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Old January 7th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #1
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Rates for a web based commercial

I have a potential customer that is interested in a series of videos for their web site. These videos would be very similar to a commercial and no more than 2 minutes long.

The going rate for basic TV commercial production in this area is about $1000/minute, $600 for 30 seconds. That's using broadcast quality video, voice over talent, simple graphics, and obviously doesn't include the air-time.

These videos that I'm being asked to produce would not require "broadcast quality" equipment, which is now a relative term, but I could rent them if necessary. My question is, does anyone have any idea what would be the "market rate" for what is basically and corporate web page "commercial"?
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Old January 7th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #2
 
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Why should where the video is shown have an effect on the production costs? Regardless of where the commercial is shown, the cost of production is the same.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 02:28 PM   #3
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Correct

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Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell View Post
Why should where the video is shown have an effect on the production costs? Regardless of where the commercial is shown, the cost of production is the same.
That's correct except for the quality of equipment. With reality TV shows, GL2s could loosely be considered "broadcast quality", I guess.

I'm going to pitch the price and product and negotiate from there if need be.

If anyone else has any inputs, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for the input, Jay.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #4
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In some respects there are additional costs for web-based work that don't occur in production for TV, i.e. encoding for various connection speeds. Because encoding can tie up a computer for long periods of time there is an overhead cost associated with it that you should recoup if you are the one doing the encoding.

Also "broadcast quality" equipment is what you want to use to produce web video. Compression removes information and the more information you start off with the better off one is in quality terms at the end of the process.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #5
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Agreed

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Originally Posted by Peter Wiley View Post
In some respects there are additional costs for web-based work that don't occur in production for TV, i.e. encoding for various connection speeds. Because encoding can tie up a computer for long periods of time there is an overhead cost associated with it that you should recoup if you are the one doing the encoding.

Also "broadcast quality" equipment is what you want to use to produce web video. Compression removes information and the more information you start off with the better off one is in quality terms at the end of the process.
I agree. The encoding and additional post-production work that doesn't occur for TV should be taken into consideration.

This project is totally new for my business and I hope to gain new clients with what we produce, so high quality is paramount.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jacob Burson View Post
The going rate for basic TV commercial production in this area is about $1000/minute, $600 for 30 seconds.
I never understand it when you guys quote rates like this.

$600 is a day worth of camera rental. All the post, talent fee, etc...How does this work?
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #7
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That rate is for local cable spots.

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I never understand it when you guys quote rates like this.

$600 is a day worth of camera rental. All the post, talent fee, etc...How does this work?

That rate is a "starting point" so to speak for local cable spots. It includes camera, grip, lighting, audio, basic script writing, basic voiceover, and basic graphics (which varies). If the client wants talent, obtain rights for music, lots of custom graphics, etc., obviously the rates rise.

But many clients who want a spot on local cable, can't afford a "nike" commercial and want a spot that they could nearly do themselves. Most of these shoots take about an hour to set up and shoot and a couple of hours in post. The customer is given the product and they work out how to get their commercial on cable. I can assist them with air-time, but usually they've already looked into it.

I'm brand new in this area of the business, so I'm learning as I go, but with the contacts I've made who shoot commercials daily, they've brought me along pretty well.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #8
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I must say, $600 seems like nothing. (I guess it does explain some of the horrible commercials I see on local TV, though.) Why pay a fortune for air time if you have nothing good to air?

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Old January 8th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #9
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WARNING: Rant ahead

Businesses need to realize the only thing your advertising with a 600.00 commercial is that your business is to small and cheap to pay more than 600.00 for a commercial.

If a customer only sees one thing about your business. Do you really want it to be low budget. I think your doing more harm than good.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #10
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you're both right

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Originally Posted by Martin Pauly View Post
I must say, $600 seems like nothing. (I guess it does explain some of the horrible commercials I see on local TV, though.) Why pay a fortune for air time if you have nothing good to air?

- Martin
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Businesses need to realize the only thing your advertising with a 600.00 commercial is that your business is to small and cheap to pay more than 600.00 for a commercial.

If a customer only sees one thing about your business. Do you really want it to be low budget. I think your doing more harm than good.


You're both right at all levels. You get what you pay for. Some guys have enough business to not produce crappy commercials, while others are starting out charging what they're worth. You can't get big jobs without an impressive resume and the right contacts. I have neither, but I'm working on both. I don't think producing shoddy commercials does you any favors, unless your market is auto dealers and furniture stores.

I do the best I can and charge what I'm worth. Some small companies take pride in a crappy commercial on TV. Remember that crappy mini-mall commercial? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ3oHpup-pk

That guy has made a fortune from that crappy commercial. Business doesn't always make sense.

I admit. I'm starting out low budget. That's the way it is for me, but I hope to grow this side of the business. That doesn't mean I'm low quality. I find it hard to believe that I'll actually ever sell a "$600" commercial as I would mention the same things you have. Quality is a reflection of your business. As a matter of fact, I don't see any benefits for myself or customers to put something cheesy out there.

I think my problem is that I don't charge enough with what I provide and I've had people tell me as much.

Like I said before, I think "$600" is a number given to get negotiations started for some people. IMO, it would make more since to not list any "rate" for a commercial. Way too many factors to "cookie cut" a product like that.

I guess I'm just trying to get a starting point figure in my head and yall have really helped me do that without actually giving me a $$$ value.

So, having said that, lets say a dentist came to you and wanted you to shoot a 30 second commercial to stream on his website. The dentist will be the "talent" talking about the office. You'll shoot some footage of the office and dentist work and a kid getting a sticker.

What do you charge the guy?
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Old January 9th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #11
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We produce :30's and:60's for Cable with a variety of equipment used in teh past. The Clients we have delt with have also in many cases used the same spot for the web. (example www.washingtonwilkes.org)

The inexpansive tourism spots have been so effective over the last year that we are asking for and recieveing larger budgets for 08'

Never changing or lowering the rate 1,000 per produced min. (we are about 150 miles East of Atlanta!)
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Old January 9th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #12
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I know your area

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Originally Posted by Bradley D Barber View Post
We produce :30's and:60's for Cable with a variety of equipment used in teh past. The Clients we have delt with have also in many cases used the same spot for the web. (example www.washingtonwilkes.org)

The inexpansive tourism spots have been so effective over the last year that we are asking for and recieveing larger budgets for 08'

Never changing or lowering the rate 1,000 per produced min. (we are about 150 miles East of Atlanta!)
Great high school football in that area. I'm actually in Cartersville.

Thanks for the info.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 09:56 PM   #13
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Here in the midwest, I can tell you our :30 commercials (broadcast quality) are around $600 as well. However, that's at the TV station where I work, not me renting a nice camera, etc.

I agree with the first reply here, why should distribution make that big of a difference? It's the production they are paying for more than the format, isn't it?

Good luck.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 09:59 PM   #14
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BTW, I just viewed the Flea Market Montgomery video. What a hoot! Producing that would have driven me crazy with that song!
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 07:03 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=Mark Stuart;812643]Here in the midwest, I can tell you our :30 commercials (broadcast quality) are around $600 as well. However, that's at the TV station where I work, not me renting a nice camera, etc.

The above quote, This is the entire small business model for independant commercial production.

Do you live in an area that has a local affiliate station and if so, is buying all of the neccessary equipment to do what they do, mostly for free, to sell air going to net any sort of income or break even? This is so very important in the business discussion, that I think most people overlook with too little research!
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