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Old May 15th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #1
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How to best distribute (and profit) from my idea

I am exploring an idea I have. I have been involved in video production (as a career) for about 15 years and I also have an interest/passion for a particular hobby(other than video) . My idea is to produce an ongoing series of 5 minute (or less) videos that review the "gear" involved in this hobby. I would have a "show host" and I would do all the production (pre-production through post-production). Then target audience are people interested in the hobby who use the internet to research the latest gear before they purchase. I came up with the idea after two recent purchases of my own... A frustration was finding a detailed unbiased review of the products I was considering to purchase... and the few video reviews I found on youtube were helpful, but of poor production quality. The gear for this hobby can be rather expensive and technical, so most people into this hobby don't just go to walmart and buy the first thing they see... i would guess that most of the gear is purchased over the internet. So my initial thoughts are as follows: Model 1: get product manufacturers to donate product for review and sell advertising to other manufacturers of gear and/or the internet sellers of the gear. I would need to figure out how to distribute the video (youtube, other) Model 2: I would partner with an established well-known internet site that sells a huge variety of the gear. I would provide them with the videos (ready for upload to their site) and they would purchase them from me. They could then use the videos to promote their own site and provide a service to their customers that would hopefully keep the customers on their site so when the moment comes when they decide which piece of gear to buy, they will purchase from that site.

My biggest questions are:
How to distribute? On my own, partner with a seller of the gear, or other.
How to get the product/gear to review? direct from individual manufacturers or from a product seller, or other
How to create maximum revenue? sell my own ads and distribute on my own or just produce the videos and find a buyer who can use them or sell their own ads after they purchase the content from me.

I am still thinking through all the possibilities... I recently read where youtube is now allowing content creators to sell their own ads for the videos they upload. I am leaning toward just producing the videos and selling them to a product seller. I could "brand" the videos for their particular company... this seems like the best solution because I could just deal with one entity and stick to what I do best which is produce the videos.

Anyone have thoughts or advice on this type of thing? Thanks in advance.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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I do something similar on Driving Sports TV. There's the weekly show, which features new car reviews (provided my the mfgs), events and products. That is paid for by our direct advertisers, as well as network money we get from YouTube, Blip.tv, Blinkx, etc. Then there's the custom work we do for car makers and tuners, which is where we make our livable wages while growing our network revenue (this takes a lot of time). For the online model you have to be open to all opportunities. The hobby you have in mind will help dictate the best path. We cover cars. That's a pretty big audience (but still finite). If you cover, say RC helicopters, your total possible audience may be a lot smaller (but more focused). The numbers matter more for network ad revenue, than for direct sales (which are more interested in the targeting.)

Here's a link to our YouTube page:
http://www.youtube.com/drivingsports/

Official Site:
http://www.drivingsports.com

Now, to answer your questions:

How to distribute? On my own, partner with a seller of the gear, or other.
Do it all. One does not eliminate the other. Better yet, do your own show, and sell a reseller a custom version of the same show for their site.

How to get the product/gear to review? direct from individual manufacturers or from a product seller, or other.
Manufacturers usually have processes for evaluation products. Sometimes it goes through the distributor, sometimes not. Depends on the industry. Get on the phone and start calling the manufacturers, but be ready with some #s... they rarely send out samples these days without an idea of your reach. They'll also most likely want to see a sample show.

How to create maximum revenue? sell my own ads and distribute on my own or just produce the videos and find a buyer who can use them or sell their own ads after they purchase the content from me.
If you're going to do online reviews, you're basically talking about doing a digital video magazine-style show. For that, the best opportunity is to do direct sales. That way, you're targeting an audience and selling that targeted audience to a company that it really matters to. Bonus, is that these days lots of companies are looking to wax their social media skids. Video is one of the most natural fits for this opportunity. So, do the show, sell ads, and also be open to producing segments specifically for a given manufacturer. All of these things take a lot of time to develop, however, and may be reliant on annual budgets.

Driving Sports TV had about 10m views last year (about 1/2 of these views had paid network advertising attached.) which was enough to keep us in latte's and hard drives...but not much else. We do it because A) I love it and B) it's a jumping off point for other (related) work I do, which pays a lot better.

I started DSTV 6 years ago (one of the first YouTube paid indy producers), and also have published several national automotive print magazines, which gives me an advantage in this market. Currently, I'm the only full-time member of the program (shooting, editing, writing, hosting), though I hire extra shooters when necessary and also have other hosts that lend a hand on occasion.

I don't think anyone realizes that the show is, basically, just one guy. Which is how it should be.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #3
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Just realized, 144 views and I'm so far the only response. Maybe I should start doing seminars on monetizing video for social media. Lol.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 10:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response Ryan, it was most helpful. I have a few more questions for you if you don't mind. I will gather my thoughts and then post them when I get a chance. Thanks again.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 11:16 AM   #5
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No problem. I'll answer the best I can.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Douthit View Post
...Maybe I should start doing seminars on monetizing video for social media. Lol.
Good idea. Right now the only people making money from marketing in social media are the consultants who purport to teach you how to make money from marketing in social media.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 07:09 AM   #7
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My gut reaction after reading Scott's original post was "I do feel that you are trying way too hard to help people".

That, and, you're not going to get a properly detailed review packed in to 5 minutes.

Sorry I'm not more positive about it all.

Andrew
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #8
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Ryan, a few more questions... Assuming I produce a good product and build an audience, what are reasonable ad rates per ? (click thrus? video views?) I guess I am just wanting to know your experience and advice on what to expect concerning ad revenue... and how the process works. Thanks again.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 02:15 PM   #9
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In my case, since the video is released across a large body of platforms I don't have control over how many views an ad insertion may get over its lifespan. They're burned in and that's that. Even if the video is improperly uploaded to another service by a fan, or downloaded to a mobile device, the ad travels with it.

Therefore I go with a per insertion flat rate. Currently charging $500 per insertion (I'll run up to three ads per video.) These videos usually get between 20,000 and 100,000 views across the 'net in their first month. Some growing in weekly views over time, some shrinking.

Note that I don't do single-shot insertions... multiples are required. In a way, it's very similar to magazine advertising with a set # of issues per month and the ads travel with it. We also charge for product placements in the show, which nets us even more per month. I'm not going to go into specifics on that, however. Finally, don't forget we also run network and web ads connected to the show, and have a paid iPhone app.

Just like a magazine it's picking up dimes wherever you can find one.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 02:49 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info. When you say "product placement" are you talking about getting payment for the products you might review or actual product placement in the pure sense... like in a film? Some good advice! Also, I used to work for a company called hypertech... seems like they could be a potential advertiser for you. Have you ever dealt with them? I could connect you with their advertising person... just let me know:

www.hypertech.com
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 03:31 PM   #11
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If we're doing an event we may feature a little extra roll time for a sponsors team (as well as sell clip reels to the teams from the event, when applicable) or feature a customer car when we feel it has editorial merit outside of the advertising alone (similar to print magazines in this regard). Also, we've worn particular clothes to promote specific companies, as well as featured certain brands "conveniently located" in a shot, just like film or tv... so it's not always related to the topic.

We don't give positive reviews or endorsements for dollars, however. Against our editorial guidelines.

Definitely heard of Hypertech before. Never worked with them, though. Would love to be introduced.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 03:59 PM   #12
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I will send you the hypertech contact info via your website.
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