We've been thinking about this for a couple of years, ever since we prototyped running festival screenings within Facebook (we ran a beta test of that during Filminute 2008). Entrepreneur Brad Stewart, using some of the mechanics of his AdJoy video platform, pulled the video stream of our festival films into Facebook. Two years ago, that feat was a lot harder to do than it is today. Facebook is now geared for this kind of thing. But in 2008, that successful trial got Filminute thinking far ahead.
Facebook, we decided, is more important than television. Facebook + video on demand are the directions we bet on to round out Filminute's platform reach (Incidentally, this year's broadband VOD trial is underway in Canada w/ Rogers' RODO platform; and our mobile VOD trial in India is coming soon via Jigsee).
During the all-important first week in September, Filminute customarily picks up a first round of momentum, and we gain our first reaction from the audience. No surprise, we quickly get a sense of which films have pull. What was new for us was the degree to which social media had become measurably important. Films that were shared via friends and peers drove deep engagement with our audience — 5 minutes viewing time from Facebook users, 8 minutes from Twitter users.