Why You Need To Sell Movie Merchandise

After you make your movie, people will email asking when it’s available. This period of time is called the social window. It’s the time when your fans are most eager to buy your movie and tell their friends about it. And you will know you’re in the social window when you find yourself communicating this response: “We are still waiting for our distribution deal. Check back soon.”

At this stage, you could choose to put your movie on iTunes, Amazon or any number of the more than 200 video players out there and these early adopters would buy it. In fact, if it were possible, these rabid fans would buy your movie on the moon!

Why You Need To Sell Movie Merchandise

It’s been a few weeks since I started working with the folks at Chill. The ongoing goal of the company is to help you source and expand your audience reach. And through our data analysis we found that many early adopting, rabid fans want more than just the movie. So in response to this demand, Chill provides filmmakers the ability to bundle merchandise with the movie. The response is significant – with some titles, more than 50% of the purchases include merchandise!

Think of it this way. You could choose to release your movie on one of anonymous marketplaces. You then place a link to the point of sale on your movie website. After that, you do an email blast and let your fans know the movie is finally available. You would make sales. But at what cost? Since many new releases hover around 10 dollars per transaction – If you want to make 100 dollars in revenue, it would take 10 people.

This is where bundling merchandise with your movie is helpful. Let’s say you produced a movie about skateboarding. And since I am a rabid fan of skateboarding movies, I come to your landing page on Chill and quickly realize I can buy more than just the movie. On the high end, for $10,000 a top professional skateboarder featured in the movie will fly to my neighborhood and skateboard with me. The problem is, I don’t have an extra 10K – But by comparison, the $100 skateboard package suddenly looks very appealing. So as a rabid fan, instead of limiting my purchase to just the movie, I happily spend $100 dollars.

In one transaction, the filmmaker gets $100 dollars in revenue

But there is more. Because I’m a rabid skateboard movie fan, I am happy to Tweet and share my experience on Facebook because I’m super stoked that I got MORE than just the movie! And because Chill puts a trailer and a ‘Buy Now’ button inside a tweet and Facebook share, many of my skateboarding friends also watch the trailer – And from there, the process repeats over and over…

While there is a time and place to expand into anonymous marketplaces for added discovery, you miss a lot of opportunity by not providing your rabid fans with merchandise bundles. In other words, avoid closing the social window. For more information about Chill, go here.

Comments

  1. says

    I totally agree about the value of merchandising. When you consider that part of your planning involves building your audience early, so they follow the process and the progress, you’re building an emotional involvement with followers. They’ll not only be the most likely to see the film, but who would also be interested in merchandising.

    We were building a world-wide base of followers when we created the logo and poster for our comedy, MegaBall$, After releasing the images several asked for T-shirts and we obliged. We set up a store on our web site where people can already buy logo items, using that profit toward the development costs. I won’t say it’s been a boom – but, they’re are people walking around in T-shirts promoting our film …. and we haven’t made it yet!

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