Mondo Media this week rolled out animated feature Aachi & Ssipak in what it calls a “streamium” format — distributing the film in weekly chapters on YouTube, while simultaneously offering it in its entirety on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and the company website.
This is not the first time Mondo, a multi-platform distributor of animation for young adults and teens, has implemented this type of release. It follows on the heels of Dick Figures The Movie, a kickstarter-funded animated comedy released last fall that hit No. 1 in pre-sales on Amazon and No. 3 on iTunes, and “quickly crossed into profitability,” says John Evershed, CEO, Mondo Media.
“Similar to the freemium model in gaming, we’ve built a substantial audience on YouTube for our ad-supported shorts that we can push into transactional platforms like Google Play and iTunes for long-form content,” he tells StreamDaily, in an email. Across its multi-channel network, which includes Mondo Mojo, the San Francisco, California-based company has 2.575 million subscribers.
Aachi & Ssipak was originally produced in South Korea and re-voiced/re-written for an English-speaking audience in 2012. Weekly chapters on YouTube will stream over the course of 17 weeks. But if a viewer wants to watch the unrated version in its entirety, they can do so via paid platform.
April Pesa, Mondo Media’s director of development and distribution, says part of the benefit of this type of release is teasing the audience with the YouTube chapters, which also helps promote the movie. But having multiple revenue streams is also key.
“There’s surely the added benefit of a two-punch revenue stream [ad-supported VOD and electronic sell-through],” she tells StreamDaily in an email.
“The streamium distribution strategy allows our fans around the world, without the means to pay for a rental or a download, [to get] some immediate satisfaction at no cost. And those who want to see it all [can] ‘binge’ the whole movie immediately.”
Mondo Media also plans to use the same model for a feature film launching this spring, she adds.
Releasing content on multiple platforms is a method that a lot of digital projects take advantage of: Hulu’s non-exclusive agreements allow producers to also stream or sell their content on YouTube or via iTunes. Geek & Sundry’s Caper is one recent example, as well as Smokebomb’s State of Syn. Even cable network HBO this season released the first two episodes of Girls season three on YouTube.
But Mondo Media’s so-called “streamium” format is yet another example of how distributors, who are confident their content will attract a paid audience, are not afraid to give away some of it for free — especially if they have a built-in audience across their network.