UbicMedia launches PUMit digital distribution tool


French technology firm UbicMedia introduced its PUMit® digital film distribution tool to the North American market on Oct. 21. PUMit uses internationally patented security and e-commerce technology to help filmmakers screen and monetize their work online.

The announcement coincided with UbicMedia’s participation in and sponsorship of the eighth annual Film Independent Forum, held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.

PUMit allows filmmakers and rights-holders to distribute their films via a simple movie link that can be placed anywhere on the web, including social networks, websites or blogs, as well as shared via e-mail. A secure payment gateway accompanies each link, enabling filmmakers to collect payments for digital views, which are deposited directly into their PayPal account.

Originally launched in Europe, PUMit has for the last two years been used by French media and crowd-funding companies to securely deliver pre-release content to exhibitors, industrial clients and other stakeholders. In its home country of France, PUMit was used by Buena Vista for the release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The North American launch marks PUMit’s first use as a direct-to-consumer marketing and sales tool.

UbicMedia president Alain Rosset stated, “Since the beginning of modern filmmaking, control over a film’s release has been reserved for distributors. PUMit is a simple tool that empowers the independent filmmaker—giving them the ability to promote and screen their films directly to fans, and make money doing it.”

PUMit can also complement a film’s distribution through a digital aggregator. “Filmmakers who are already working with a nonexclusive third-party distributor can still use PUMit as a direct-to-fan sales and marketing tool,” said Rosset,

PUMit converts standard and high-definition movies into protected files, called PUM Files, which are accessible through movie links. Filmmakers can add rules to these links, including restrictions on how or who can view the file, the territories where it can be accessed, and the purchase price. These rules can be updated at any time.

Anyone can share and download the protected PUM file; however, in order to watch the film, a viewer must first meet the requirements set by the filmmaker (i.e., pay a fee, type in a code, sign up for a newsletter). Once these conditions are met, a very small but critical piece of data extracted from the film is continuously swapped with the PUM file data over the Internet. The shifted information never fully unlocks the whole file, it affects only and partially the frame that is displayed at any given time. PUMit uses a progressive download delivery so viewers can either watch the film immediately or later.

Each movie link created by the PUMit system can be tracked to provide filmmakers with valuable information about their audience, including their purchasing and viewing behavior and their influence online, all of which can be collected anonymously. Details about the viral nature of their film can also be tracked, including where, when and how many times a film is viewed or resold.

Proprietary integration with Facebook enables filmmakers to sell their films directly from a fan page without the need for extra coding or e-commerce applications.

PUMit also enables filmmakers or small distributors to offer free digital screeners for upcoming movies to potential buyers or partners and can replace watermarked DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

Three independent films—Cash Crop, New York Doll and The Welcome—will be distributed using PUMit to demonstrate the tool’s core features. In addition, Cactus Three Films will utilize PUMit in their online store to distribute their slate of documentaries.

For more information or to get started with PUMit, visit www.pumit.com