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Independent, Commercial Video E-Commerce Portal?

Discussion in 'The Business Side' started by {VJPortal}, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    I notice Vimeo refuses to host commercial sales of artist-posted content. Nothing wrong with that, as it's an excellent collaboration space and well-fills its mandate. However, I'm looking for an independently-run commercial online video sales Internet portal where customers can browse through a large, aggregated library of content from multiple producers and purchase the $h*t they like, just like iTunes.

    The problem for me is that I have no intention of letting Apple take 30% of my content sales revenue when I won't have nearly the sales volume (nor bandwidth demand of iTunes) to cover that type of ratio. I also can't stand that Apple only really supports the sale of Apple-preferred video formats (e.g. MP4).

    Are there any commercial online video sales portals that you use, and/or can recommend? Much appreciated!
  2. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    Also, would anyone happen to know if Beatport plans to expand its service offering to include commercial video for sale?
  3. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    ??? what kind of videos do you want to sell (buy?)

    VJloops.tv, VJVault.com, Istock, promo-only, mixmash.com etc etc etc

    there are no shortage of online video outlets. The real question is how many end consumers would ever pay for content in the current youtube dominated climate?
  4. Kyle

    Kyle "Hello my VJ friend"

  5. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    VJVault.com sounds like the closest thing I'm looking for, but I'd rather be on a portal that also offers MP3-only music options (i.e. a "Beatport with a video section"). It needs to be a portal with a brand consumers understand is intended to sell them finished music-video performance content. VJLoops.tv doesn't seem to work that well in that respect. By brand, they sell to us. :)

    YouTube has a reputation for being all over the place, and unprofessional in content as well as production quality (e.g. res specs). You can't download the content locally from YouTube without techy workarounds (not consumer-friendly). People are buying TV shows and movies on iTunes, so I believe the business model can work. Having some neat music-video content on your iPod Touch as you transit in to work has some compelling attributes attached to it, I think.

    The keys are local downloads ("I bought it, I own it") and a reputation for quality, IMHO.
  6. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    Sites with "stock media" in the branding aren't what I'm looking for either (but they have a role for us!!).
  7. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    do you really think people will buy music videos?

    iTunes already sells music video - it is not very popular.

    People simply don't want to buy music videos for their personal consumption. If they like MTV they watch MTV. If they don't (and most people don't) then why would they spend $2 or whatever on a downloaded music video.

    If the combined forces of the major labels and iTunes cannot create a market for music videos i'd say that nobody can.
  8. devonmiles

    devonmiles Midi: the language of God

    yeah, music videos are more of a promotional tool for musicians and its next to impossible to comunicate why people should pay for something, when they can watch the same thing on youtube for free. its a highly disposable cosumer good with a very limited lifespan. you might be able to sell a DVD collection like the Cannes role or the "best of Chris Cunninghams Music vids" but scarcely the latest Tiesto or Ferry Corsten Rave visuals.
    we had indepth talks with a couple of major Record Labels and production companies and at the end we all agreed that its not worth the effort, best result would have been burning Investors venture capital ( which I wouldnt hesitate a second to do, but thats another point...) :Smoking:

    ( btw, did someone else notices that the apple keyboards are exceptional low quality? the amount of typing errors has gone up,since I used them on all my macs, so please fogive that)
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  9. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj


    Did you guys talk to Beatport to gather their opinion from the portal / distribution side? I think our target market is a different audience than the typical Lady Gaga or Ke$ha fan, and might go for track-by-track $2.99 downloads. Everyone knows YouTube is crap-quality, particularly output-res wise, and like I said, it doesn't support regular local downloads.

    It sounds like I should contact Forward Motion Theater to see how happy they've been with the sales of their "Eyewash" series of DVDs (especially the 3rd one, which seems very professionally produced).
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  10. SteveG

    SteveG Downstairs for Dancing

    Beatport were not interested 4 years ago and there not interested now. It has been tried by several companies too other than beatport and failed. Listen to Devon. Yes you can sell track specific videos to DJ's and labels for promotional purposes. I have a few tracks available on iTunes through a DJ as free downloads. There is no market.

    The DVD market has dropped dramatically and if you wish to try your best bet is the commercial party and wedding DJ outlet. They are the guys using the DVJ's and SVM's to mix music video, not the underground club market...and believe me quite a few of us tried quite hard.

