Saturday, May 08, 2010

Producer thanks pirates for stealing his film

"Our independent movie had next to no advertising budget and very little going for it until somebody ripped one of the DVD screeners and put the movie online for all to download," Producer Eric Wilkinson wrote in an email to RLSlog. "Most of the feedback from everyone who has downloaded “The Man From Earth” has been overwhelmingly positive. People like our movie and are talking about it, all thanks to piracy on the net!"

Read more about what he said here.

This is exactly what the music industry got wrong, and what Hollywood still needs to learn. Word of mouth, even by "pirates," is worth more to your success than trying to squeeze a few extra sales out of people who are evangelizing and promoting your art for you. The marketing machine has changed not just to include your consumers but you need them to spread the word.

Conan O'Brien's comments in a recent appearance at Google highlighted how broadcast executives failed to understand the role of social media when a groundswell of support for him materialized after it became clear he was being shunted in order to give Jay Leno back his time slot. They thought it was something O'Brien was doing and wanted him to stop it. They didn't understand that he didn't start it, but was responding to it on social media's home turf. But they finally realized that sanctioning his tweets would just be dumb.


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