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Old April 30th, 2018, 10:16 AM   #1
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Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

As the 2018 dance recital season is just around the corner I have an update and a question about distributing dance recital videos on line.

First, the update. I did get one studio to agree to distribute their videos on line. In fact, they actually asked me if this was possible.

So here's my plan. I'm going to use Vimeo Pro ($600 per year, unlimited weekly uploads, 5 TB of space per year). The studio will charge all the parents and pay me a flat fee to record and up load the videos.

I will begin posting other studios videos on line (AFTER I get paid for the DVDs). I will also use the account for other business (weddings, sports, etc)

In the future, now that I will have video to show, I believe it will be easier to persuade studios to take the plunge. If my bigger schools charge ALL of their students a minimal $20 fee, I will get the money I need to record and up load the videos (I'm going to charge approximately $1200 per performance) and the schools should still have some extra money in their pockets.

For some of my smaller, mid-weeks schools, I still have to decide how to proceed, whether to even offer a reduced rate to upload their recital.

Now if you're still with me, the question.

I think I'm simply going to record the recitals that will be uploaded as 720p, 17mb, MP4 files and upload them directly to Vimeo. Does anyone see any flaws or drawbacks with this idea?

Any feedback is appreciated.

Last edited by Tracy Painter; April 30th, 2018 at 01:33 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

You do well for yourself I average only $500-600 a show. Most studios pay nothing or I pay them a commission so I can’t see them being too keen on paying me for a digital download. Pricing to me would be tricky because let’s say I charge the studio $400 and because everyone has the video I only get few dvd orders.

This year I’ve added digital download for an additional $5 with a dvd order or $20 for only a digital download. The vast majority of parents only want a dvd, followed by 20% getting the dvd/download and only a handful getting just a download. I’m not sure how happy parents would be if they were required to buy a digital download from the studio if the just want a dvd.

Since I don’t make a lot I have only the Plus account that stll serves me well. Btw I upload 1080p and compress it with handbrake at RF24 it yields 600-1,200mb file depending on the length. I think 720 looks crapy if you’re going hd you might as well go full.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; April 30th, 2018 at 02:13 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 01:13 PM   #3
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

Vimeo pro is not 600dollar, in Europe it's only 162 euro unless you are refering to their business account?

I wouldn't upload as 720p, as pete says, it will look bad especially on 4K tv's, I would upload at the highest quality possible, either HD or 4K, the client can still decide what quality they want to downbload when they select the download option.

You could maybe upload 2 versions, one HD and one in 4K but charge extra for the 4K download.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 01:29 PM   #4
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

Thanks for the feedback Pete.

My thought on why I would upload 720p was that up until this point the parents were receiving DVDs with a much lower quality than 720p, so the video, even at 17mb would look MUCH better than it has in the past. And the up load would be quicker than full 1080p 28mb video (which is the top bit rate for several of my video cameras.

As far as my rates, I guess we have been fortunate. Many of my bigger studios average over $1,200 per recital. Many of these studios have more than one recital.

The tricky thing moving forward is fairness to each studio and fairness to my business.

A few of my studios average close to $3,000 a year in orders for their two shows. At $1,200 a show, I would be losing a significant sum of money. However, if I charge $1,500 a show, a majority of my larger studios will be forced to pay more than they would if the parents were ordering DVDs. And my smaller studios (in the $600 - $1,000 range), may be priced out.

So, I still have some kinks to work out, but I really think this change in distribution is the way to go.

Think about it like this, many parents will now be able to show off my work to their friends and families, by sharing the link or showing their student's particular number on their phone (at the office, PTA meeting, etc). It also currently gives me a leg up on my competition.

People can still order DVDs for the same $25 price that they used to order simply by sending me an additional $5 for the DVD, so to me it's really a win/win.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

Noa, thanks for your input! I may need to re-think my 720p idea.

And you are right, I'm going to be using Vimeo Business, not Pro.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 06:56 PM   #6
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

Hi Tracy

Just to get my thinking right, the schools pay you $1200 and then the students get charged $20 right? so as long as there are 60+ students the studio makes a profit. I often see posts saying "if I upload the recital online parents will share links with each other" if this is true will studios start getting students that tell them that " we don't need the link (or to pay $20) this year" I know this doesn't affect you as you get paid upfront but would it reduce sales from students, if if happened

We have done DVD sales for recitals and to be honest making the DVD's is really a pain in the but ... it takes up a lot of time burning and printing disks and also delivering so online is a great solution. We currently do live stream weddings on Livestream.com (Vimeo now own them) so adding recitals when they come up in 2018 would be easy and the media has some advantages too like live editing (so zero post work) and instant upload as you are shooting. In the future maybe look at Vimeo Live too??
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Old April 30th, 2018, 07:07 PM   #7
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Tracy

