1). Supplier Marketing – The majority of the titles being offered on the Myflix platform are otherwise not available on any other streaming site. This is why many of our producer-supplier partners feel that their own outreach efforts will be useful in promoting specific title availabilities. Upon activation onto Myflix, we believe that many of the producers will want to assist with consumer outreach to notify contacts and colleagues of their titles' availability. We will encourage posting of title-specific news by producers onto FaceBook / Instagram and Twitter campaigns. How many of these targeted "friends of producers" will respond and choose to see the film on MyFlix? How many might sign-up for a trial (one-month) subscription? It’s impossible to know… however, we view these sorts of producer outreach campaigns as being mutually beneficial (to the producer and to Myflix), but coming at virtually no cost to Myflix. We believe that most producers will be motivated to post their title’s availability onto social media and to reach out to dozens (if not hundreds or thousands) of interested friends and colleagues.
2). Entertainment “Taste-Maker” Marketing – Myflix is in possession of the current and direct contact list of the top 350 Newspaper & Broadcast Film Reviewers in the USA, including the New York Film Critics Circle the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics and many more. Myflix intends to offer these important taste-makers a free one-month trial subscription and access to the site… in support of considering our request for a mention / write-up in their publications or media outlets. Myflix feels that the site’s unique service of offering thousands of movies otherwise not available to stream merits an entertainment story write-up and that this coverage should collectively result in many millions of consumer impressions.
3). Targeted Social Media Marketing – In 2017, Warner Brothers Archives and Digital Services decided to consolidate their catalogues under Turner Classic Movies and Criterion Collection onto a single site, FilmStruck (launched in Oct., 2017). The marketing of FilmStruck was focused “almost entirely” through Targeted Social Media (although Warners would not reveal to Ad Week if there were additional paid placements or in-kind promotions on Warner-Brothers related websites or media). Warners is also not formally announcing how many subscribers it ultimately obtained for FilmStruck. But they shuttered the venture in November, 2018 due to a poor performance of subscribers vs. the costs to promote the site. An analysis of what happend with FilmStruck validates the business plan for MyFlix in several ways: it shows that Targeted Social Media Marketing can be a tremendous tool towards building subscribers and traffic... but only as PART of a multi-faceted consumer outreach campaign. The FilmStruck demise also shows that streaming portals that are OVERLY SPECIFIC to one category will struggle to compete against site with higher profile titles (or, in the case of MyFlix, sites with HUGE programming options spanning a variety of genres and entertainment product categories). MyFlix can use Social Media in a very targeted manner, focusing on users that have specifically indicated interest in independent films... or which have been tracked via web use or cookies from having previously visited major film sites.
A reasonable “comp” digital streaming venture for Myflix to measure against is the RLJ-Owned ACCORN MEDIA / ACCORN TV. This streaming site consists of approximately 1,200 “British TV” related properties (many from the BBC and Channel 4, and many that appear on PBS), plus approx. 2,000 independent films, including about 300 titles under the Urban Genre’ category. As a publicly-traded company, RLJ releases its statistics on subscribers, and recently announced via Reuters that it had over 700,000 monthly subscribers (paying on average $8.99 per month).
In late 2018, Discovery Channel founder John Henricks began an aggressive marketing push for his Science / Documentary streaming venture, entitled CURIOSITY STREAM. This specialty streaming channel offers approx. 1,800 programs to its members, with a monthly access fee of $2.99 (Standard Definition) and $9.95 (4-k definition, where available). Despite the limited quantity of programs (and the specific nature), industry estimates place the total count of monthly subscribers for CuriosityStream at 1.5-million, which suggests a current monthly gross of $4.4-million and about $54-mm per year based solely on the “standard” definition subscription model. It's too soon to evaluate if the super-specific genre' model of Curiosity Stream is a good concept... or one headed in the direction of FilmStruck. Regardless, MyFlix plans to offer hundreds of documentaries and science-appeal programming from the libriaries of existing supplier partners to the venture.
