Choppertown Rides Facebook Video to Earn Multiple Revenue Streams (2 of 3)

We continue our Case Study of Choppertown, the indie documentary producer that evolved into a model mini-network for the Facebook Era.


Hybrid Revenue Streams

In 2016, Choppertown evolved into a Facebook Video channel.

The business model is now a hybrid operation that combines multiple revenue streams:

  • Sponsorship by 3rd parties of  Choppertown’s FB platform and content
  • Branded activations
  • LIVE Facebook streams
  • A planned new premium SVOD service
  • Sales of owned and acquired productions via Direct-To-Own downloads (DTO) and DVD
  • Commissioned productions
  • Expanding IP ownership
  • International content development

Coffman also launched a boutique digital agency partnering with other media companies and prodco’s to plan and execute the “Choppertown treatment” for their brands.

ct data

A snapshot of Choppertown’s FB engagement

The Facebook ‘Channel’ Tail Wags the Dog of Production/Sales 

  • “Advertisers and brands began to contact us as if we were a mini-network, and they were asking to include sponsored content, including brand placement and editorial feature activations.”
  • “We realized that Choppertown had evolved into a legitimate ‘Facebook channel’ reaching millions of homes and a specific demo.”
  • By early-2016, Choppertown launched a CPM-based Facebook network sales effort targeting potential clients.
  • By mid-2016, activated clients have included Sailor Jerry, S&S Cycle, Smithsonian Channel, and Starz.

Brand Activation: Sailor Jerry Rum

  • An ‘activation’ is a paid campaign containing a combination of content produced BY a brand and/or content produced FOR a brand and released through social channels over a specified time period.
  • “An example is our recent work with Sailor Jerry Rum that followed several chopper builders on a ride across England and Wales.
  • “The activation was supported by brand-produced content posted to our channels as well as live programming featuring all the builders at various stages on the ride.
  • “Thus far the activated assets have achieved over 400,000 views on Facebook, with approx. 50,000 likes, 3,000 comments, and 6,000 shares.”


  • LIVE streaming on Facebook emerges as most cost-effective way to reach mass audience.
  • A typical 20-minute sponsored broadcast can reach 500-750,000+ and generate thousands of comments and shares.
  • Choppertown now has multiple Live sponsored broadcasts per week, reaching 5-10 million followers weekly.

Facebook Blasts Choppertown to a New Level
A Podcast Interview with Zack Coffman
(August 16, 2016)

Click here, or copy the following URL into your browser:


  • Choppertown expanded its global productions, content sourcing and brand partnerships.

SVOD: Subscription Service

  • Zack is planning a $9.99 / month subscription service
  • Subscribers will access 10 curated films / month on a rotating basis and have access to additional “club member” add-ons/incentives
  • Puts pressure on to produce and acquire more films
  • Waiting for test results in Fall 2016


  • Download-to-Own sales continue, though growth flat-lined in Q1 2016.
  • Increased Facebook advertising reinvigorated new customer acquisition for DTOs in Q2.


Vimeo: 3rd Party Funding of Productions

  • In a breakthrough, Vimeo is fully funding the 4-part Choppertown Nation series aimed at DTO, currently in pre-Production.
  • “Our friend [Scott Bedno, Voltage] told them about the size of our FB audience and Vimeo’s Sam Toles called with a nice offer.”
  • Release slated for spring 2017.
  • Vimeo has limited rights for its DTO and upcoming SVOD platform.
  • Other commissioned productions are in discussion.

Boutique Agency

  • The Choppertown team now create DTO/SVOD websites and managing digital social for clients/partners
  • Examples are OmniFilm (Ice Pilots) and Ian Cross’s Pilot/555 Productions, whose excellent PBS Globe Trekker series we covered in a unique Case Study.

Discovery’s Harley & the Davidsons

  • Choppertown collaborated on the promotion of Discovery’s chopper-themed three night event series.
  • Here is a snapshot of the campaign.

chopper discovery


Original Analysis for Documentary Producers & Executives


Opportunities, Success Factors & Deal Terms
for Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Vimeo and other OTT/VOD Platforms
From with
contributions from distributor Kinonation’s Roger Jackson
Read More Here.
Download Now: $39.95


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