    Do you have any video to view VJPortal?
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  11. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    So Beatport has a business model on $1.99 WAVs, but no business model at $2.49 or $2.99 MP4s? I'm really struggling to take this at face-value. Maybe I'll need to contact them directly to hear their story.

    On my front, I'm a few months away from having specific content I'd like to sell commercially on a targeted basis. But I'm big on long-term planning, so that's why I'm inquiring now in order to gather the necessary info.

    BTW - I can believe the DVDs are in decline. Too expensive for stuff you may not want, and a consumer can't easily slot it onto their iPhone.
  12. SteveG

    SteveG Downstairs for Dancing

    You should maybe think of becoming a politician portal....they can't learn from history or more experienced people either:) Waste a day or 3 trying to convince beatport there's a market. Think of your own production expenses. The expense that beatport would face too. I think you've been sent here by a top secret production company to keep all us VJ's speaking on the forum whilst they grab all the business :D
  13. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    Making a good music video costs thousands of pounds. Even going ultra budget your talking about a grand just to pay for basic equipment and production expenses, this is without the producers really making any profit from it.

    Music videos are loss leaders produced by record labels who need something to show on MTV (or youtube more to the point these days). Labels have a relationship with youtube that allows them to provide either direct revenue from iTunes (mp3) purchases from youtube embedded links, or from embedded advertising.

    Either way the video is there to promote the song - it is not a product in its own right. People want to listen to the song on the bus, not pull out their expensive mobile phone to watch a 3min video before they have to make a choice about what to listen to (watch) next.

    Underground music is even less likely to appeal in the video format. Most underground producers have a hard enough time covering the expense of making music from sales, adding a large extra expense in the form of music video production costs is unlikely to be good for their bottom line...
  14. devonmiles

    devonmiles Midi: the language of God

    we were invited by Sony BMG to do a presentation at their internal round table to discuss the potential of selling av content derived from the up and coming talent as well as the top 100 artists. basically everybody with influence in the distribution and marketing area was there. highly knowledgeable managers and analysts. very postive vibe and strong interest in visuals but the hard facts presented by the leading research team just made it obvious that it would have been a big waste of time and money to launch a dedidacted professional and international working channel for electronic dance music related av content.
  15. Pixelseed

    Pixelseed New Member

    I have been looking into collaborating with a dj, band or solo musician, similar to a "Frank Sent Us" group. As I read the statements, it looks like the video guy turns into a dead weight of expenses. Are you saying that for a underground visual artist (or vj), it's next to impossible to generate a viable product or living beyond the live performance? I am just trying to understand.
  16. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    For an underground AUDIO artist it is next to impossible to match the fees you get from playing live with income from music sales.

    Beatport pay labels 60% of their sale price = $1.20 per sale. The actual artist themselves is probably getting 50% of that so $0.60 per sale. Thus if they sell 10,000 downloads of a track they will make $6000. If they play 10x gigs at 1000 capacity night clubs they will probably be able to charge $1000 - $2000 per gig. Thus live shows make significantly more money than selling downloads.

    If your genuinely collaborating with someone and sell your show as a full live audiovisual experience then you might get some decent bookings and might make a bit of money from it. But it will be easier to make money from other methods...

    I'm pretty certain that "Frank Sent Us" are not making very much money with their band. But if you think making money is the point of being in a band then you should stop right now and go and get another job. I would suggest that the Oil Industry can provide you with a better income than the music industry!...
  17. Pixelseed

    Pixelseed New Member

    Thanks Tom. I was trying understand the statements from a promoter or label's point of view. Do they see the vj or visual artist as being is dead weight beyond the live performance? As in they avoid video acts due to perceived negative ROI.

    I am not going into this as a money maker at all. I have that area of my life taken care of. I am looking at getting into a "band" as a creative outlet first and foremost. After reading the posts, I was worried about resistance. Hard enough to find musicians to join in. The post just struck a note so I was looking for clarification.
  18. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    My 9-5 is in the oil and gas industry, so I can 100% validate sleepytom's opinion on where the $ is at. :D


    Do you think it's possible Sony BMG was conducting its analysis at an inappropriate scale compared with what is realistic? I don't see Beatport's market analysis and Sony's to be the same point-to-point in terms of acceptability of could work, or not work, just because of the size of markets that need to be respectively involved.


