EggUP: A DIY Indie Film Distribution Platform

“Who cares if you get… 20k followers on Twitter if you’re not able to generate income from it?” This is the question posed by Chris Lucero, Head of Marketing and User Design at EggUp (who also has the horrid luck of having to work from Hawaii). We talked about surfing contests, the best place in Honolulu to get poke, online film distribution and how EggUP can help filmmakers make money from their films, leveraging people’s nature to share good stuff. I’ll spare you the first 2 bits of conversation though and give you a peek into this unique method of film distribution.

BTBO: What inspired the start up of EggUP? Why the emphasis on independent film making?
Chris: Why is it the current traditional distribution methods are not working and leaving majority of indie filmmakers frustrated and in debt.
While there is a huge consumer demand for indie films why isn’t it being monetized to the fullest? On top of that who cares if you get a million hits on YouTube or HULU, 5k friends on Facebook and 20k followers on Twitter if you’re not able to generate income from it?

Digital Distribution

BTBO: How is EggUP doing? How many Egg downloads have there been so far?
Chris: We just launched to the public and at the moment are gathering content. But We’ve been getting about 10-50 Egg downloads per day per Film. It’ll start growing dramatically in the next 3 months with new partnerships and exposure.

BTBO: Is an Egg essentially an archive file comparable to TAR or ZIP?
Chris: No, The Egg is an encrypted file that includes the full length movie and bonus materials such as image, content and audio.

BTBO: Is any special software required for a consumer to view the movie in an Egg?
Chris: Yes as a 1st time consumer you will need to install the Egg player

BTBO: What are the different ways Egg’s content can be monetized? Do you have any success stories you’d like to share?
Chris: Consumers are able to purchase by:
1. Selling digital downloads directly on filmmakers website
2. Embed your digital downloads and sell into other 3rd party sites and blogs
3. Viewers are able to purchase through our consumer site goeggit.com
4. Viewers are able to search and purchase though our Egg player
5. Viewers sharing the Egg with others while you are able to generate revenue per purchase. By IM, Skype, Email, P2P, thumb drive etc.
6. Sell on Iphone
7. Sell on IPad
8. Sell on Android

(At the moment I’m building a case study with one of the Eggs. Once completed I can give you the pdf.) It should be completed Oct.1

BTBO: Does EggUP help promote the Eggs at all? If so, in what way?
Chris: Yes we do!
1. There is a consumer site called goeggit.com with specific marketing strategies to target audience globally. We are in the process of converting it into various language such as Spanish and Mandarin.

Online Film Distribution
2.  Also we are working with youtube viral sensations to build marketing campaigns promoting the movie trailers to get consumers to purchase particular Eggs.
3. During our presentations or seminars we like to do case studies of existing films utilizing the Eggs.
4. Of course facebook integration
5. The filmmakers themselves are able to embed “Download & Purchase” button onto their site and other 3rd party sites such as blogs.
6. We are teaming up with aggregators and film festivals to help cross promote Eggs.
7. More to come!

BTBO: Given current privacy concerns, how do you delete content from someone’s computer? Do you mean you disable playback or do you actually delete files?
Chris: If a filmmaker deletes an Egg there are 2 things that will happen.
1. Consumers who rent: If consumer rents for 2 days on the 3rd day it will state “I’m sorry but Movie Egg is no longer available”.
2. Consumers who purchase: They will still have the content since they did a full purchase outright.

BTBO: What are some of the top concerns you have heard from filmmakers regarding online film distribution and how (if it all) do you allay those fears?
Chris: Alot of the online film distribution does not have drm or is really weak so it’s easy for a average consumer to pirate their content. By using our app it encrypts the full movie to prevent piracy. If a paid consumer puts the Egg into a P2P such as bittorrent or pirate bay the other consumers will have to download the Egg and when they open it they would still need to purchase.

Other platforms charge $200 – $5000 set up fee and 20%-40% transactional fee. We don’t charge any set up fee and only charge $1.25 per transaction no matter if charge your consumers $1000 we only take $1.25.

Other platforms focus on streaming and their quality is usually 480p and depending on bandwidth and traffic the user experience will end up with jerkiness and pixelation. Since our Egg player is a digital download it supports 720p-1080p with no pixelation and jerkiness since we don’t rely on bandwidth after it’s done downloading. Meaning the consumer is able to watch the film with no internet.

Control: Other platforms such as ITunes you would need a middleman to work with. So if you have a simple typo or want to edit something it could take weeks meaning lost marketing momentum and income. WIth our application you can just login and edit in real time. This allows for  flexible marketing strategy when analyzing data.

BTBO: Do you have any advice for filmmakers on how to price their films for distribution online?
Chris: Don’t price your content like everyone else. Build it’s own individual value like how they do for fashion. A shirt can cost $5 – $200 same fabric and quality design but it’s how its marketed and positioned in the consumer’s eyes. Why can’t we do that for film?

BTBO: From what you have been able to tell, is there a particular kind of film that tends to be more successful than others online (genre, etc.)?
Chris: Yes, films that have a niche market globally and their audience being a bit internet and social media savvy really helps getting the word out virally.

BTBO: What are your thoughts on digital film distribution in general and this new world or “wild West” for media makers?
Chris: When there is chaos there’s a million opportunities to profit creatively.

BTBO: What is the future for EggUP?
Chris: At the moment I’m focused on the present (3months at a time) and take it as a journey because forecasting for the next couple of years is only a guess. If the market turns our team is flexible and effective enough to change by being modular.