An Experiment in Streaming

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.

In the meantime, there are also other price incentives I can try as I finalize the right numbers.  The simplest, and safest, way for a school to upload my film onto their server is simply to do so from a physical DVD.

Thus, on all new purchases, the purchase of a stream should also include a free DVD.  If the school already owns my DVD, I can send a second free copy and/or discount the price according to the number of years they’ve owned it.

Whatever I do, I will be sure to add a short purchase agreement (and you must too!!), as part of my check-out procedure, that stipulates the stream can only be used on their internal server, is only good for the time indicated, and requires the purchaser’s signature.  Once the signed document is returned via fax or email, the sale can be finalized.

Now aren’t you glad you never got your film on Netflix to sell for $1.99?

It will take experimentation to get this right, but I guarantee it will pay-off.  I will update you on my progress, and please offer your own comments and experiences below.

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