Archive for June 24, 2010

News from the road

Posted: June 24, 2010 by f3technologies in F3 Technologies, FargoTube

An update from our sales team’s three-day trip to Nashville late last week: They met with several country-music producers, representatives from record labels, a video-production company, and a couple of people from a country-music television channel (there are several such channels, so your first guess may not be correct). On Wednesday, we sat down with two gals from a public-relations firm who will probably be able to open a lot more doors for us. 

Best of all, FargoTube appears to have generated some buzz: “People are starting to already know who we are before we meet them,” our business-development manager, Stephanie Miller, told me on Monday. It may have a lot to do with the affiliate agreement that we signed a couple of weeks ago with Strange Celebrity Entertainment, LLC and its business-savvy president, Kendall Bard.

Our activities in the world of country music started with a single personal connection we had in Nashville. But it’s shaping up to be a very promising market for us, and we like to think that the momentum we’re building there will allow us to crack markets even without previously existing connections.

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A nice little coup for FargoTube earlier this week. We got it linked from http://www.sagindie.org/directory/national-124-distribution-companies.html and listed in SAGIndie’s directory of distribution companies for independent filmmakers.

You’re probably aware that the Screen Actors Guild is the primary professional resource and labor union for actors, directors, key grips, and all the other talent in the U.S. film industry. The guild launched SAG Indie in 1997 as an additional resource for the growing number of filmmakers and television producers outside the major studios or, as SAG puts it, a “gentle and loving union between the hard working thespians of the world and the passionate filmmaking mavericks who buck the system.”

While FargoTube is a powerful tool for any sort of video content, it’s especially important for moviemakers who don’t have access to the vast distribution networks that large integrated studios have. Independents have to put in tremendous efforts to reach viewers, including aggressive networking within the industry, and submitting their works to film festivals from Tribeca to Telluride to Toronto. Big events often lead to distribution arrangements, but mainly for the relative handful of films that are screened there.

FargoTube is an entirely different way of doing business: It allows filmmakers to promote and sell their work at the same time instead of treating one as a step to the other. It puts the artists in direct contact with viewers.

FargoTube delivers videos in “tubes” – social networks set up and customized by filmmakers and other content owners. Fans can create profiles with pictures of themselves, e-mail other fans and set up their own networks of friends within each tube.

The service is free for filmmakers, who collect a significant portion of revenue from their films on FargoTube. A tube owner can set up a preview period or trailer for a video before the viewer is prompted to purchase the entire video or sign up for a subscription.

Tubes allow multiple revenue streams. One creator might charge for each viewing, while independent studios with multiple short films or webisodes might choose to allow access on a subscription basis. Owners can also allow advertising as an additional revenue source. They can announce upcoming releases and screenings in upcoming film festivals.

In short, FargoTube is a versatile tool that can either supplant or magnify existing distribution channels and marketing tools. We’re confident that independent filmmakers will start using it in significant numbers once they see what it can do for them.