August 23rd, 2011
Well, it’s time. After answering a few questions from my clients and from various discussion groups for a formula to set streaming prices, I’ve decided to follow my own good advice. In my fall sales campaign, I will make a licensed stream on a school’s internal streamer available for purchase, and I will also be contacting those who own my DVD with the news that the stream is now available.
My formula for pricing is based on the fact that a DVD with moderate to heavy use will last about 3 years. Thus 3 years of streaming rights on the school’s internal server should equal one’s price for an academic DVD that includes public performance rights–for the purposes of this explanation, say $300. Note, however, that this is for only one school. If the institution belongs to a library consortium, multiply by 2, 3, or 4, etc. depending on the number of libraries in the consortium.
5 years of streaming rights can equal $500 or 5 times the one year price.
Rights in perpetuity can equal $1000, or ten times the one year price.
Sounds pretty incredible, doesn’t it? I’m already getting ready to buy my tickets for Bermuda. What sounds logical on paper, however, may not work in real life–thus my use of the word “Experiment” in the title. Will even a few of the owners of my DVD swing for a $1000 purchase? I’ll find out soon enough. Worldcat gives me a long list of some of the schools who have purchased my film. I will start with those, and given the potential profits, personal phone calls should yield some interesting feedback.
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August 5th, 2011
Succeeding at Academic DIY has a lot to do with knowing your windows of opportunity. When are professors and librarians more likely to read your email and make a purchase? When is your email more likely to languish in an inbox, unread, until it is entirely forgotten?
The first question is whether you are sending to a librarian or professor. The summer-, though not too early (wait until after June) is an excellent time to email university librarians. They have a fresh budget to spend and the quiet to focus on the materials they want to buy, at least until school starts gearing up at the end of August. Conversely, most professors are usually gone in the summer and as school begins, are even less easy to interest in some unsolicited email about a $200-300 DVD that happens to arrive in their inbox. Catch them toward the end of September or beginning of October, though, and they just may click on that unsolicited email, if the subject header catches their attention and seems to pertain to their subject. (Never use simple titles in subject headers–they won’t have a clue what you’re talking about!). Similarly, 3-4 weeks after the start of spring semester will also yield good results.
Considering that if you contact these folks more than 2-3 times a year, they will definitely put you on their pest list, you need to plan the dates of your campaigns carefully.
Why I am telling you all this today, August 5, 2011? Because September/October is just around the corner and it’s time to get your campaign ready, if you haven’t already.
Here’s another window of opportunity: every field of study will hold an important conference at least once a year, and some more often. Isolate your most important primary and secondary markets (see “It’s On the Syllabus“), then google to find the major upcoming conferences in these fields. If the conference is far enough out, you may be able to arrange a presentation of your film, and even if you can’t, selling your film at the conference could be a good plan if you can get a table for the right price or split one with other filmmakers.
Let me know of other Windows of Opportunity you know of. The more we share our information, the better!