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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:30 AM   #16
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

Notwithstanding all the points I already made in this particular case as the parents pre-order & pay before the event it actually might be OK to offer HD downloads. The casual copying will be for relatives etc after the event & it's such less likely that parents would collude before the event to have one of them pay & then share the download with other parents once the download link is available. I am sure that the expectation from the school is that every parent will pay for a copy & it will be obvious if parents don't. The only losses will be in follow-up sales of a DVD for the grandparents etc

On balance I think that Roger still has to deliver DVDs as the lowest common denominator but could make a dual package with an HD download & DVD bundle as he is rendering out to an .MP4 version as the source for the DVD.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:20 AM   #17
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

I think you might be right Nigel about keeping the DVDs as a basic, but offering downloads as an alternative or as a joint package. The only difficulty I can see is doing that via the schools to avoid direct contact with parents. Certainly a possibility to explore further though.

A Very Merry Christmas to all,

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Old December 24th, 2016, 06:45 PM   #18
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

Just sell DVDs as normal & on the DVD packaging have a link to the HD download.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 07:04 PM   #19
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Notwithstanding all the points I already made in this particular case as the parents pre-order & pay before the event it actually might be OK to offer HD downloads. The casual copying will be for relatives etc after the event & it's such less likely that parents would collude before the event to have one of them pay & then share the download with other parents once the download link is available.
If these were total strangers, I would agree with your thoughts.
But these parents most certainly know each other and/or have received group emails so that they know each others contact info. It would be trivial for one person to email 5 of their closest fellow parents and offer to share the link.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 07:47 PM   #20
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

The other way to look at it a paying customer is going to think if I paid for mine you should pay for yours.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:08 PM   #21
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

This is discussed pretty regularly on the FB Dance Recital Video group page.

There are 2 things impacting the current state of event (non wedding) video sales - (1) Smartphones and tablets are "good enough" (2) The need for instant gratification.

In order to get around this, I'm planning on experimenting with my main dance studio this year by offering the regular whole show DVD for $30 like normal.

But, I'm also offering HD digital downloads of every individual performance. So, in this case, there would be about 50 dances x 2 shows = 100 digital files.

The way I've broken it up is:

Solo Acts = $25
Groups with 2-6 =$50
Groups with 6+ = $75

I know that DVD copying goes on all the time. Obviously, with a digital download, copying is even easier... hence the high prices. I fully expect parents to "go in" and buy these dances. So every parent would likely pay $5-10, then share it and I'm totally fine with that.

I use SmugMug to deliver videos, and the way it would work is, Sally Smith would pay for the download and then the parents would work out getting it.

It's absolutely no different than what they do with DVDs, where 1 parent buys the disc and then 5 other parents pay them $5 to get a copy.

These digital downloads would be labelled with the studio credentials, nothing indicating I was the one filming it.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:11 PM   #22
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

My preferred approach would be to have the "DVD fee" added to the actual dance recital cost and then every parent would get a DVD and an HD download.

I'm thinking something like $30.

So if the studio had 150 in the recital, then the studio would just write me a check for $4500 and then I'd handle making all the copies (at Kunaki where there are $1 a piece) and the uploading the digital files for download.

But I'm not quite there yet.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:24 PM   #23
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

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Originally Posted by Kyle Root View Post
So if the studio had 150 in the recital, then the studio would just write me a check for $4500 and then I'd handle making all the copies (at Kunaki where there are $1 a piece) and the uploading the digital files for download.

But I'm not quite there yet.
The Studio is going to want a free copy for each teacher & staff member.
As a sign of good faith, you should beat them to the punch, and put the free copies into your initial proposal.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:27 PM   #24
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

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My preferred approach would be to have the "DVD fee" added to the actual dance recital cost and then every parent would get a DVD and an HD download.
Two years ago, I included a post-card inside each DVD case.
The Postcard said: "Included with your purchase is a free download of your child's dance.
Send an email to xxx@yyy,com for your free download link.
I got ZERO replies
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Old December 24th, 2016, 10:31 PM   #25
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

I always give the studios as many copies as they want for the staff... usually around 10-15.

I use to give them a cut of $5 per sale back in the day... but writing those checks hurt when it came time for the bigger studios with like 200-300 kids.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:26 AM   #26
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

This seems like a good time to remind everyone of one old technique of copy-protecting DVDs that has worked well in the past. (I think I learned this technique here from one of the members of our forum, but I'm not 100% sure of this.)

1
Add about ten minutes of black to the end of the film along with some text that reads, "Click the menu button to return to the main menu."

2
Burn a master disc and place it into a multiple-disc duplicator.

3
Copy the master to a bunch of blank discs...but watch the screen on the duplicator that indicates what percent of the copy process has been completed (assuming that this percent does indeed show up on your duplicator). When the process is nearly complete (very close to 100%), shut off the power to the duplicator. This immediate loss of power causes the portion at the end of the film (the extra minutes of black screen that you added earlier) to be written with random bits of data as the duplicator "winds down" (crashes).

The result of this process is that you end up with discs that play fine up until they reach that point at the end of the film where you crashed the duplicator. So, when a customer watches the film, they will finally reach the screen at the end that reads "Click the menu button to return to the main menu." They will have a few minutes to follow this direction and be returned to the main screen as promised. If they wait too long though, the DVD will freeze. At this point, they simply need to eject and re-insert the disc, or power it down and power it back up again in order to return to the main menu. Of course, many people will simply eject the disc after reaching the end. (There may be some DVD players and computer programs that act differently when playing back these discs, but what I described above has been my personal experience with them.)