4). Viral Video Outreach Campaign – One of the more cost-effective ways to generate consumer awareness, interest and buzz is through the creation and promotion of a VIDEO that might spark into a Viral sensation. Although there are many examples of how “viral” videos have kick-started ventures and sales, one of the more memorable successes recently has been the launch of the “Squatty Potty,” via a low-cost video placed onto YouTube – which subsequently went viral, and reached over 50-million views (via YouTube, Broadcast shares and other sites combined).
Myflix has developed three (3) concepts for promotional videos to support the launch of the site:
a). The Straight-Forward Informational Video – what is Myflix, how it works, how to sign up, etc…
b). The 1984 Programming Revolt – A parody video, inspired both by the Orwell novel and the infamous Apple Superbowl commercial… in which Myflix consumers revolt against being “programmed” by the big, evil media titans – limited on what they are allowed to see – and instead demanding the freedom to “Watch What you Want, When you Want it” with Myflix. If this video is produced well, with a balance of ironic wit and logic, we think it could spark viral sharing. After all, Netflix “programmers” make the decision as to what their subscribers will be allowed to see… how does that fit into the ME-Generation?
c). The Film Aficionados Video – Again, portraying unnamed “other” streaming sites as either being too limited in scope or too specialized in programs offered, the Film Aficionados video will show some sophisticated (yet accessible Hipster-generation) viewers scanning through the offerings of an unnamed site (think, but don’t SAY Netflix), saying “seen it, seen it, seen it, seen it….” and asking “I’ve already seen all these titles, where can we go to see the broadest possible selection of films and television?” Again, if properly executed, the Film Aficionados YouTube video will be a super-inexpensive, and potentially very cost-efficient way to build awareness and traffic for Myflix.
5). Web Banner Barter Placements – Myflix has initiated discussions with key film and entertainment sites to do “barter placements” of hot-link banner ads. E.G., the Myflix site will have a small ad for IMDB reading something like “Everything you want to know about almost every movie ever made, visit IMDB.com” – and quid pro quo, the IMDB site would have an equally sized ad for Myflix reading something like “Stream popular hits, indie favorites and thousands of movies not available on any other site at Myflix.com.” The company has made barter ad agreements with twelve major entertainment sites.
6). Additional “Paid” Internet Ads – There are cost-effective ways to reach the most accessible portion of the Myflix target market of film lovers, and consumers of indie films, most notably, through THR.com (The Hollywood Reporter) and Variety – the two top “trade” industry publications and websites. Paid banner ads for Myflix on these two sites will benefit the company not only by reaching a specific, target market of movie consumers, but also by legitimizing the site within the industry and to potential program suppliers, including the some of the other major studios (that have adopted a “wait and see” position on the launch of Myflix). A banner ad on the home page of the Hollywood Reporter costs only $2,500 but can make over 1.5-million VERY TARGETED impressions. Variety is equally competitive in cost per thousand. Myflix plans to include these PAID banner placements on the same week as site launch (July 27) – and at the same time that the YouTube videos are released, the Barter Banners are placed, and the traditional P.R. outreach is implemented.
7). Traditional Publicity / PR Outreach Campaign – Last, but not least, Myflix feels that the company’s unique position as a new streaming portal is newsworthy at all major levels: National Cable News, National Entertainment News, National Talk Shows, Entertainment publications and websites, personality publications – and of course, the wire services, newspapers, television and radio. The Myflix launch will include a pitch for CEO Eric Parkinson to appear on talk and news programs to discuss the evolving market for home entertainment – and as available, some CELEBRITY guests from featured programming may be available to also attend.
Parkinson’s unique background in home entertainment started with his first # 1 hit in 1984 – a video highlights of the 1984 Summer Olympics, produced in partnership with ABC Sports. Parkinson has released over 1,200 titles to home video, including 137 Gold or Platinum Hits and 8 titles hitting the #1 best-seller status on the Billboard Video Charts. He is an articulate interview guest and is uniquely qualified to discuss the evolution of the Home Video experience into the digital arena… and how Myflix is ideally positioned to meet this changing marketplace.
The seven-tiered marketing approach is designed to deliver for Myflix the MAXIMUM number of consumer impressions at the lowest possible cost to the venture. Myflix managers feel that these approaches will be both more affordable and more effective than a campaign based on paid-advertising.