We spoke with the team at Endeavor Content to learn how Screeners.com exceeded their expectations as a virtual distribution platform for film festivals.
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Endeavor Content is a global leader in the development, financing and sales of premium film, television, theater and audio content. They seek to facilitate more ownership and creative freedom for artists, creators and production companies in an ever-evolving media landscape. Endeavor Content is a division of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.
Screeners.com, the most secure screening platform on the market, supported Endeavor Content’s enormous success selling films in 2020.
Endeavor Content historically relied on in-person screenings and festivals to share new films with prospective buyers. The landscape changed dramatically in 2020, as film festivals pivoted to almost entirely virtual formats overnight. To succeed in this new environment, Endeavor Content needed a reliable way to screen their films online. And they needed it immediately.
Screeners.com met all of Endeavor Content’s 2020 festival season needs perfectly. With its customizable branding, user-friendly interface, and the high level of security powered by SHIFT’s SafeStream watermarking, their team knew they could present their films to prospective buyers virtually and with ease with Screeners.com.
“We wanted our choice of a screening platform to be as easy for our buyers to use as possible. As soon as they started using Screeners.com, they loved it.” -Andre Danylevich, Director of Post Production
Implementing their new screening solution was easy. Screeners.com’s Customer Success Team guided them through a seamless onboarding process. As Abe Bengio, Manager of Endeavor Content’s Film Advisory Group, explained: “The internal team onboarded in 1-2 weeks, and it took only a little longer to get the industry reviewing with the platform.” The short adoption period over the summer of 2020 gave the team plenty of time to prepare for the fall film festival season.
The Simple Admin Workflow
It’s simple for the Endeavor Content sales team to distribute pre-release content for the Venice, Rome, and Toronto Film Festivals, among several others.
First, the team uploads each film to the Screeners.com admin dashboard with customized banners and key art, and sets launch and expiration dates to ensure each one will only be viewable for a specified timeframe. Then, they bulk-import buyer lists into the system with pre-formatted CSV files containing buyer names, email addresses, and customizable tags.
The team uses the tags to sort buyers into groups and bulk-assign them to their respective films, which triggers Screeners.com to email a customized screening link to each recipient. After opening the screening link and securely authenticating, the buyer can instantly watch their films on a web browser or Screeners.com’s Apple TV app.
The Ultimate Virtual Theater Experience
Screeners.com’s analytics dashboard displays viewer engagement on a user-friendly yet granular level. Admins can drill down by festival, film, or buyer name to see what titles were watched, as well as when, how many times, and for how long a buyer watched their title.
Abe explained how the powerful tool effectively mimics the experience of observing reactions during an in-person screening. Abe’s team closely monitors the dashboard and notifies their sales executives to follow up accordingly. The valuable data enables them to replicate the personal way they worked with their buyers in the past.
Central Access to Screeners — Anytime, Anywhere
Screeners.com ensures that each film distributed by Endeavor Content is packaged in a professional, consistent, and branded experience. It customizes each prospective buyer’s dashboard with all of the titles they have permission to screen in one place.
“What really sets Screeners.com apart is the user interface and being able to tailor the experience to our buyers,” Abe said. “Many buyers have told me, ‘I love Screeners.com. I have it set up on my Apple TV to watch your films with surround sound and enjoy going to the same place to access my content without using a different password every time.’”
Protecting Valuable Pre-Release Content
“One of the best benefits we’ve seen from Screeners.com are the heightened security measures,” Abe explained. The platform offers both visual and forensic (invisible) SafeStream watermarking to protect pre-release content. This feature provides peace of mind when sharing high-value films such as the drama Malcolm & Marie, which Endeavor Content screened on Screeners.com during TIFF and sold to Netflix for $30M.
- Visual watermarking
Acts as a deterrent for viewers leaking pre-release films by burning personalized viewer information (e.g., viewer name and email) into the video stream.
- Forensic watermarking
Allows Screeners.com account owners to trace leaked content back to its source with unique watermarks undetectable to viewers’ eyes.
“Screeners.com significantly increased our team’s productivity and the number of films that we can sell.”
–Abe Bengio, Manager, Film Advisory Group
Efficient User Management
To drive momentum for film festivals, Abe’s team sends advance RSVP invites to prospective buyers. They use Screeners.com’s tagging feature to label users with confirmed attendance and send screeners to those groups accordingly. They also add additional users on an ongoing basis during the festival as they learn of new sales opportunities. All of this information leads to valuable intel that the team exports from Screeners.com at the end of a festival to update master buyer lists for future festivals and off-market events.
Endeavor Content shared 38 films through Screeners.com to hundreds of influential viewers in 2020 and sold them all by January 2021. A few of the titles include Good Joe Bell, which sold for $20M, Malcolm & Marie for $30M, and Shadow in the Cloud for $5M.
Although the film industry faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, Endeavor Content increased their gross sales by 260% compared to previous years with the help of Screeners.com. They plan to use Screeners.com to virtually screen films for years to come.