Just to get my thinking right, the schools pay you $1200 and then the students get charged $20 right? so as long as there are 60+ students the studio makes a profit. I often see posts saying "if I upload the recital online parents will share links with each other" if this is true will studios start getting students that tell them that " we don't need the link (or to pay $20) this year" I know this doesn't affect you as you get paid upfront but would it reduce sales from students, if if happened
I read it that the $20 fee is mandatory. It's part of the cost of the recital. Students cannot choose to not pay it.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 07:09 PM   #8
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

I've mentioned this before, part of the problem with online sales is that all of the Dance Parent's know each other, and have their contact info. It would be trivial for 4 or 5 really close parents to split the cost of a single access code.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 09:49 PM   #9
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

Hi Vince

I don't see that as an issue provided you are paid upfront from the studio .. as Tracy says sharing the video simply provides more exposure and it IS a win-win situation. I guess it would be up to the studio to get the $20 from the parents (one could always say "no pay no dance") but since the studio hands over $1200 to Tracy before the event it's really up to them to ensure the parents pay up otherwise their kids are not going to be allowed to perform!!
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Old May 1st, 2018, 07:25 AM   #10
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

Yes, I get the studios to pay me up front (or guarantee payment after the event), the studios charge each student. I will encourage the studios to include the price of the video into the costs each student pays every year.

In the future, when proposing this to the studios, I will explain to them that they can also make this a win for themselves. "As part of this season's dance fee, we will provide you with a high definition, on line video of all of the dances in this year's recitals that you can share with family and friends" (many of my studios have two performances with some dancers performing in both recitals).

In reality the studio can collect as much or as little as they want from each student to cover the cost of the video. I currently charge $25 per video and $40 for two DVDs if the studio has two recitals. Some studios tack on an extra $5 or $10 so they can make some money off of the DVD sales.

This new (for me and my studios) distribution model is really a much better product for all involved. The parents get something they can easily share with friends and family, the quality of the product is much better and the studios can more easily make a little money from the sales of the video.
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Old May 1st, 2018, 07:49 AM   #11
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

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Originally Posted by Vince Pachiano View Post
I've mentioned this before, part of the problem with online sales is that all of the Dance Parent's know each other, and have their contact info. It would be trivial for 4 or 5 really close parents to split the cost of a single access code.
Vince, I agree with your point IF, one was selling on line dance recital videos the same way as they have been selling dance recital DVDs. BUT this new model (for me) gets the studio to agree, up front, that they will pay me X for recording and uploading their recital.

As I mentioned, there are still some issues to work out.

One big one being what do I do with the "smaller" studios that I currently work for. As an example, one studio has two recitals on an early Sunday in June every year. The studio averages about $1,600 worth of orders which is far short of the $2,400 they would need if they were paying the $1,200 per recital fee.

Sometimes I can personally record for this studio, however this year, I have a bigger studio also on the same Sunday, so I'm going to pay a good friend $400 to record the performances. So for me, I'll make around $1,200 for the two recitals (yes there is some additional media expense), which is still a nice amount of money for the additional work I will need to do. So I'm certainly not going to abandon the studio, but do I offer the on line uploads for $800 a recital or ask for $1,200 or simply continue to only offer this studio DVDs?

Another issue is that by offering the uploads at $1,200 I am slightly shorting myself on two of the bigger studios that I work for AND if I never raise my price I limit myself with any of the studios that may grow bigger in the future.
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Old May 1st, 2018, 11:31 AM   #12
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

If your videos are going to be downloaded by the people who buy them (which goes down better) do you actually need to use Vimeo at all. I use youtube and Vimeo for things that I want a very wide audience for, but for private video and audio files I have a download site hosted on a server that costs me less than 100 a year. People pay for the products via PayPal, and get a secure download link, that expires after a few hours reducing the number of people sharing the download. The software to run it is not expensive, and the files can be anything - video, audio or pdfs. I've not thought about it for distributing video, but the bandwidth is plenty good enough for dance show quantities?
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Old May 1st, 2018, 11:48 AM   #13
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

Thanks for the reply. I thought about several different routes when contemplating this move. One original idea was to use Google Drive.

Ultimately I decided on Vimeo because I really don't care if the parents, kids or instructors download the videos. I'm more interested in their ability to play the videos ONLINE. I want everyone to SHARE the videos as much as possible.
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Old May 1st, 2018, 02:21 PM   #14
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

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... but for private video and audio files I have a download site hosted on a server that costs me less than 100 a year.
You can post private videos on YouTube for free.
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Old May 1st, 2018, 06:26 PM   #15
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Re: Dance Recital Video Distribution Revisited

On the free You Tube scenario just remember that you then have music copyright to deal with and as most studios use current pop music, you will get pinged and an ad put on the video or even banned in some countries. I'm pretty sure that even if you set your YouTube upload to "private" their "robot" still scans the music!
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