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  • Writer's pictureMarcus Markou

Film trailer breaks 10,000 views after spending £30 on Youtube

The trailer for the film broke 10,000 views this weekend. In the past week I did an interview with Greek Reporter and the trailer was picked up by various Greek news sites.

However, I have something to admit. I did pay for some advertising on Youtube. Not very much, about £30 per day for a few days. I wanted to see what advertising on Youtube would do. The results have been impressive.

What is Youtube advertising? Well, this allows anyone who has a video on Youtube to promote it within Youtube’s search. When people search for stuff in Youtube, you can target your video to appear at the top of the search or alongside it or even for it to start playing as an annoying advert when people are about to watch something else.

It’s relatively new but with over 800 million people visiting Youtube each month, after Google, Youtube is officially the second largest search engine on the planet.

The conversion looks great. For £30 spent, the Papadopoulos and Sons trailer was found around 4000 times and played for around 1000 times leading to around 200 clicks to either the Papadopoulos and Sons website or the Facebook group – which is adding 20-30 new fans each day (mainly from Greece as I targeted Greece specifically).

I simply cannot imagine a better medium for advertising. Over 1000 views of the trailer for £30 works out at 3 pence per view of the trailer. There are few things you can physically buy for 3 pence, but on Youtube I can engage someone for two minutes. You even get the analytics to show you where people drop out watching your film and how it compares to other films of similar length. The P+Sons trailer has above average retention.

So in theory, I can get the trailer seen by 100,000 people for £3000. And for £30,000 I can get the trailer seen by 1 million people.

I was talking to one of the founders of Distrify – which is a web platform that allows film makers to charge per view of a film – and they said their conversion from watching a trailer to payment was about one in 20. I have no hard evidence that this is correct beyond an anecdotal conversation. However, with a good trailer that conversion feels about right.

If it costs £30,000 to get 1 million views of a trailer. And if one in 20 views of a trailer converts to a paid customer to see the entire film then £30,000 could buy you (in theory) 50,000 customers. If you charge £5 to see a new film then £30,000 gets you £150,000 in sales. And £300,000 would get you £1.5m in sales. Of course, you would have to take out the platform’s cut in this – Distrify take 30% of sales, which is the same as Itunes. However, I don’t know what Youtube’s cut is.

Of course, this does not take into account the organic social media and network effect if you have a genuinely good film that is recommended by word of mouth on Facebook and Twitter. So your audience could grow beyond your projected spend as people recommend a film they just paid for to their friends.

This world of marketing films has not happened yet. But it certainly feels like the future. For independent film makers looking to self distribute and own the process end-to-end – which is the ultimate dream for all indie film makers – this is very exciting.

You can view the Papadopoulos & Sons trailer here:

My Twitter is @PapaSonsFilm and we have a Facebook group at

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