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Old June 17th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #1
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Re-marketing DVDs to web video

I searched for a bit and didn't see this subject so I thought I'd ask. I've got some instructional and event videos that I've been selling as DVDs for several years. Some of them have continued to sell really well (relatively speaking) even after as long as eight years so their market isn't saturated. I'd like to expand my options on selling these and also since it seems Apple, and my editing system of all these years FCP > FCS, is not going to support blue-ray, I'm looking to the future of my video sales.

Sooo...I was wondering if it might be feasible to also make them available for sale at a lower price for viewing or download off the internet. I'm a Vimeo plus member. I was thinking of making the videos private and giving out passwords (which would change as needed so people who originally paid wouldn't just forward it around to all their friends for free) or as only available to specific email address that had paid. I'm not even sure this is allowed with Vimeo plus but if not, I'd like to try something similar somewhere else where it would be.

Any thoughts on this type of thing? Isn't this where we're heading in the future?
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Old June 17th, 2009, 07:14 PM   #2
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this is entirely possible using a dedicated web site. I have been able to set up a similar system one of several ways.

Note: There is practically NOTHING you can do about people sharing login credentials as a way to circumvent your authentication.

1) Web site
I can install a joomla web site and configure ACL's so that a logged in user has access to resources (aka a page that has the video embedded in it) but other anonymous users do not have access.

2) share the video as part of a forum where each user gets their own board and you control access to that board. Then you post the video link in the board.

Both of these two schemes will not prevent against someone sharing login credentials.

You could just go with password protected Vimeo links and then manage an email list (which I also do) to pass out the password to all the clients that have paid for access to your videos that month, etc. But this method might involve changing the passwords on a lot of videos if you rotate the passwords each month (not too big a deal, but somethign to consider.

Hit me with a PM or call me to discuss further.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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Sure, it could definitely work!

First, you can continue to sell a physical product. Instead of producing a Video DVD of these videos, you can encode them to H.264 and/or WMV files, and then burn them to a Data DVD. People can purchase the data disc, and then view the content on their computer monitor or transfer it to their iPod/Zune/portable media device.

The other way to go about selling would be to encode a file and store it on a server. Set up a shopping cart and purchasing system so that when someone purchases a downloadable version, they have a custom download link emailed to them upon completion of the purchase transaction. The download link can remain available for a finite period of time during which they download the file and view it. Since there is no physical disc here, you could offer a lower price for the download versus the physical product. It also completely circumvents the issues of sharing login credentials or being forced to view content on a dedicated site.

Creating a whole forum is another option, but by doing that, you're creating a whole new thing that needs to be maintained and monitored. Also, changing passwords makes more work for everyone- especially you, since you'll have to keep track of everyone that purchases access, and then deal with the inevitability of the people out there who can't deal with passwords to begin with, let alone passwords that change!

I think people will perceive a higher value when you provide them with an actual file they can keep on their computer. It's more tangible, and it gives them the convenience of watching it without having to go through the effort of logging into a forum and seeing it embedded in a web page. My two cents.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I might try this on a limited trial basis. Does anybody know if Vimeo plus would object to me selling private download on password provided after payment collected on another site? I'd like to try that first if possible to see how things go before I jump into anything more extensive.

I realize I won't have much control over unauthorized download even if I limit download time and change the password frequently. But then, I don't have much control over unauthorized copying of these DVDs now. It'll just be easier off the web.

Can anybody give me an estimate of number of sales off the web for this type of thing versus physical sales of DVDs of the the same thing in the same time period? Even something vague like "still sell more DVDs" will be helpful for me.

As I said before, I'll make the web download cheaper than the DVD. Not sure how much...
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 08:49 PM   #5
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You might want to examine the model that lynda.com uses. Last I looked, they offer downloads and DVDs. Pricing models are different but complementary. It wouldn't be a bad one to emulate since they've been around for several years. Although I don't spend any time on training sites, Lynda's is dead easy to use and one could do much worse that hers. Disclaimer: I knew Lynda before she moved to the Central Coast and started her training site.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Wall View Post
I might try this on a limited trial basis. Does anybody know if Vimeo plus would object to me selling private download on password provided after payment collected on another site?
Use of Vimeo for any commercial purpose is absolutely forbidden under their Ts & Cs. Community Guidelines on Vimeo

No Commercial use
You may not upload commercials, infomercials, or demos that actively sell or promote a product or service.


That doesn't seem to include advertising from the likes of Zacuto in the form of advertorial videos but I think that they would definitely draw the line at anything involving money changing hands.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
You might want to examine the model that lynda.com uses.
Thanks. I checked that out briefly last night but it's pretty extensive so I marked it to go back later for closer inspection.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Use of Vimeo for any commercial purpose is absolutely forbidden under their Ts & Cs. Community Guidelines on Vimeo

No Commercial use
You may not upload commercials, infomercials, or demos that actively sell or promote a product or service.


That doesn't seem to include advertising from the likes of Zacuto in the form of advertorial videos but I think that they would definitely draw the line at anything involving money changing hands.
I was aware of not posting videos that advertise or sell something else. But I'm you're right, even though this isn't the same thing, I'm sure they mean anything where money would change hands, even if their site was only indirectly involved.

BTW, don't worry about me doing anything like this on the sly just because I probably won't get caught. I'm all about copyrights and keeping everything on the up and up.

I'll just research it some more for now.

Thanks.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 02:38 AM   #9
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FWIW, this might work as a mechanism to prevent login sharing.

Have a module in Joomla or other software which sounds an alert whenever more than one user is logged in under the same username. You could have it auto-suspend the account and bump off all users immediately (definitely able to be done in Joomla 1.5 and later).

The true owner of the login would have to retrieve a new updated password the next time before they can login again.

It's possible to do this sort of thing with IP addresses, but would be more prone to error. You don't want to know about the technical reasons ... and I don't feel like typing them. :-)

Andrew
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Old July 14th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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I don't think the problem is login sharing.

It's the person who logs in, downloads the content, then slaps it on a Torrent Site or equivalent.

There's virtually no way you can control that.

I think the only model I know of that encourages legal downloading is the Apple model.

Make it EASY for people to comply by coupling small fees with a system that encourages exploration and content use.

In a backhanded fashion, it's what Lynda.com also does. You pay a fee that's in a tolerable subscription/licensing range - then you get blanket access to all the content as your needs dictate.

Make it too complex - and you just drive people away.

FWIW.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #11
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If you're still unable to find a commercial solution, have you considered simply having a web developer create a custom solution? We do this kind of stuff all the time (managed downloads) primarily with images and files, but video on the internet is just another type of file. It doesn't have to cost too much, but you're probably looking at a $2k investment at least.
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