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The right (and wrong way) to distribute preview content


Every time a big TV or film awards show rolls around, studios, networks and production companies spend thousands of dollars sending out their shows to voters and judges on DVD. This old-fashioned approach might seem strange in an age of streaming services and instant-access YouTube videos but, despite significant advances in online technology, that’s the way it’s always been done.

“I think the whole thing is preposterous and the process is long past its time to be updated,” awards consultant and veteran PR exec Richard Licata told IndieWire. “There have to be other creative alternatives to getting product in front of voters so that they don’t feel they are drowning.” - read the full article at IndieWire

The wrong way

Using physical media like DVD or Blu-Ray to distribute commercial content has some serious flaws. Such ‘screeners’ often end up on illegal file sharing sites, having been lost, stolen or shared without the consent of the content owner. After all, there’s no way to secure a disc or track what happens to it once it enters the postal system.

Because of these vulnerabilities, pirates actively search for screeners, typically a few months before a major awards ceremony. As Licata says above: “There have to be other creative alternatives to getting product in front of voters,” especially as we now live in an age of secure streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The right way

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Video Management and Distribution systems allow controlled access to your content with high-quality streaming. We’re not talking third-party streaming sites like YouTube here: they can be equally unsecure, will likely overlay other content from different sources over your content and offer up ads while it plays.

Instead, it is far better to use a platform you have complete control over, one that offers built-in security, watermarking, user authentication, viewer and usage statistics, not to mention the ability to add your own branding.

Ultimately, the fewer barriers there are between people accessing and viewing the content, the more likely they are to engage with that content and become immersed in it, without distractions or annoyances.

Playlists, notes and fairness

There are other advantages to using a Video Management and Distribution system to share preview content for awards. For example, you can create a playlist or curate a collection of content, so that all episodes of a show are easily available from one location. You can also add associated materials and notes next to the video content to aid with the judging, easily accessible from the same view.

What's more, if all the different content for judging is being hosted on the same platform, this ensures all the judges have an identical viewing experience for each bit of content. You will also know who has viewed the content and who hasn't, something that is particularly important if you have set a limited amount of time for the content to be viewable for added security purposes.

And the winner is…

Judges for awards tend to be chosen because they are at the top of their game. This usually means they are busy people. Clearly if they have a well-organised, professional looking and convenient way to access submissions, the more likely they are to engage with that content.

This strategy shouldn’t just be confined to awards. When it comes to sharing premium content, for awards or for general preview or review purposes, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. DVDs, USB sticks and hard drives are all insecure and outdated methods, impossible to police. A Video Management and Distribution platform like Imagen v7 offers a more professional, convenient, controllable, secure and branded experience.

You be the judge.

You can find out more about the advantages of using a Video Management and Distribution system by downloading our white paper entitled: "The Future of Premium Video Distribution" below.

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