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May 4, 2016 / by Miranda Fleming / In Crowdfunding, Design, film, Film Distribution, Film Finance / Tags: , , / Comments Off on THE POWER OF THE IMAGE – NETFLIX, VIMEO & CROWDFUNDING THUMBNAILS CAN HELP YOU FIND AN AUDIENCE

What will you watch tonight? The choice is yours……


Assets, Assets, Assets.

Assets are key to filmmakers finding and building their audiences, marketing and distributing their film. Independent film is becoming truly independent with new financing models and distribution models breaking through and it’s important that filmmakers understand the value of their assets.

How do you select your choices on Netflix and Vimeo Staff Picks? As I selected Vimeo picks of the week last night, I consciously realised that the Festival laurels and single images were definitely swaying my viewing choice. Of course, this is not dissimilar to movie poster design.  But as more and more film campaigns move online for their marketing strategies, the thumb nail image is more important than ever.

And today I found out some interesting data from Netflix.

With Netflix’s inbuilt ability to research the habits of their millions of global customers on their platform, they can uniquely understand how to most effectively tell a customer why a story is right for them through just one image.

In 2014 Netflix started researching the browsing habits of its viewers and it has just published some astonishing data.

82% of time spent on the platform was time spent looking at images (ie. not on text or info on the film or tv series).

Nick Nelson, Netflix Global Manager says “We also saw that users spent an average of 1.8 seconds considering each title they were presented with while on Netflix. We were surprised by how much impact an image had on a member finding great content, and how little time we had to capture their interest”


Here were their detailed findings:

– Faces with complex emotions outperform stoic or benign expressions — seeing a range of emotions actually compels people to watch a story more.
– Presenting each story in different regions impacts how quickly members from around the world actually discover that story through artwork.
– Using visible, recognizable characters (and especially polarising ones) results in more engagement. Villainous characters work well for kids and action genres in particular.
– An image’s tendency to win dramatically dropped when it contained more than 3 people

All of this informed Netflix’s imagery choices for these thumbnails:

So less sweat (you’ll be glad to hear) into that tag line, and more provocative thought behind that thumbnail image is needed. This also applies of course to your Vimeo film, Youtube film and Crowdfunding campaign (they call it a baseball card).



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