In a time when public life has come to a stop, European cinemas have to close doors and film premieres and events are postponed, The Dutch initiative ”Picl” proved to be a best practice of the convergence from traditional cinema to digital cinematic experience. The Picl model introduces a flexible digital distribution of newly released films in collaboration with distributors and cinemas, whereby -different from other VOD platforms – each part of the value chain gains revenue from the online sales.

The Picl model has been tested and proven successful by Stichting Nederlandse Filmpromotie (SNF) in The Netherlands between 2017-2020 as part of the ECVI initiative.

Picl brings the marketing from cinemas and distributors under one digital roof, and makes it possible for distributors as well as cinemas to deploy targeted, data-driven promotion campaigns for films to local audiences in Europe.

All project’s activities are dedicated to support cinemas and to improve the position of European arthouse films, which are loved and cherished by a large audience group, and brought to them digitally in a collaborative effort of local cinemas, distributors & Picl.

Picl offers cinemas the following services:

  • exclusive online content in Virtual Cinema window
  • exclusive and taylormade online screeningroom for avant premieres, film clubs or educational screenings
  • offer your own alternative content: Q & A’s, introductions
  • embedded player for your own website
  • your own page on the platform
  • real time insights in data
  • marketing advise
  • technical helpdesk

About Picl: virtual cinema since 2017
Picl brings your arthouse cinema into your living room. With Picl, arthouse cinemas are able to offer their local audiences a personal, hand-picked selection of brand new films for home viewing through Video on Demand. In their own virtual cinema, via Picl.

Picl allows arthouse cinemas to offer a selection from their programme to home audiences, right from the premiere, at a premium price. This does not replace the experience of seeing a film in the cinema – rather, it’s a handy extra service specially for film enthusiasts with busy lives. Bringing larger and younger audiences to European arthouse films and documentaries by offering these films both offline and online through the most natural, trusted platform that already exists for these films: the cinema.

Independent cinemas, with their culturally diverse programming, are the flagship platform for and natural home of quality films. These are still the places where most arthouse films develop a life and accumulate cultural and economic value.

The Netherlands has a fantastic network of independent cinemas, which in recent years have achieved the status of high-value palaces for the viewing of quality films. With state-of-the-art equipment, trendy cafés and professional staff.

How it started
Picl was set up in March 2017 by Anke van Diejen and Noortje van de Sande of PR, marketing and distribution company Herrie Film & TV. An initial pilot year, during which the technology was tested and research carried out into the feasibility of the platform, proved that both consumers and the industry are enthusiastic.

Would you like to know more about the start of Picl? Our digital creative agency GRRR tells you all about it.

And it works
Picl is the only service of its kind in the world. Together with 40 independent cinemas and all independent distributors and film festivals joining, we offer new film premieres every week at a premium price of €8,50.

The power of communication
The secret to Picl’s success is cooperation. Picl is fully integrated into all communications by the independent cinemas (websites, newsletters, in-house, social channels) and is adopted into campaigns by the distributors. In addition, Picl itself responds to umbrella campaigns that focus on retargeting.

The cinema experience remains key
Even though we believe in the unsurpassed cinema experience on the big screen, there’s no doubt that the rise of the digital market and online availability of films is having a significant impact on the entire value chain for films – including the cinemas. Cinemas can play a significant role in unlocking independent films and documentaries to a loyal, well-targeted audience. Instead of creating yet another VOD platform trying to reach a new audience, we are giving cinemas a tool with which they can deliver the best European films straight to their core target groups: virtual cinema.

Picl offers these films a real, high-profile opportunity to reach audiences, and in doing so strengthens the position of the cinemas by offering them an innovative online tool which is a natural extension of their value chain.

Additional revenue
As film-lovers, we believe – like the independent cinemas which work with us – in the power of the cinema experience. Nothing beats an evening of communal dreaming in the dark. Picl is an alternative for people who, for whatever reason, cannot get to the cinema. Research has shown that Picl users are supplementary to, and do not replace, regular cinema visits. What’s more, Picl is actually generating additional turnover for these independent cinemas. This is also reflected by the figures. After the cinema release comes to an end, the Picl views keep on going, significantly extending the life of the film. The films, the consumers, the cinemas and the rights-holders: everyone benefits.

www.picl.nl

Would you like to know more?
Please get in touch: Noortje van de Sande, noortje@picl.nl 

Picl is supported by Creative Europe and Nederlands Film Fonds.