Free Public Access by Monetizing Content? a successful
Non-Profit/Corporate model. November 18, 2011, 2:30pm - 3:30pm, Austin,
Texas. Panel discussion, with Geoff Alexander, Director, Academic Film Archive
of North America, With Michael Ross, Senior VP of Content Development,
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., and Lee Shoulders, Director of Factual &
Archival Footage, Getty Images, Inc.
On the program:
• AFA Director Geoff Alexander will explain how he approached EB with the
original idea, works with EB to select films for uploading, how the AFA assists
Getty and EB to provide new digitized content for monetization, and makes these
films available on the Internet Archive
• EB’s Senior VP of Content Development Michael Ross will explain his company’s
business relationship with Getty, and describe why he decided working with the
AFA could be financially beneficial.
• Getty’s Director of Archival Film Content Lee Shoulders will discuss the
process of making EB’s content available for licensing and how she works with EB
and the AFA to derive profit for both her company and EB.
Geoff Alexander Talking points:
• The mission of The Academic Film Archive of North America is to acquire,
preserve, document, and promote academic film by providing an archive, resource,
and forum for continuing scholarly advancement and public exhibition.
• Incorporated as a non-profit in 2001, located in San Jose, CA. Film holdings
include more than 6,000 academic films
• Receives minimal (generally under $2 K per year) public funding
• Between 1996 and 2005, in more than 500 public shows, we showed more than
2,000 films, but attendance probably averaged 20 people.
• In 2007, in response to a suggestion by Rick Prelinger, we began uploading
digitized films to the Internet Archive, there are now 111 of them in the AFA
sub-collection on IA.
• Films are sponsored by individuals as well as filmmakers. Copyright is
investigated before agreeing to digitize.
• In 2008, after discussions with Michael Ross, we began a cooperative effort
with EB to digitize & upload selected films. 23 EB films have now been digitized
and uploaded. Tom Smith’s ‘Solar System’ is most-viewed EB film, at 16,426
• EB process: Sponsor suggests film, permission granted by EB, sponsor pays for
digitization, Skip Elsheimer digitizes and uploads, Skip sends MiniDV to EB.
• Monetization for EB: When AFA gets a request for usage, EB forwards digitized
content to Getty Images, who time codes it and provides a quotation.
• Biggest benefit to AFA: we’ve had thousands of views, and millions have access
• Additional benefit to filmmakers: they can see their work will not be
• Ongoing challenge: finding sponsors for films. Sponsorships are as low as
$110, and most are coming from filmmakers themselves.
Michael Ross Talking points:
• For several decades, up until 1995, Britannica was heavily engaged in the
production of high-quality, proprietary educational films on all subjects. From
Shakespeare, to physics, to nature, to profiles of distinguished men and women,
as well as historical documentaries, Britannica produced films from the best
documentary directors in the business. This corpus of over 3000 films is used
today in various formats and places: in Britannica’s web sites; sold separately
as single DVDs; licensed in their entirety as part of newly produced programs on
similar topics; and edited into “snippets” and licensed to advertisers, video
producers, and other entities through Getty’s archive of films and videos. We
also put many films on the AFA website.
• I will talk about why we do this, how we decide what to make available for
free and what to charge for, and the overall benefits of managing this unique
collection of films.
Questions Michael will answer:
1) How was relationship with Getty determined and formed?
2) What challenges did EB see in the initial stages, and how were they resolved?
3) Explain the variables that determine whether or not AFA receives permission
to digitize and upload a film
4) How profitable has this been for EB?
5) Does EB see digitization of more content in its future plans? How?
6) What process di d EB go through to determine that licensing footage digitally
would be a good idea?
7) What issues were of concern in working with an archive that wanted to put
images up for free viewing on the internet? How were these issues resolved via
8) What do you perceive will happen from a financial perspective as the program
Lee Shoulders talking points:
1) Overview of how Getty Images licenses content on behalf of collection owners:
- online clip selection process and presentation of clips
- off line (analog) deep file library
- content types best suited for stock footage
- who are the users?
- Top EB titles that have generated most volume/revenue in last 5 years
2) How does it work with content referrals from IA?
- check if Getty already has the title desired, fulfill or pull in from EB
Questions Lee will answer:
1) Describe overall mission of Getty Images
2) Explain how Getty obtains digitized images from EB for AFA-uploaded films
(e.g. Solar System)
3) How are shots chosen for viewing on Getty Images website?
4) Are they pulled from completed films?
5) How are they uploaded onto Getty site?
6) Who creates the keywords?
7) How does the user obtain low-res review footage and order footage?
8) How profitable is this relationship from Getty’s perspective?
9) What do you perceive will happen from a financial perspective as the program