Hi I'm Kathleen Barrett.
Brooklyn native and enthusiast. Operations manager at VHXtv.
Contact me at kathleen (at) vhx (dot) tv.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve closed a $3.2M Series A fundraising round led by Union Square Ventures. USV brings a huge amount of experience with industry-changing companies, and we’re proud to have them on board.
In the last year, VHX has grown from 2 people and a comedy special into an 8-person team with a solid software platform and dozens of great releases. The filmmakers, distributors, studios, and publishers we’ve worked with have helped shape two simple ideas about the future of premium video distribution:
Creators want well-designed websites, control of their own content, and a direct relationship with their audience.
Consumers want to watch high-quality videos that are restriction-free and available everywhere, and are happy to pay for it.
Taking a look at each VHX team members’ home media setup is a glaring example of just how complex and fragmented the video experience is: TVs, tablets, game consoles, phones, Chromecasts. The way we discover and watch video is changing every day, and varies wildly from country-to-country.
We are building a publishing platform that helps close these gaps between interest and availability. And our approach introduces new ways to sell content, and allows more people to be involved in that process.
We are looking for beta testers: Filmmakers, distributors, publishers, educators, and moving-picture-creators who want to put the new platform to use. If you’re ready to sell work, we can power your website.
We are looking for new team members: Great people who love videos and are passionate about creating for creators. We are building a watching experience that’s better than Netflix, keeps artists and fans as close as Kickstarter, and empowers publishers as much as Tumblr did for us.
Thanks for tuning in.
Beyond excited to announce this!VHX
Kevin Spacey had some inspiringly choice words for the Edinburgh Television Festival this past week, fresh from his experience as executive producer of House of Cards.
And through this new form of distribution, we have demonstrated that we have learned the lesson that the music industry didn’t learn. Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price and they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it but I think we can take a bite out of piracy.
Give the audience control and in the end, fans win out. We couldn’t agree more.
Sing it SpaceyVHX
I was certainly surprised to find this today at VHX for my birthday, but I think Charlie has gone insane.
Things get weird on fridaysThe Big Pugh
IndieWire just launched their 2013 Influencers List and VHX is proudly listed alongside some of our favorite people! It’s great to see the likes of Tim League (Drafthouse), Radius TWC, Parts and Labor, James and Lisanne of Indie Game, Marc Shiller, and Ted Hope, to name just a few. We are so grateful and humbled to be featured.
Check out the full list to get to know other people trying to figure out what the indie film industry looks like today and in the future. Also to see our founders’ special secret bond over…ahem…The Fifth Element.
Little Man in his Little Cabin at the Shop.
Need this for Charlie.OLD CHUM
Direct Distribution is Important for Artists, Audiences, Everyone
There’s a lot of talk about new ways of watching, streaming, funding, and everything else-ing video.
Which is why we’re so excited to be VHX right now, working in this intersection of video content and technology. Artists are generating an amazing amount of great content. While there are options for distributing free and ad-supported videos, there are not great options for actually selling your work. We are making a platform to get artists’ work seen, loved, and paid for.
Direct distribution is creators selling directly to their fans.
Instead of using other people’s stores and marketplaces, artists can sell from their own websites. This model points to the kind of close relationship between audience and creator that both parties want - axing the middleman idea that has come to define old structures. We are part of a new developing ecosystem of distribution, offering better, more flexible options to help anyone sell their work to the people who want it.
1. Because, Internet.
With the perpetual advance of bandwidth and plethora of devices to consume content, it’s just plain easy to watch online. We strongly believe that a digital copy of content can and should be superior to its physical ancestor. You can stuff your “digital DVD” with bonus content, subtitles, bundle with other goodies, or even change or release more content over time, free of old school restrictions like region-blocking. Miami Connection - a film that was barely available on VHS when it was made in 1987 - is now easy to watch anytime with hours of bonus content, anywhere in the world.
