The Art of Making Videos – Part 2 : How to distribute your film effectively (and cheaply!)

If you’ve just stumbled across this blog post – welcome! This is the second part of our ‘Art of Making Videos’ series. You can catch up with Part 1 by clicking here. 

Today I’ll be showing you some tips on how to distribute your online video. If you read Part 1 of this series, you will know that the most important aspect of making a video is understanding who it will be shown to. For example, if you want to promote a ballet performance by featuring exclusive interviews with the principle dancers, you would first need to build up a picture of the audience who you hope will end up watching the clip. This can be done through profiling your audience using tools such as Mosaic.

The importance of understanding your audience means that you can adjust the mood and tone of your video. A good example of tailoring a video to suit the end user’s needs are the ‘Super Me’ series of clips, commissioned by Channel 4 to inspire young people to develop better self esteem:

Understanding your audience also means that devising a distribution plan becomes an easier and more effective exercise. But before you begin planning, ask yourselves the following questions:

– Do we have an idea of where our target audience will spend it’s time online?

– What are their likely web habits?

A really simple way to help you answer these questions is by searching for and collaborating with popular independent blogs and ‘twitterers’ who are vocal within your artform. Develop relationships with them and don’t be afraid to ask them for advice in exchange for providing exclusive video content for them to host on their own websites and pages. There are, of course, other ways of publicising your film.

Video hosting sites

The easiest and most common way of publicising a video is through uploading it via a social media site such as YouTube or Facebook. These sites contain a wide range of viewers, many of whom will already be aware of your organisation. It is usually free to upload and watch videos on these sites, although there may be some restrictions such as length of films and quality. YouTube also allows you to build a ‘homepage’ where you can then stream your videos- much like your own TV channel, and provides you with some fantastic Google Analytics-style tools to show you exactly who is watching your clips. Other websites, such as Myspace, also provide a free video hosting service, but be aware that each social network site attracts a different demographic (Myspace attracts a predominantly young demographic, for example).

Labelling

If you do decide to host your video on a social networking style site, the most important factor to take into account is how to label your video. In the case of YouTube for example, you are required to give ‘keywords’ that sum up the content of your film, so that people searching for similar clips online can find your video easier. It’s never enough to just provide your organisation name as a keyword- be as precise as you can about what the clip shows. If it’s a video showing an interview with some principal dancers in a dance production, make sure you mention who those dancers are, what they are performing in, as well as summing up in a few words how you would describe the interview.

Hosting your video on your own website

This may not be as daunting as it sounds. If you don’t want to use YouTube as your video provider then there are now many free open-source companies who provide software that allows you to integrate a video into your website. I will be featuring some useful links in the next part of this series.

Is ticketing the new secondary spend revenue for Apple and MySpace?

Since LiveNation and TicketMaster were given the green light in the States to merge back in January (with stipulations of course, read more here), it seems that some of the other players with strengths in the more independent and small label music promotion are making headway into the ticketing business. MySpace announced a couple of weeks ago that they were launching MySpace  Events, which will allow users to manage their upcoming events and buy tickets through third party providers, with the potential for MySpace to take a fee for the service, as long as they have a formal agreement with the ticket provider. Could this be the final part of the puzzle that saves them from the overwhelming Facebook tidal wave that’s been on the verge of englufing them?

Hot on MySpace’s heels Apple have released a patent for “Concert Ticket +” – an app which is a web based service for tickets – not only a step forward in eliminating paper based ticketing but a new dimension to the iTunes store. However, it’s been developed to have the potential to offer tickets to a whole host of events, not just music. Read more on the Patently Apple blog here.

Could these new services cross over with theatre, dance, classical music, exhibitions etc? Would these providers be interested in offering such a service to the arts beyond popular music or is someone going to go ahead and develop a rival for the cultural sector, and for the not for profit sector specifically?

With thanks to Tim Roberts and the Full Houses blog for the heads up on these stories.