We continue our Case Study of Choppertown, the indie documentary producer that evolved into a model mini-network for the Facebook Era.
- Here is the link to Part 1 of 3 including Choppertown’s history and the sizzler.
- And a link to my 16-minute podcast audio conversation with Zack Coffman.
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.
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 Choppertown.com 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.
- 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.
- Here is the Harley presser.
Original Analysis for Documentary Producers & Executives
Opportunities, Success Factors & Deal Terms
for Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Vimeo and other OTT/VOD Platforms
From DocumentaryTelevision.com with
contributions from distributor Kinonation’s Roger Jackson
Read More Here.
Download Now: $39.95
- SMASH, Science Media Summit, Boston, September 20-26: Big, Big Trends
- Wildscreen, Bristol UK, October 10-14: WildLIVE!
- WIVF’s ScriptDC, Washington DC, November 5: Distribution Landscape
- Realscreen Summit Master Class, Washington DC, January 23: Production Budgeting with Elizabeth Ventura, the ‘budget whisperer’.
- AIDC, Melbourne, March 5-8