Zip.ca

Zip.ca

April 20, 2007 06:00 ET

Zip.tv Provides Indie Filmmakers New Distribution Channel

Filmmakers join Zip.tv to celebrate new way to reach film lovers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 20, 2007) - Zip.tv (www.zip.tv), Canada's preeminent online community for film lovers, today announced a new service enabling independent film producers to immediately benefit from the revolution underway in next generation video distribution.

Zip.tv is a sister service of Zip.ca (www.zip.ca), Canada's largest online DVD rental service, and already offers members free hosting and serving of short videos on the Zip.tv website, along with the ability to rate, review, blog and discuss films, all for free. Until now, "user-generated" videos uploaded by Zip.tv members have been limited to 100MB file sizes (a few minutes of viewing), and have also provided no means for revenue generation to content producers.

Effective immediately, Zip.tv is extending to independent producers the ability to place, for free, feature-length films on the Zip.tv website, where Zip.tv will bear the costs of hosting and serving the content. Later this year, Zip.tv will also extend to independent producers the ability to earn revenue from such films, offering producers the choice of either shared advertising revenue or pay-per-view revenue. For producers who wish to display their content for free, Zip.tv will continue to bear the hosting and serving costs.

"Finding channels for film distribution has long been a challenge for independent producers, here in Canada and around the world," said Rick Anderson, President & CEO of Zip.tv. "We are now starting to see more and more video content from major Hollywood and television studios distributed legally via the Internet, and Zip.tv is keen to extend the benefits of this revolutionary new means of distribution to the independent film community."

Through Zip.tv, producers can upload, view and share their productions for free, as well as obtaining useful ratings, reviews, feedback and insights about their films while accessing a robust audience of film lovers. Within the longtail-oriented Zip.tv community, it is viewers who determine which titles receive the highest ratings, acclaim and notice, with member-to-member referrals driving a great deal of viewing. In virtually every category of video content, Zip.tv and Zip.ca offer the widest-possible array of content.

"The Internet offers a new realm of possibilities for talented artists, and promises to expand video horizons much the same way that music downloads have revolutionized music," said Anderson . "No longer will the availability of content be limited to what is chosen by a handful of powerful gatekeepers. Like the Internet in general, Zip.tv turns control over to film lovers, allowing viewers to decide what they want to see, when they want to see it."

"The independent film community has been crying out for innovative new ways to distribute content," said Paul "Spike" Lees, a leading independent filmmaker and documentarian. "The Zip.tv service goes a long way in setting the industry on the right path and progressing it into a new era where content is available for all."

Formats compatible with the new upload service include most of the popular digital video formats:

- Apple Quicktime (.mov)

- Macromedia Flash video FLV (.flv)

- MPEG1 (.mpg, mpeg)

- MS ASF (.asf, .wmv)

- MS AVI (.avi)

- Real Video (.rm)

Films of up to 500MB filesize may be uploaded by producers directly, or if prefered conveyed to Zip.tv for uploading. For longer or feature-length films, Zip.tv will accept films in any digital format and handle uploading to the Zip.tv site, making the service equally accessible for short film creators as for feature filmmakers. At the moment, all viewing is free; starting this fall, producers and filmmakers will be free to decide if their films will be viewable for free or on a Pay-Per-View basis. Should they select PPV, they are entitled to 100% of their PPV revenue until such time as they achieve commercial recognition. Content producers will retain all copyright to their material for traditional distribution channels.

About Zip.ca: Zip.ca (www.zip.ca) is Canada's leading online video service, offering the largest selection, best service and best value in online DVD rentals and purchases. Zip.ca offers Canada's most extensive DVD library (over 53,000 titles and growing), and provides members with 24/7 online convenience for creating and managing their own personal ZipLists of must-see movies, television shows, music videos and other video selections. With a variety of low-priced monthly membership plans, Zip.ca provides the best value and convenience in DVD rentals - with no deadlines, no late fees and no hassles. Since opening its virtual doors to Canadian movie lovers on February 11, 2004, Zip.ca has shipped over 6 million rental DVDs to members, from highly-automated distribution centres in Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. Zip.ca is part of the Momentous.ca family of online enterprises, providing customers with high-quality high-value online services.

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