If you're a fulldome show producer, we invite you to feature your work on FULLDOME OnDemand. Our service can provide you with a supplemental income stream. Each month, we send out hundreds of dollars from rental fees, to the producers whose shows are part of our lineup.
There are several ways you can benefit from FULLDOME OnDemand:
• Get your shows to an expanded, international market — including some you may not have known existed!
• Get previews of your shows to theaters considering the purchase of a long-term license — and get paid in the process, instead of just giving it away and hoping!
Get paid monthly...
With other distributors, it can take months to get paid. FULLDOME OnDemand has been reporting and paying producers each and every month since we started. We'll send your money the following month, via direct deposit, PayPal, or check.
You set the price, and get the lion's share of the income...
It's your show, so you get to set the ultimate rental price. Most feature-length shows on FULLDOME OnDemand are $30, and shorts are $5, so that's what we recommend.
Our video hosting company VHX keeps a small percentage of the rental price (currently 10% + $.50 per transaction). The remainder is available to split with you, 60/40. For a $30 rental, that's nearly $16 — not too shabby, eh?
One-time setup fee...
For each movie, we'll charge a flat preparation fee to pay for:
• ingesting, preparing and encoding the movies and promo graphics for all the versions of prewarped and fisheye formats we offer
• running quality-control checks on the encodes, and uploading to the video streaming server
• creating the FULLDOME OnDemand Web page listings, and the rental package pages on VHX
• backing up and storing the movies, and the overhead of account maintenance
For movies less than 15 minutes, the setup fee is $49; longer, $99.
Let us help get your shows to the theaters who want them (but may not be able to afford long-term licenses). We continually get requests for shows we don't currently offer. They might be yours! Why leave money on the table?
A constant refrain we've heard from planetarium operators over the years is "We can't afford thousands of dollars for long-term show licenses". The advent of affordable online streaming services like VHX made it possible for us to address this concern.
Until now, there hasn't been a practical way to make shows available for a very short or limited time, without shipping out the whole kit and caboodle and hoping things work out somehow. Now there is a way, with our FULLDOME OnDemand streaming service. Now we can offer the shows in our distribution catalog for rent, in addition to the traditional longer-term licenses. FULLDOME OnDemand is not intended to be a replacement for those; we expect license sales to continue as they always have.
We did some math, starting with the common prices set by producers for typical 10-year licenses. You can see them in our distribution catalog, on each show's Prices page; here's an example. For the smaller theaters that are the prime demographic for FULLDOME OnDemand, show licenses cost $5,000 on average. We figured someone who buys the license might play the show once a week over that time span. 500 plays for $5,000 = $10/play.
Of course, some shows cost more; $5000 is the average figure we used. If you say a show might get played twice a week instead of once, the per play cost drops by half. Or if you put in 50 years for the license term (as our T-shirt model uses), the per play cost drops down to pennies, in some cases.
While most spherical mirror systems are in portables, there are some in smaller fixed domes. Most have less than 10,000 attendance. But even if we say they were up in the <30,000 tier, the per-play cost is close to $10 if they only play it once a week. If they play it more, even the most expensive show license still works out to less than $10 per play.
So, in general, $10 per play seems like a fair figure. Let's go with that. $10 per play, or $5,000 for 500 plays. Either way, the movie costs the same per play — less than your average pizza. Affordable? Absolutely!
Currently, our video streaming service doesn't offer rental options other than a 3-day period.
Piracy has been around since long before FULLDOME OnDemand came into existence. There are thousands of unencrypted fulldome movies floating around customer sites already. While most may be legitimately licensed, opportunities abound for unscrupulous copying, scraping or otherwise. Pirates are going to find a way to pirate, no matter what we do.
Any planetarian who would act in so unprofessional a manner is someone we weren't going to make legitimate sales to anyway. At least with FULLDOME OnDemand, we'll have gotten one payment for the rental, which is one more than we would have gotten otherwise. Our videos are subtly watermarked in the corners. And with our rentals being such a reasonable cost, most planetarians recognize the value of our service, and won't want to jeopardize its future availability.
