I love these different ways content creators are getting their videos out there. Neal Edelstein, a producer of The Ring and Mulholland Drive, has created an (so far, iOS only) app called “Haunting Melissa” where users can download a free app, watch the free opening sequence, and decide whether they want to pay for the remaining chapters (as of this writing, you can buy a “season pass” for $14.99 in HD or $6.99 for standard). It’s an intriguing way to distribute a video, because it has all the hallmarks of potential success: a nice hook, some social media elements, and an interesting episode release strategy.
Haunting Melissa: A Unique Distribution Strategy
“Haunting Melissa” comes from Hooked Digital Media, and of course there’s a YouTube preview:
I downloaded it and watched the first chapter, and then there was an offer to watch the second chapter for free if I shared it on Facebook. I’m not that type of person, though, so I went ahead and bought the “season pass.” Now I’m just waiting for chapters. But the social media aspect is a good way to get this going: many people probably will share their experience on Facebook, get that free chapter, and in turn, the app gets a whole bunch of free advertising.
The series looks to take the “found footage” route, where the characters are taking a camera with them everywhere and we get that eerie POV look. It’s a ghost story, with sound being an important factor. The first episode has some pretty nice touches.
So far, what I’ve seen is good on all fronts: they’re active in commenting on their YouTube channel, they’re all over social media, and they’re creating discussion around their content. The only issue is if it keeps people interested over the course of the series. They’re definitely doing everything else right.