get there.

    This is awesome, what a great thing I am telling everyone!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    " I agree that it's important to make people comfortable promoting you, but I worry that creating such incentives leaves it very much open to gaming, rather than legitimate advocacy."

    Talking about new business models and then saying this is a bad idea. Who are you and what have you done with mike? All systems are open to gaming. You always talk about the streisand effect and how comedians haze and guilt one another for stealing jokes. This is a similar situation. What they seem to be going for is along the lines of the pirate distro groups. You will see them ranking people based on their ability to promote. These people are going to be one part in a system of promotion. You should give it a chance to work. A chance for VoDo to work out the bugs.

    The only thing left for the record labels and the studios (TV and Movie) is their ability to promote. If this works it may be one part of a method to promote that works for online video and perhaps music. It could be the knife that stops the TV studios hearts and begins the acceleration of the slow bleed affecting the record labels.

    All in all its a good thing ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 5th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Re: OMG

    Check out Pioneer One on VODO its slow going but its an interesting premise. They gave away to much at the end though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Chad Burns, Mar 5th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    VODO and the Furture...

    VODO works. It gets, as Hollywood likes to say, 'Cheeks in the Seats'.
    L5 is a project I was lucky enough to work on. We released it on VODO Feb 12, 2012. On March 5, 2012 we passed one million downloads on VODO alone...in 12 days.

    12 Days.

    This number doesn't even include the 'partner' sites in the torrent-sphere like Utorrent, BitTorrent, EZTV and others.
    This is with zero dollars spent on adverts.
    No banner ads.
    No email bombs.
    Just 'word of mouth'. Just people sharing with their friends.
    Ain't the internet grand?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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