Spotlight on Indie Film Platform FilmDoo
by Orly Ravid.
I was introduced to indie film platform FilmDoo.com and decided to share it with you all here by asking FilmDoo some questions. I spoke to Weerada Sucharitkul, CEO & Co-Founder and most of what is below are Weerada’s own words in response to my questions.
What is FilmDoo’s Mission?
We help people to discover and watch great films from around the world, including documentaries and shorts. Essentially, we help people discover non-Hollywood films, which include independent films from the US and UK, as well as mainstream blockbuster films from China and Japan, for example. We not only help people to discover films but languages and regions, and are very much a ‘TripAdvisor for Films.’ On FilmDoo, you can discover films from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, many of which we are the first to show internationally outside of film festivals. Furthermore, we also have a very engaged global film community (users can have an active social profile and leave reviews, comments as well as engage with other community members) and are an extensive international film database source, which is increasingly becoming an alternative to IMDB for foreign language films. As such, we are not only a VOD platform, we are more than that—a global database of foreign films as well as rapidly growing international community of film fans.
How does the platform work? What is FilmDoo’s Business Model?
FilmDoo’s current model is TVOD (pay-per-view) for feature films on the main FilmDoo site. We are a global online streaming platform and have the ability to sell and show films anywhere in the world. We are at over 500,000 visitors a month, with users from 194 countries. As we are increasingly getting a lot of traffic from emerging countries (e.g. Indonesia is now our second biggest traffic country, and countries like Turkey, India, Malaysia and Philippines make our Top 10 list), we are now looking at more ways to further monetize from these parts of the world and could be looking to do an AVOD model in these countries in the near future. We are able to geo-block for any country combination, and only require one month notice from filmmakers or content owners if they would like to change the geo-block country combination. We are able to accept transactions in UK Pound, US Dollar, Australian Dollar and Euro, as well as Paypal and AliPay (for Chinese-based users).
Which types of films do best on your platform?
Search ’gay movies’ and ’lesbian movies,’ and you will see we rank very high on Google from a SEO perspective. At the moment, their best selling category is LGBT films. FilmDoo claims to already have one of the biggest LGBT online film collections in the world. In terms of typical demographics, the audience base is a lot younger than typical ‘world cinema’ audience. They tend to be globally mobile, active on social media, speak many languages and/or learning languages, and come from an international or expatriate background (such as second generation French or Italian). Human rights documentaries have also tended to do well. As such, we see strong appeal for films that fit our current demographics: average age 22-39, young, learning languages, loves travelling and enjoys watching coming-of-age movies, first love movies, thriller movies, road movies, LGBT movies and human rights and social issues.
Where do most of your consumers live? Explain which countries.
Our current Top 10 countries by traffic, in order, include: 1. US, 2. Indonesia, 3. Turkey, 4. UK, 5. Turkey, 6. Malaysia, 7. Philippines, 8. Egypt, 9. Germany, and 10. Saudi Arabia. However, in terms of sales, our top selling countries include: US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands and India. As you can appreciate, given the global nature of our traffic, for many in emerging countries in Asia and Africa, for example, the current TVOD price point is either too high for them, they do not have credit card or they are more used to an AVOD or free viewing model and not used to making transactions online. Hence why we are now exploring AVOD as an option to do more in the rest of the world.
What is the revenue split? Are there any costs recouped?
Revenue share is 70/30, same as iTunes. There are no costs to put the films on the FilmDoo platform, no further additional transcoding or ingestion costs. There are no marketing costs recouped either. The mission is to make it as easily and as flexible as possible for film makers to be able to put their films online at no additional costs and with maximum ease to be able to maximize their full global potential.
Some of their top selling content partners are LGBT content partners who have a collection of films with us and are able to make a decent sum month (I was asked not to share the exact sum publicly).” They note doing increasingly better for other film genres and collections. Launched in 2015, FilmDoo claims to be growing rapidly and expects to grow its catalog and audience.
