Finders Keepers

Wednesday, August 19 2015
Finders Keepers

It’s been almost three years since the Industry Trust took over running of findanyfilm.com, the website has now become an integral part of its work, its relaunch has made it, the Trust believes, an even more essential element of its ongoing efforts.

The overhaul has seen it adding more content, including TV titles, easier navigation and a streamlined design. It has plenty of calls to action, offering consumers the chance to “book, buy or watch”, with more suppliers giving consumers more choice than any of its contemporaries.

It’s been a key plank in the ongoing Moments Worth Paying For marketing too, as the long-running campaign’s marketing thrust increasingly directs consumers to finding legal ways to watch films, at cinemas and on discs and digital formats. The new look and feel for the site will increasingly not only serve its educational needs, in terms of telling the public about legal ways to watch, but also have a strong commercial element too.

“We have developed the commerciality of the site so it better serves the needs of distributors, exhibitors and retailers, as well as fulfilling piracy objectives,” explains the Trust’s Liz Bales. “The Industry Trust is in a very unique position, having a direct lead into theatrical clients and video clients (through links with the BVA and beyond), we understand the commercial needs of distributors across the full product lifecycle and are able to offer a consumer solution at all stages of sell in and across all formats.”

It needed to have a tech-savvy approach, Bales explains, as so many of its users are ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. “Recent insights from Harris Interactive revealed that the FindanyFilm audience are film aficionados and more likely to be early adopters of new tech.  Meaning that they have certain expectations (e.g. mobile optimisation, clear navigation and simple call to action) when it comes to digital user experience.  It was imperative that we upgraded to meet these expectations and retain the current audience while also building an attractive and intuitive platform to draw in new users.”

Some of its commercial elements were developed working hand in hand with distributors. “The service is used by a host of distributors within their promotional activity and the enhancements were developed in partnership,” she says.

But it wasn’t just distributors, this is a collaborative effort across the board, with retailers and exhibitors closely involved. Retailers and exhibitors are very supportive of FindAnyFilm; it’s only through their efforts that we can provide a comprehensive service to consumers.” says Liz Bales. “Creating feeds and sharing data is in some instances unchartered territory, so it’s been a very collaborative, and positive, journey.”

One retailer not up there – at the time of writing, at least – is hmv, although Liz Bales says it is looking to add more retailers to the mix and hmv could well be among them. “We are constantly working with retailers to implement new supplier feeds to the site. Due to the technicalities related to data feeds, some supplier implementations are more complicated than others and so take longer to appear.  We’d love to feature HMV on the site, its one to watch.”

But let’s not forget, that it’s still the consumer who is, in the Trust and findanyfilm’s eyes, the most important player in the equation. As Bales explains: “The consumer is at the heart of the site and has driven all aspects of the site update. While we understand and support the commercial needs for distributors we also recognise the necessity for a comprehensive site to deliver easy purchase points for the consumer, as it addresses those key drivers to piracy – convenience, availability and affordability.  Insight repeatedly tells us that those who infringe remain valuable customers of the category so providing them with an innovative and intuitive means of purchasing can go a long way to interrupting their path to infringement.”

Adding television titles to the mix was, in an age where illegal downloading of programmes is commonplace (look at the Game Of Thrones figures if you don’t believe us) was, the Trust says, “vital”. “TV is a large proportion of the video market across physical and digital, so it’s important that we provide a vehicle to support distributors commercial objectives within this sector,” explains Bales. “giving them an additional route to showcase content while also delivering to consumers a simple and legal path to purchase across TV and film.

“Looking at it from an infringement perspective, premium TV is at significant risk of piracy so it’s incredibly important to flag to consumers the many alternative legal routes they can take which offer a better experience and will enable the industry to continue delivering so many premium grade shows.”

So what next then? Well, plans are in place for this year and next for the service. Liz Bales outlines them for the rest of this year and beyond, saying: “Across the balance of 2015 our focus will be in two areas: continued development with the addition of a number of new retail feeds and building consumer awareness via our improved social channels. We have challenging growth targets for 2016 but the benchmark against which all activity and targets are judged is the benefit and value we deliver to our investors. FAF is an industry initiative, funded entirely from contributions to the Industry Trust; it has to deliver a tangible benefit to merit ongoing investment.”

Chief among its aims is to keep it at the top of the agenda. As Bales concludes: “The site continues to be supported by the industry, with a multi-million pound media campaign gifted by exhibitors and content tie-ins from members, driven through the Moments Worth Paying For campaign.  The campaign inspires audiences to value and pay for content, interrupting the consumer journey and pushing to findanyfilm to deliver a simple click to purchase.

“Between the campaign and a pipeline of upcoming news stores, industry initiatives and some exciting partnerships on the horizon, we aim to keep findanyfilm top of the agenda across industry, retailers and consumers/users.”

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