Why might you want to do all this? Because standard copying programs cannot handle copying a disc that has has been created with this intentional crash (causing the random data to be written to the disc).

Unless there are a great many new methods for copying discs of this type that have emerged in the past several years, I believe this would go a long way toward preventing customers from making copies of their own. The drawback of course is that if a customer cannot make copies, they cannot create a back up for themselves. Then, if their disc goes bad (as many discs tend to do), they may come back to you (justifiably) wanting a replacement for their faulty DVD.
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So here's one way you may wish to handle your sales. It's not perfect, but there might be some good ideas here.

Sell these "copy-protected" discs and include a note in each that a free backup copy will be available online to all that have purchased a DVD in approximately one year, provided that they have their password (that you will provide with their disc). There's nothing you can do about people copying the backup download, but since it won't be available for a significant amount of time, I think more people would be willing to pay for a legitimate copy right away.

By doing this...(1) paying customers get their film quickly on DVD, (2) others will likely not be able to make copies of their own, (3) you may make some aditional sales, as some families might want to buy extra copies, and (4) by offering the download as a backup, you are off the hook for any discs that go bad in the future.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 07:33 AM   #27
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

I would never cripple a dvd in that fashion because it's unprofessional.

I think a better solution is to ask for pre orders. I always work with the dance studio director to find a price point where everyone can afford a video and I can make a living. I also thank the ordering parents and let them know their purchase makes it possible for me to film the performance.

I also find paying the dance studio a small commission for every dvd sold gives them a vested interest in selling as many orders as they can. They have direct access to the parents and students so they can promote the video.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 09:26 AM   #28
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

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Originally Posted by Vince Pachiano View Post
If these were total strangers, I would agree with your thoughts.
But these parents most certainly know each other and/or have received group emails so that they know each others contact info. It would be trivial for one person to email 5 of their closest fellow parents and offer to share the link.
I was assuming that all the DVDs are pre-ordered & paid for by the time of the concert & before any DVDs are delivered. There is a difference between someone with the link sharing it & a bunch of parents colluding together beforehand so that they agree that just one of them will buy a DVD & then share the link with the others.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 10:58 AM   #29
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

This doesn't especially address the original question, but I find the topic to be of general interest. If you are currently dependent on DVD for distribution, seems like you need to start thinking of alternatives because its days are surely numbered. Might take awhile, but it will happen.

I remember when I first started at DVinfo, we had some very heated debates over 4:3 vs 16:9 video. We know how that worked out in the long run. Even the die-hards eventually traded their glass CRT's for widescreen LCD's in the end.

I stopped using DVD's myself a few years ago, they are just so slow and frustrating. I had a very large library but over the course of a year or so I ripped them all to a home media server and never looked back. My daughter (who is a "millenial") doesn't use DVD's anymore either. In her family, they don't have any physical media anymore, or even any local storage. It's all Netflix, Apple Music, DVR or in the cloud.

My 6 year old granddaughter attends a large dance school in the New York City area and I never miss the recitals. They sell DVD's for $50 which my daughter finds laughable, she wouldn't even consider paying that much to see the less than 10 minutes where her kid is one of 30 others. They allow the parents to film the dress rehearsals, so she shoots those on her phone.

I think you also need to consider the changing uses of this sort of video. People want to upload it to social media and e-mail or text it to their friends and family. Again, my daughter is not going to buy 10 copies of a DVD and mail them to her family and friends. She also isn't going to go to the trouble of ripping a DVD. It's all about instant gratification today.

If the video were available for download at a reasonable price, where you could just choose the numbers her child was in, I'm sure she would buy it. But again, she would expect to be able to share it online.

I sympathize with those of you who do this for a living, and understand that there is a threshold where it just wouldn't be worth your while. But expectations are changing so rapidly. Looking back again at my early days at DVinfo 15 years ago… who would have imagined that everyone would carry a high quality internet-connected video camera and TV in their pocket everywhere they go?

I don't have the answer, and I don't make a living from event videography. But if I did, I'd be devoting a lot of thought about the way forward.

Just some food for thought. Best wishes to all for the holidays!
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Old December 27th, 2016, 06:53 PM   #30
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Re: Selling Video Downloads

I might as well throw another spanner in the works and suggest that Boyd is very much correct about the instant gratification bit of this conversation. People want everything now if not sooner.

We are venturing quite extensively into the live broadcast side of video thus eliminating not only the physical media side of things but also the editing side of things! Actually the editing side affects costing more than one thinks! If we do an event we arrive at the venue, set up and film. At the end of the event we are finished ...totally! No editing, no burning DVD's no transferring footage ...Our stream is automatically converted into a DVR copy online a mere 17 seconds behind the actual live signal so people can watch live, halfway through, or a year later ...yes, there is extra production costs which the usual hard copy videographer doesn't incur but they are no tied to hours like editing is. Our CDN services cost us $499 a year and we have unlimited facilities (plus I share with a mate on the east coast so it's even cheaper) plus I do have to pay for data usuage during the broadcast if the venue doesn't have sufficient upload speed.

However, these are tiny costs if taken on an event by event basis and certainly way, way less than my time sitting at the computer editing footage or making DVD's.
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