We think Spotify may be spot-on with their philosophy of "Why pirate when you can afford to stream legally, and the artists get paid?" Unlike Spotify, though, we're not paying creators fractions of cents for their works. Producers get the lion's share of their show's rental fee. It's about as fair and equitable as we can make it for all involved.
No, and no.
When Loch Ness Productions started making Geodesium albums available in digital download and streaming form, we figured sales of our higher-ticket items — compact discs — would dry up. We thought, "why would anyone pay $13 for a CD (plus shipping) when they can just download a track for 99 cents?" Well, it turned out our worrying was unnecessary. Disc sales continued just as they had been. And a few additional pennies started showing up, from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify... and other sources we'd actually never heard of. The thing about those pennies is, they continue to show up month after month, over and over again. They add up. Moreover, those analog sales involved shipping costs to get discs to warehouses and customers, and of course there's our own warehousing costs, packaging and all too. Digital sales operate more efficiently.
It's the same with FULLDOME OnDemand. Big-ticket licenses continue to sell; nothing has changed with that business model. We now add a second income stream on top of that, where none was before. Spotify didn't devalue our Geodesium albums by streaming them. Before Spotify existed, we didn't have that revenue stream; now we do, and it keeps on coming. We won't turn it down! And with FULLDOME OnDemand rentals, you still get your chosen price (or perhaps more, depending on how you value the per-play cost). You just get it in smaller portions (and in near real-time), rather than all in one big upfront pre-payment. Think pizza by the slice.
It's possible the biggest effect FULLDOME OnDemand has on the field remains to be seen. We've opened a portal to a vast universe of possibilities dome theaters never had before. It used to be that theater operators would need to save up their budget dollars, often for years, just to get ONE show they felt might be useful in their programming efforts. They might have great interest in other shows too, and long wishlists, but no way to ever get more. Now they can!
With access to so many shows, whenever they want, for the cost of a pizza — what creative planetarian couldn't figure out ways to do great things with this capability? Everyone can run their own fulldome festivals — the equivalent of binge watching on Netflix. They can program "Audience Choice" nights. "Dome Club" things become practical. We could take a cue from the cinema world, and offer day-and-date releases and premieres for new fulldome features.
FULLDOME OnDemand enables dome theater operators in a way they've never had before. It empowers them with so many capabilities, they can start to re-evaluate their very profession, the roles they perform and the services they provide to their communities. No longer are they limited to just providing astronomy outreach; they can offer those wide-ranging presentations that were just simply not in their purvey until now.
And we all get paid a little something, from an income stream that didn't exist before. What's not to like?
First, send us a link to a preview of your show, so we can see what you're talking about.
Unless we see something objectionable, we'll then reply with some legalese: a Distribution Agreement that lets us do what we say we're going to do in general, and a Program Order for each show that spells out the specifics, including the money split.
If you're in agreement with all this, here's a checklist of what you need to send us:
the completed, signed distribution agreement and program order.
the encoding fee. A check is always welcome; we can do PayPal too, perhaps easier for international customers.
a USB drive with your show content. We'll keep your drive for insurance, as one of our backups. (Read this presentation we made at the 2014 IMERSA Summit Ingestion Indigestion for guidelines on what we want to see on the drive you send.) In summary:
• FRAMES: Ideally, 1920x1920px dome masters, JPG, with only black in the corners (no text or frame numbers). 30fps, please.
We need both show and trailer frames. If your show doesn't have a trailer, we'll grab a 30-second clip for the purpose. You can specify the start time of the clip. Be sure narration is included in the clip; people want to judge how the voice sounds (especially international customers, if there are accents to deal with.)
For FULLDOME OnDemand, we don't need larger than 2k dome masters. But if you have only 4K dome masters, we'll take them. They'll be downscaled when we make the 1080p movies.
• AUDIO: 48k, 16-bit stereo WAVs.
• GRAPHICS FOR "POSTER": 1920x1080px, JPG. Browse through our listings to see examples of how they will appear in the players. Note "safe areas" to avoid having your graphic covered by the translucent VHX control bar.
• TEXT: Ideally, a one-line blurb, and a 2-sentence description.
• PRODUCER LOGO: a square graphic that iconizes well to 32px
When we get all that from you, we'll get to work encoding and preparing the Web pages. We'll let you know when things are ready, for you to give one last quality check.