In what can only be described as a foreseeable move for Nintendo and Hulu alike, the duo has teamed up to offer Hulu Plus to Wii consoles across the United States and Japan. (Sorry international readers, Hulu hasn’t been released in any additional countries quite yet.) As an added bonus, Wii users without an existing Hulu Plus account will be given a free two-week trial account when they follow the sign-up instructions within the Hulu Plus app.
For $7.99 a month subscribers can instantly stream current episodes from shows including Modern Family, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and, my personal sunday-night-favorite, Wipe Out. Watching people make complete a**holes of themselves while being utterly bludgeoned to death by an obstacle course has never looked so shameless. While you’re there, why not check out some of The Orchard’s growing Hulu lineups, including films like The Mother of Invention, Special When Lit: A Pinball Documentary, In Deep, and Crude Independence.
Sundance Film Festival 2012, which officially ended 4 days ago, was rife with the expected daily deal announcements rumored to be in the seven figures. The usual suspects, backed by either major Hollywood studios or corporations – Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, IFC Films, etc. – signed contracts and offered filmmakers massive advertising campaigns. Yet, for most filmmakers, these deals reflect the exception, rather than the rule.
In an article entitled Life After Sundance: Distribution and Marketing for the 99 Percent, noted entertainment lawyer and sales rep Steven Beer notes that in this new landscape, “producers will deal their own cards, managing risk and seeking out rewards that include some combination of maximum exposure, return on investment and recognition.” He points to the need to mix old and new models of distribution and the importance of “DVD, VOD, television broadcasts, digital streaming and downloads, whether for sale or subscription [...]. Thanks to an emerging class of service providers and content aggregators, there’s a number of distribution options that act as facilitators rather than gatekeepers and render essential delivery services (digital encoding, quality control) for relatively modest fees.” This is what The Orchard’s film arm has been quietly doing for years.
We’ve recently rolled out a number of high-quality, critically-acclaimed documentaries on platforms from iTunes to X-Box:
IN THE HANDS OF THE GODS , a critically-lauded, thrilling story of five young British footballers (soccer to us Yankees) who travel across South America in the hopes of meeting their idol, soccer god Maradona.
The profoundly moving film PHILOSOPHER KINGS, which won several film festival awards, shows life through the lens of eight custodians of major U.S. universities. Ignored at best, ridiculed at worst, these wise observers have much to teach us.
Another festival favorite, CRUDE INDEPENDENCE, captures the problematic intersection of small town America with the international oil industry. When oil is suddenly discovered in tiny Stanley, North Dakota, the townspeople find their world turned upside down.
Finally, for a cinematic adrenaline injection, THE ORDINARY SKIER is a gorgeous, fast-paced biography of famed skier Seth Morrison’s rise to the top.
There are lots more to write about, but one blog post cannot tell everything. So stay tuned to this space for news about additions to our rapidly going film collection.
Exciting time here for The Orchard video department. With the launch of The Orchard Sports imprint we have been busy getting lots of exciting action sports titles through our doors.
One of the most impressive and timely ones is the Seth Morrison bio-documentary The Ordinary Skier. Morrison has been one of the most groundbreaking big mountain skiers since the early 90′s when skiing was getting nowhere near the attention of their single plank cousins in the snowboard world. The film picked up Best Original Score at the X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival in Salt Lake City, UT last week and we’re pleased to have it as The Orchard Sports’ premiere on Hulu. The Ordinary Skier features some great athletes, who will be competing this weekend at the Winter X-Games in Aspen, CO.
Among the many services your Orchard client dashboard offers, detailed Analytics of your sales is one you don’t want to overlook. It provides you with a transparent look into your revenue accounting across all platforms and territories and even provides daily iTunes analytics, including a visual map of your iTunes sales by zipcode – similar to a weather “heatmap.”
Here are 5 things film providers can do with that map.
Test the effect of grassroots marketing. Hand out fliers at a local event related to the topic of your film advertising its availability on iTunes, and log in daily for the next week to check results.
Test the effect of theatrical screenings. Embed an advertisement for your film’s availability on iTunes at the beginning of your film when it screens to an audience, and log in the following week to see the impact.
Book a tour. Notice a cluster of purchases in some cities you didn’t expect? Program theatrical screenings to target your newfound audience.
Connect with your fans. Notice some new downloads in an area? Shout out a thanks “to your new fans in Owensboro, Kentucky” on Twitter. Attending an event in a city where you have a cluster of sales? Post that you’ll be attending the event on your Facebook to lure in your fans to say hi.
Impress your investors. Demonstrate your success in a visual way to your investors and producers. Show them the global scope of your audience and the success of your marketing efforts.
When Taylor Congdon approached The Orchard Sports to help distribute Moto 3: The Movie, our goal was to reach as many people as possible in a relevant and targeted manner. Action Sports have slowly been gaining a dedicated following, and we sought to tap into that hype with this North American marketing campaign to introduce Moto 3 to consumers around the world.
By reaching out to relevant press partners both online and offline, posting the iTunes purchase linkin as many places as possible, including the trailer on YouTube, and using social media and digital outlets to spread the word, The Orchard Sports was able to connect with potential and active fans across the globe.
Racer X, the online and print motocross magazine, featured a full-page banner of Moto 3 on its homepage, including the trailer for the film with a link to iTunes. The magazine also posted about the release on their website and ran three full-page spreads in the print version that pointed to the release on iTunes.
Energy-drink giant and active supporter of action sports Monster Energy promoted Moto 3 to their 14 million Facebook followers. They posted the iTunes trailer and included the purchase link. Monster also mentioned the release on their Twitter page, reaching 160,000 additional followers. GoPro, maker of the helmet cameras that help capture unforgettable action sports moments, also supported the film by posting the trailer on their Facebook page to 1 million fans. They were big sponsors of the film and particularly promoted it to Xbox fans.
We also got the Moto 3 team involved: Key athletes tweeted about the film, and as a pre-release special, we got the producers to cut 50 second iTunes trailers encouraging viewers to check it out.
Moto 3: The Movie reached:
#2 iTunes Documentary
#5 iTunes Sports Movie Page
400,000 collective views of the trailer
It was available on more platforms than any other Action Sports film before it, including 33 countries on iTunes, Xbox/Zune, Playstation, VUDU and Android.