Please speak to the simplicity, ease, and flexibility of the platform as far as geo-blocking, limiting territories, and the simple delivery, non-exclusivity…
Simplicity, ease and flexibility are absolutely at the heart of what we do at FilmDoo. Our goal is to reduce current barriers to international distribution in the film industry and most of all, to help films, especially films that have had their festival runs and may have already sold in a few territories, to continue to be able to monetize and reach their full global potential. That’s why we want to make it as easy as possible for them.
- Ability to geo-block to any country combination requirement, with only one month notice required if you need to make changes to this. We will be able to sell your film in any country.
- We will try our best to work with your material—we can take both HD and SD files (where HD is not available), AppleProRes and H.264. We can accept the digital files via our FTP, WeTransfer, Aspera as well as any other way.
- We can also accept film files sent to us in hard drives by post.
- Where the films are not available digitally, we will also accept DVD/ Blurays and will digitize these at no additional costs to the film makers.
- We do require that all films have English subtitles. If available, it would also help to have native language caption files as separate files (e.g. English captions for English language films, French caption for French language films, etc), although this is not required.
- Our preference is for clean film files with separate subtitle files in .SRT or .WebDTT format.
- However, if separate subtitles are not available, we can also accept film files with burnt in English subtitles.
What is FilmDoo’s Term?
Our terms are 2 years non-exclusive.
As you will see, we are much more flexible and easier to work with than most other global platforms, because our number one goal is to make it as easy as possible for film makers and content owners to put their films online and reach their global audience.
Are filmmakers able to see the data of where their audiences live (country) and how many transactions per each country? Is there a dashboard?
Yes, we have an online reporting dashboard. Film makers or content owners will be able to log in any time to see their total sales in real time. They will be able to see where the sales are coming from, the countries their films are getting the most interest in, and where available, the demographics breakdown of people interested in their films such as gender and age.
Can filmmakers contract with you directly?
Absolutely, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, we can also be contacted at our general email: email@example.com. Please also feel free to follow our news, film releases and reach out to us on our social media: Facebook • Twitter • YouTube.
What is FilmDoo doing to increase its consumer/audience reach?
Through our proprietary marketing technology, we are doing very well on SEO, where we are able to reach global audience interested in Lesbian and Gay movies as well as films by language collection. Furthermore, our proprietary technology include our personalized film recommendation engine.
At the same time, we also have a very strong Editorial and Curation team, where we continuously help to promote our films via our Blog, YouTube channel, social media and newsletters. We are also able to interview directors and film makers at no additional costs to help create promotional and editorial content. We also have community user-generated content, such as film playlists and film reviews, which are growing rapidly.
Most importantly, what is unique about FilmDoo, is our “DooVOTE” concept, whereby we are empowering users to discover films not yet available in their country and to express a demand in seeing that film. Consequently, we are using this data to try to go after the films we know there is interest from our community:
filmdoo.com/doovote. To increase our audience reach, we often do a lot of on the ground marketing, including partnerships with film festivals and giving presentations and talks at film workshops and events.
Please share anything else you think is relevant — including that you may turn into an SVOD or AVOD
I think it’s important to note that unlike other players in this space, we are not going after the already hardcore indie or world cinema film fans. We are identifying and converting new film audiences, many of which are traditional mainstream audiences, who may be increasingly interested in exploring new and refreshing content, whether from a cultural and language perspective or from an awareness of gender or human rights topics. Effectively, our audience is an increasingly growing group of people who are becoming more interested in travel, studying or traveling abroad, as well as forming multi-cultural families. FilmDoo is all about providing a truly global platform to traditionally underrepresented voice, such as emerging film makers and female and LGBT film makers from around the world. Their films deserve to be discovered and seen legally and FilmDoo is building a community and global platform to help them achieve that.
Sydney Levine has written an article on FilmDoo as well. Please read it here.
Please note: I did not publish information about revenue per FilmDoo’s request as that is proprietary information, but I am told I can discuss it privately/confidentially with filmmakers.
Orly Ravid October 18th, 2017