The M Word: Monetization

Don’t look now, but there’s an elephant in the room. And it’s the question: how do you make money from movies on the internet? The other day, Google revealed new test video ads on the YouTube mobile site in the U.S. and Japan. While YouTube has been genius in the past at negotiating with irate media giants, most recently Lionsgate with an ad-share deal when caught showing early clips from the distribs catalogue, they haven’t breached the hurdle for the other 96% of films on the site. The YouTube official party line is that ads will enhance the user experience, but doesn’t that bring us to the other question: what’s really in it for the filmmaker?

Here at Super U, we’re exploring options for filmmakers to share in the advertising revenues generated on the site. I talked to Super U CEO Gary Tauss and here’s what he had to say: 

“As the Internet increasingly becomes the viewing media of choice, filmmakers have to find a way to fit in to the advertising model.”

He’s seen that the subscription model of revenue-sharing doesn’t work for short films because of supply (of films: lots) versus demand (from broadcasters: low):

“Super U wants to help bridge the gap between the traditional subscription and ad based worlds.  We solicit films and award prizes (so we can then sublicense the films to broadcasters) and we are building up traffic on the Internet site to generate advertising revenue.”

Super U is still a relatively new site – we launched in May – and we’re working hard to get the word out through social media (join our facebook group!) and partnering with film community events and groups. You’ll see us now at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and soon at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. And by mixing submissions to our film roster, entries to our contests, content from our partners (like Super Channel), along with on site blogs on the film industry, what we are watching, and interviews with filmmakers, we’ll continue to attract viewers to SuperU.ca.

Tauss explained that in the near future:

“We will share 40% of all ad revenue with the author of the film.  This means that when you click to view a short film you will be directed to a page with a media player window and a few ads on the side.  Some ads are based on the number of impressions (views of the film) and some on the rate of actual click through to the advertisers site.  So when we do a contest like “It’s Hilarious” and “Car Dance Party Moscow” wins, we can attract ads based on the keywords, such as “comedy”, “dancing” and “car”. Each month we total up the revenue from that page and pay the author his or her part.”

What do you think? Come on, take part in the Super U revolution!

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1 comment so far

  1. superuvoyeur on

    I really like this idea of sharing revenues with filmmakers. As we all know, those poor guys really need all the help they can get. Nice.


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