Power up for the weekend. 

VHX Website Themes in Action

If you want to sell video from your own website but you don’t have a website yet, we’ve got you covered (for free). Our website theme editor has a pile of super-customizable themes, all designed specifically for selling premium video. Look! Here’s one. It’s a free theme called GRIDDED. And here’s how a couple publishers have made it their own:

This theme is fun because its design is ayou guessed itgrid of images. The Double Fine Adventure uses this visual layout to give a little taste of each episode of the series, complete with a few GIFs for some action for Double Fine fans.

double fine adventure movie

The DC Shorts Online Film Festival brings over 100 short films from the festival online, featuring many with the stills up top, as well as a full list with thumbnails below. Love the diversity of images on this one!

dc shorts film festival site

Behind-the-scenes of our behind-the-scenes for publishers. The dev team talks about the build for the new Publisher Admin using Foundation

As our codebase grew, adding new features was getting increasingly difficult. Implementation of design elements became less cohesive. Each page was treated inconsistently with the next, leaving a less than optimal user experience. We wanted a way to help combat this pattern. With a new design and styleguide for our application, it was the perfect time to establish a more modular approach.

Try it out: sign up or log in and give it a spin.

Our constant focus has always been to make it as easy as possible for anyone to start selling video straight to their audience. For the past two years, we’ve worked closely with filmmakers and publishers to create the best platform for direct internet distribution…and we were adding and designing as we went. Inevitably, it came time to simplify and optimize. 

Today, we’re thrilled to launch a brand new Publisher Admin. Our creative director Chad Pugh says, “We were able to learn from so many smart filmmakers who helped us improve the whole experience.” We’ve streamlined the video publishing process and made it easier to navigate. We’ve integrated tons of help and guidance, because we’ve seen that education is really important for our users’ success. We’ve optimized for mobile so publishers can ogle their stats and sales data on the go. The new Publisher Admin is built for all types of publishers, whether they’re selling video, or just using free features — sending screeners, building websites, maintaining a mailing list, or otherwise.

"We built the new Publisher Admin for maximum dev and design efficiency, so we can ship more features, faster — and better — than before," said VHX co-founder Casey Pugh. "Which is good, because we have some seriously big new features in the pipeline."

Statements!

Theme editor!

Data!

Bob Moczydlowsky has great thoughts in this talk, complete with a Maya Angelou/Kid Rock philosophical mashup. How can artists ‘think like a fan’? 

"It means taking a look at your new creative work and finding the very best part of itthe part that’s the most amazing, that you believe is the most valuableand giving that part to fans for as low as price as possible, oftentimes free. And at the same time, these artists also make sure that their work is accessible and easily shared by fans, on any device they choose.”

Fans want to feel like they’re part of something. Welcome them!

Share your project securely with VHX Screeners

Fun fact: 90% of our publishers use Screeners. That’s… a really high percentage. We know video-makers need to send out copies of their work all the time so we made this feature super simple, integrated directly into the VHX platform.

You can use Screeners to email individual recipients with secure, time-limited, streaming-only links to your project. Whether or not you’re ready to release it to the masses, use it to build buzz. Send a protected, streaming version of your project to cast and crew, press, film festivals, that neighbor who lent you an extension cord — anyone. It’s the best way to share a sneak peek. 

Check out a demo or learn the intimate details here.

Sell globally, y’all

Your audience is everywhere. People in Malaysia are watching Indie Game: The MovieBet Raise Fold is popular in the Czech Republic, and viewers in the United Arab Emirates are lol’ing at Aziz Ansari

Luckily, the world wide web is global too. With VHX, anyone with an Internet connection + a credit card or PayPal account can buy your videos. So make it available everywhere!

What We’re Watching

For your weekend watching pleasures, here’s what some VHXers are viewing on their Internet tubes. Some oldies AND goodies:

The Ecstasy of Order: Because video game documentaries featuring a fervent love for NES Classics and a gentle champion named Thor should be beloved.
-Michael

Helvetica: Being a word nerd and a brand geek never felt so good.
-Melissa

Seventh Gay AdventistSad. Touching. Makes you resent silly conservative points of view re: sexual orientation.
-Ben

Blue Ruin: Kinda blew me away.
-Steve

Dev people! Hey dev people! @sbone talks about how the team is crafting our own icon system over at dev.vhx.tv

Here are a couple pro-tips put together with our favorite comedy folk in mind.

A lot of stand-up comedians are powering Internet distribution of their comedy specials with VHX. Think ‘digital merch table’: It works because you can use your own voice, control your own video releases (timeline, geography, and pricing), and see the actual data including contact information for everyone you sell to. Coincidentally, it’s way easier than carrying around boxes of DVDs.

And no you don’t have to be Louis CK. A million zillion fans helps, sure, but eliminating the barriers between you and your audience (or, between your comedy special and your fans’ wallets), is positive at any scale. Trust us: If you have a mailing list in any form, you’ve got a good start.

Think outside the box with pre-orders, discounts, & bundles

Getting creative with how you sell your content really makes a difference. We keep seeing successes when artists engage their audience early by offering pre-orders. Greg Proops filmed a live special at the world famous Musso & Frank restaurant in Hollywood, and made a unique coupon code for his podcast listeners to pre-order Greg Proops Live at a discount. And if you have more than just one video, make a deluxe version and sell it all together the way Brian Posehn bundled together the album and video versions of his classy stand-up special The Fartist. In our experience, we see customers will pay more to buy more. Maybe include some behind-the-scenes footage, or jokes that didn’t make it in the show.

Keep fans posted

The most successful comedians are the ones who really work at promoting. Take all the email addresses you’ve collected and send Updates with our newsletter feature or another newsletter program, and don’t slack in implementing all those handy social media platforms to make sure the word is getting out there. Jim Norton made sure to talk directly to his fans on Facebook and Twitter, and gabbed on various radio shows to promote American Degenerate.

Make your $%*& available everywhere

VHX works globally, so fans can watch anywhere (and on any device), as long as they’ve got an internet connection. And it helps to make your work available everywhere. 100% of our top ten best-selling titles across the platform are available worldwide. You don’t have to wait until your special gets picked up on Comedy Central to get it to your fans. Aziz Ansari released Buried Alive on Netflix, and is also selling it alongside his previous self-release Dangerously Delicious on azizansari.com. Bob Saget's That’s What I’m Talkin’ About premiered on Showtime, and you can now get it directly from his website. Give your audience as many opportunities as possible to see your jokes and support you, and the data says: They will.