Jamie @ Power to The Pixel

Programme, Day 2 23 October 2008
WORKSHOPS & PROJECT FORUM LAUNCH at The Royal Society for Arts

15:00 – 15:50
13. ADVENTURES IN MOBILE DISTRIBUTION

LIZ ROSENTHAL, Director, Power to the Pixel (Session Moderator)

After years of expectation, mobile media is about to boom, bringing personalised on-demand content straight to your hand. A combination of technological breakthrough and new business models are leading to faster and more affordable downloads and a richer variety of made-for-mobile content. The Direct-to-consumer (D2C) content market is beginning to compete with operator portals to deliver better deals for content makers and users. In this session, leading experts in mobile video and film distribution will explain how to use mobile to distribute your projects, discuss if there is the potential for significant revenue streams and explain the best way to reach consumers directly.

RICHARD MORRIS, Director of Video & TV, Player X
JAMIE DENHAM, Managing Director, Sliced Bread Animation
ANDRE BURGESS, Managing Director, Crucible Media

On Thursday I have been invited to take part in a discussion about the ‘adventures in mobile distribution’, after a last minute cancellation. Some may ask why we have been invited as an ‘expert’ in this area where we can’t demonstrate ‘phenomenal’ success. The perspective is that since 2004 we have gone through many routes in order to try and get our mobile content ‘out there’. We have experienced several dead-ends over the years and they have mainly been distributors offering ‘exceptional deals’ (or so they think) with little or no return. For them there is little or no risk. In 2004 we were shown an angle in mobile distribution and was told it was ‘no-brainer’ right across the chain. We were told that revenues would exceed £250,000.00 in the first year, that was base on just one property, we had 2 more planned . . . this was it, rich beyond our wildest dreams! Sadly the reality was far from it, to date from that one product, we have generated £28.00 and not seen a penny of it.

Of the distributors we have meet, none have shown any realisation of the costs that go into production, their line is usually a biased revenue share (in there favour) and exclusive rights. We walked away from a deal with MTV because, despite being offered access to their ‘supposed’ large mobile audience, the numbers just didn’t add up and we would never have ‘broken even’ on the cost of production alone . . . to MTV it was a zero-risk partnership. Any distributor will tell you they need/ want content, only to find that it goes into a large vat of other unmarketed/ unsold work . . . the ultimate question is how will yours reach its ‘real’ audience?

I’m going in to fly the flag for creative ‘content creators’ looking for a fair share of the deal, and to also open up the discussion on other avenues in mobile distribution – do we really need the distributors?

So what do I see as the positive turnaround in this adventure? I’ll blog back after the event and let you know . . .tbc.