Additionally, the Internet has enabled makers and their audiences to build real relationships, from #TeamCoco to Taylor Swift to Amanda Palmer. The webs of social networks that have developed over the last decade mean that artists are able to communicate en masse, for free, and connect to the fans that are interested in their work. Dave Grohl uses social media platforms as a way to tell fans about his doc, Sound City, connect them to upcoming concerts, and even answer personal questions. Content discovery is powered by people, and artists can have a direct connection to that process.
2. Direct distribution allows artists less restrictions, more control
Distributing directly to fans online relieves a lot of restrictions. Content does not need to fit into a specific package, like “feature-length film,” to be something that fans want to buy. House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon explains that content like TV programming must adapt to the desires of a digital audience:
“There’s not even a reason to stick the half hour or hour-long models. You can have an episode that’s 20 minutes, an episode that’s 90 minutes.”
A flexible platform allows artists to sell freeform content they may not have even considered.
Direct distribution also allows artists to command long-term control of the work they generate. They can be as creative with how they release content as they are with how they make it. Mike Birbiglia partnered with IFC to sell Sleepwalk With Me in the United States, but kept many of the international rights and sold his movie directly from his own site everywhere else in the world.
Keeping that control empowers artists to choose the distribution methods that work best. Technology offers precise information about audiences that you simply can’t get elsewhere. The filmmakers behind Stuck tracked their site referrals and focused their resources on what worked, while Indie Game: The Movie used audience and sales data to experiment with the optimal price point. Selling directly is a viable, accountable complement to everything else in the seller’s arsenal of tools, and what they learn from their web traffic can inform the rest of their distribution strategy.
3. And it’s better for fans anyway
Artists have the ability to make more money from their work when we connect them directly to fans. Think of it as the technology piece that’s been missing from their distribution toolbelt.
Every creator that we’ve worked with at VHX is so excited to be able to put their work online in a way that reaches individual fans in a personal way, and in a way that showcases the content:
Minecraft: The Story of Mojang includes a bonus mini doc of the making-of their next big game.
The Invisible Made Visible offers an extra Q&A with the man/myth/legend Ira Glass, plus a custom game for fans to play along with OK Go’s music.
Doin’ It In the Park gave Kickstarter backers early access to the movie.
Dave Grohl includes a personal letter of thanks in each purchase email confirmation of Sound City.
And those are just a few. The freedom of selling directly empowers artists to be creative with their content and creative with how they show it to the world.
And that couldn’t be better news for us as fans. The nature and quality of video experiences keep evolving, and artists continue to explore ways for audiences to interact with their work online. As an audience, we get to keep supporting creators as they make things we want to watch - your wallet is a powerful way to vote.
We want to make direct distribution easy, so creators can reach fans, audiences can watch great content, and we can all support work we love without wondering where the money is going.
The VHX platform is in action - check out some awesome artists distributing directly to fans. And drop us a line with distribution experiences you have, whether as an artist or content-consumer.
We first became enamored with Annie Dean earlier this year after stumbling across her site AnnieDean.com. Combining tips for entertaining and etiquette, this modern day Miss Manners proves that you can juggle a hectic lifestyle (did we mention she’s a lawyer?) and still be ultra chic. This week she’s sharing her five easy tricks to make spring a little more fabulous.
On a recent spring day, I tied up these linen Supergas sneaks and headed to the park with Jessica Soffer’s brilliant debut novel, Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots. It was hours before I could tear myself away.
The story is of a professional chef and her daughter Lorca, a sensitive and earnest fifteen-year-old who believes that if she can perfect her mother’s favorite meal (a traditional Iraqi dish called Masgouf), her life will be as beautiful and as happy as she imagines it can be. In the meantime, she is haunted by her mother’s determined coldness and in secret moments, wounds herself in hopes that she’ll be reminded that she’s alive.
Amazing woman & amazing book.Birchbox
Cooper has been inviting people to draw and contribute their own maps of Manhattan on this collaborative Tumblr blog and has turned the best into a book. These are more than maps, they’re windows into people lives.
The last page of the book allows readers to draw their own map and mail it to Copper (last image above by Maria Popova).
Pictured above: Yoko Ono, Sea-Attle, Matt Green, and Maria Popova.
Love this. Just did something similar for my bf’s birthday.Minus Manhattan