    I'm curious: From what you witness, why are underground audio artists, in this age of high-bandwidth Internet, working with "record labels" who are taking such high-ratios of their Beatport sales cuts?

    On my video stuff, I have no intention of ever outsourcing the role of my studio entity. I just don't see how in this new era of social networking-first, conventional media-second how a label could add so much value in order to deserve to take 50% of my content sales cut.
  19. vjair

    vjair Making Shapes

    beatport is the biggest online dancemusic specific retailer - you dont get to barter with them about thier percentage. the choice is pay the rate or dont sell in the biggest store.

    the majority of our sales come from there ( i have run a breakbeat based label with a friend for over 2 years) if we didnt sell at beatport, then we would recieve far less income.
  20. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    I wasn't referring to Beatport. Their charges do have a value proposition behind them: the provision of their portal and content aggregation.

    I'm referring to these "record labels" which seem to me to be near useless middlemen between the artist and the content retailer / aggregator.
  21. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    If your signed to a traditional record label you might be lucky to get 5% of sales.
    if you on a net label (i'm guessing here) then 50% might be possible.
    If as an artist you deal with beatport direct then you effectively running your own net label, this would give you a bigger slice of the pie but would mean that you had to do all your own promo and organise every aspect of your live performances (from getting booked to arranging travel + hotels) if your popular enough to sell any serious level of units on beatport then you will be too busy making music to be doing all the other stuff too. This is why you'll give away a big percentage of your income to labels and distributors.
  22. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    I get ya: if the demands on you scale up, you need to scale up secondary resources.

    sleepytom, does Beatport really take 40% of content sales revenues?? That's more than the ridiculous ratio Apple iTunes charges (30%).
  23. PCProject

    PCProject Moderator

    I believe istock are currently taking 60%.
    VJ Loops take 40% and if you go check the artists selling loops via Kyle you will see many of us here do and we are happy with the deal.
    If you want us to take you seriously it would help if you did your research before we had to put you straight on matters.
  24. Kyle

    Kyle "Hello my VJ friend"

    I do 50% for exclusivity and 40% for non-exclusive but tbh I just do 50% because I can't be bothered to police it. I don't require artists to be exclusive but I ask as a favor. Reason why I was doing that is because there are other "VJ Loops" sites that would sell the same content and I felt that took away from the originality.
  25. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    Sorry, guys, what I'm talking about is not the same thing, branding-wise, as what VJLoops is doing. If people think 30-40% cuts of their content to their reseller is a fair deal, more power to them. I'd rather run my own site than go with that type of relationship. For example, I know some underground music artists, such as Astral Projection, sell their own content through e-stores managed through their own site.

    I think 10-20% is fair. 25+% to the portal / aggregator is too much.
  26. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    you have absolutely no idea what your talking about...

    why spend a whole chunk of cash setting up an e-store when you can get more sales from Beatport. It makes no sense, if it did Beatport would not exist.

    If you sell on Beatport you make more money than if you don't sell on Beatport.
  27. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    At a 40+% cut to the content aggregator, I would need to sell 20-30% more through them than through my own e-store to match up similarly. Also, Beatport has no brand history with the consumer (yet) of proving a deep A/V content seller with an extensive catalogue.

    E-stores aren't as difficult or costly to get up and running any more, and my own can be branded, managed, as well as designed in the mode of my choosing. Every artist is just a conventional Web search away if they've indexed the meta tags on their site properly.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
  28. sleepytom

    sleepytom VJF Admin

    so you not only know nothing about music marketing, but also nothing about web development, SEO or site traffic generation.

    oh dear...
  29. dubassy

    dubassy televison ate my brain

    istock actually take 83% each sale (for me based on my non-exclusivity with them and current level)... its pretty disgraceful, yet at the same time, each month they are one of my highest earners.... so not really much to do about that then!.... a small share of the BIG pie!
  30. {VJPortal}

    {VJPortal} mr. hardware vj

    Usually when the Know-it-Alls tell you "you don't know anything", you just might be on to something (this is how innovation takes place). One thing is for sure in the age of high-bandwidth Internet: content is king, not distribution, and I think all artists should be acting that way.

    I'll take this convo off-site here for now and talk to some other media people over the next number of weeks. I'll share what I learn back here once a trend emerges.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011

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