GFT & Filmhouse Player – Research report
Exploring audience reach and engagement for cinemas through the use of Video-on-Demand
Dr Niall G MacKenzie, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde
This project was a partnership between Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) and Edinburgh Filmhouse with their technology partner, Distrify to develop an online digital media player. The player allows users to download or stream films offered by both cinemas from wherever they are, without the need to physically attend the cinema. The player therefore offers the potential for new income streams to the cinemas, in the context of the growing uptake of Video On Demand (VOD) services among viewers. In addition to the new income streams, the player allows users to share their purchase via social media and other platforms, which they can then earn personal revenue from, by sharing the rental and encouraging others to rent the film through
built-in affiliate marketing capability. The project received £90,000 from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in Scotland.
The aims of the project were to:
Explore new business models through the use of digital technology to expand audience reach and engagement through a cinema-curated VOD digital online service.
Explore the viability of the ‘day
date’ business model by simultaneously releasing six different films on VOD on the cinemas’ respective web
sites and theatrically, in the GFT and Filmhouse cinemas.
Trial the ‘affiliate revenue’ business model, whereby a proportion of the VOD income is
returned to the programming cinemas after being shared by customers who also receive affiliate payments.
Enable the GFT and Filmhouse to research best practice in broadening their audience figures
and assess the impact of ‘windowing’ strategies on box office takings by trialling a selection of
films with non-traditional theatrical and VOD release patterns.
the tools of Distrify’s VOD service to gather previously unknow
n user data sets, specifically focusing on identifying the geographic location of audiences, the routes to purchase through various marketing channels and examining the relationship between theatrical and Home Entertainment windows.
The project was developed by Jaki McDougall, the CEO of the GFT and Ken Hay, the CEO of the Filmhouse. Marjolein den Bakker was hired as the Video on Demand Project Co-ordinator liaising