“Let’s make an app for that!”
Michael B Allen, Alex Carroll and Will Bakke founded Austin-based Riot Studios in 2010 after they had produced the documentaries, Beware of Christians and One Nation Under God while in college. Their work struck a strong chord with a big audience, and their team had a great combination of business and creative tools when it came to making movies. More recently, they produced their first feature narrative film, Believe Me, which drove a lot of conversation and buzz. The film was released in 2014, and is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD on the Riot Studios website.
As the team entertained offers from various distributors and marketing companies to promote their new film, they were unsatisfied with the available choices. They weighed online advertising platforms, consulted with some marketing companies and a PR firm, and decided on an innovative approach to promote their motion picture. They decided to invest in creating their own, innovative, marketing tool that would leverage the power of crowd sourcing. That approach would allow them to reach their target audience while bypassing the expensive bottleneck of the film distribution middle man. The wanted to go directly to the consumer with their product. The next challenge was to find a strategic technology partner to develop their idea into a responsive web application they named Believe Me Team.
The Believe Me Team app is a rugged social media platform built with open source Ruby on Rails, and developed with the help of CabForward℠ designers and developers. The app allows supporters to get paid to promote a new release, and was first used for the movie, Believe Me. The app can be used for similar promotions in the future, producing even more return on the studio’s investment. Through the app, promoters get paid for every unique visitor they drive to the referred website, plus they get a sales commission when a visitor buys a product. This “crowd sourcing” approach disrupts the way movie distribution has traditionally been done.
The Believe Me Team app saved the studio an estimated $.10-$.15 per click, and drove high five-figures of traffic to the site every day. The studio’s unique idea actually provided them with over 5,000 part-time employees who actively worked to drive traffic to the site and sell their products. These virtual employees are cheaper and more effective than hiring a third party marketer or using an expensive ad platform.
Technology combined with Innovation, Disruption and Entrepreneurship is the hallmark of Riot Studios, and the Believe Me Team app is a product that is already successfully disrupting the entire motion picture distribution industry. This disruption is a very common today as technology has reached the point that we can implement ideas that were not possible just a few months ago. We call this change TIDE, and there is a whole discussion going on about businesses must be aware, and prepare for, change that is coming to disrupt their industry. They can find themselves supplanted by new upstarts with a easier, quicker, cheaper, and more efficient method of doing ordinary business.
To learn more about Riot Studios’ unique approach, click here.