Gumroad, which provides behind-the-scenes technology that allows filmmakers and distributors to directly sell their movies and other videos online to consumers, has added Rentals, a function that will allow people to stream the shows for a lesser price instead of having to buy and download a large video file.
The site’s technology also can automatically send rental customers a discount coupon to entice them to go ahead and buy the movie, along with other kinds of discounts and deals.
San Francisco-based Gumroad started three years ago, focused on the music business, but added technology to sell film and video programs online in the past year, along with publishing. The company says it currently offers nearly 28,000 pieces of video content, including more than 2,000 feature-length films, all of which can be made available for rent through the new function, at the filmmakers’ discretion.
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Customers will have 30 days to watch a rental, and once they start, can watch as many times as they’d like in a 72-hour period, at a price the filmmaker sets. Customers can also stream the video to a TV from their iOS or Android mobile device using the Gumroad app. The company takes a 5-percent commission, plus a 25-cent charge, for each transaction and passes the rest of the proceeds to the filmmaker.
The company is launching the Rentals option with Appropriate Behavior, a feature film from Desiree Akhavan, who created the crowd-funded web series The Slope. Akhavan wrote, directed and stars in Appropriate Behavior, which is about the complicated life of a bisexual young Persian woman in Brooklyn. The film debuted at Sundance last year, and had a theatrical and VOD release in January.
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