Two weeks after its official launch on February 8, U.K.-based online footage vendor clipsalesnow.com has already contracted to represent the libraries of indie prodcos Brook Lapping Productions, RDF Television and ARTV, among others, and is in serious negotiations with U.K. broadcaster Channel 4. That’s only the tip of the iceberg, says clipsalesnow managing director Sally Miles, as companies catch on to the idea behind this footage dot-com.
‘The advantage for them is that we offer a global platform to sell their footage,’ Miles explains. ‘For companies that traditionally operate as a broadcaster or production company, it is resource-heavy to then be proactive at selling clips. We’re offering an [online] platform that takes all that away, so businesses can operate without that interruption, but know they are able to realize the value of their material in clip form.’
Content owners must be prepared for a 50-50 split of the profits with clipsalesnow.com. However, the online company absorbs the costs of indexing, encoding, marketing and streaming the material, only asking clients to provide digiBeta tapes.
Researchers hunt for material on the site using a text database, which returns results with thumbnail images and the ability to stream a reference file of the clip. Footage orders can also be put through online, with delivery to the office or edit suite guaranteed within a set period of time (usually 24 hours within the U.K.). While researchers must register to use the site, they are not required to pay unless they license clips. Says Miles, ‘We’re very aware that producers and researchers would want to register individually, and they’re not going to want to pay every time they’re representing a different production. So, it has to be a free window for researchers.’ Over 400 users registered on the site in the first week.
While clipsalesnow.com is keen to woo such big players as Channel 4 to increase volume, Miles points out that small and large companies receive equal status. She explains that the origin of a clip is not revealed to researchers until the time of purchase, which levels the playing field and prevents customers from going straight to the originating company to negotiate a deal.