Are there any other companies who propose the same service for choreography?
At this current time, there is no other company that sells rights to choreography online. While there are some companies that teach dance classes and combinations virtually, none sell copyrights to full dance choreographies and pieces. There are other similar platforms and applications in other artistic disciplines such as Shutterstock, 500 Pix, Dreamstime, Twenty20, Promo by Slidely, Artlist, Premium Beat, Musicbed, Soundstripe, iStock, Promo, Playscripts, Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), and Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) to name only a few.
What videos do I need to upload?
For Choreographer Profile:
1 x 15-second choreography reel
For Choreography Page (one for each piece being sold):
1 video of the entire piece including music (if music is required)
1 video of the choreographer or choreographer’s assistant explaining the choreography (counts, intention, port de bras, etc.)
1 x 15-second clip sample of the choreography (optional, as the system can générate a 15-second excerpt from the complete video)
Who retains the rights to choreography put onto the platform?
The choreographers retain all rights to their work. Choreography Online simply owns the website and any original content generated.
Since choreography is not copyrightable, how can you keep people from sharing the downloaded videos?
Once it is a finished work and not just an idea, any choreography of a dance routine aka the design of movement and flow of steps in the routine IS COPYRIGHTABLE. The complex part is proving copyright ownership. This is where having recordings (especially recordings uploaded somewhere online) become important since they often have a timestamp associated with the creation or upload of the work. Since proving ownership is difficult, any dispute on ownership will be settled with timestamps and witnesses.
Any new work put up for sale immediately after creation is one way of helping prove original ownership. It is one of several ways to make sure that some official timestamp is associated with the work.
In this digital age, it is impossible to prevent sharing 100%. For example, the music industry has spent millions in an effort to prevent pirating and it has ultimately failed. That being said, there are ways to discourage it.
When people purchase and download the videos of choreography, our platform automatically engraves a watermark on the video. The watermark will include the licence number, the choreographer’s name, and the licence expiration date. Although we cannot prevent people from sharing what they’ve downloaded, what we CAN do is make sure that anyone receiving it will know the context and its origin - Choreography Online, the licence number, and the choreographers name, and thus know if the video has been shared illegally. As with other artistic domains, the online community will safeguard the content and become the “online sharing police” if you will.
When people purchase pieces, Choreography Online will strongly encourage buyers to list both the choreographer’s name and the rights licence number in any competition or show program in which they intend on performing the work. We will also emphasize the importance of listing both the choreographer’s name and the rights purchase licence number in any upload of their own performance of the work onto the internet so as to ensure the appropriate people are being recognized for their work.
The structure of the licence numbers for each purchase includes a short but functional URL. We envisioned the licence numbers themselves to be URLs so as to redirect interested parties back to the Choreography Online platform and encourage search of the website and potential purchase.
Is there a selection process to decide which choreographies can be sold in the platform?
Yes, there is a selection process and professional standard. We embrace a diverse array of choreographies provided that content, resolution, and text explanations meet our quality standards. We do reserve the right to refuse any submission that is deemed inappropriate, low quality, unprofessional, or could damage the reputation of the company or its employees in anyway.
If there is a possibility that some video or audio content may be offensive to some people or age groups, it will be indicated in the choreography description.
After my choreography is bought, who is in charge of setting the piece?
The buyer will be responsible for setting and rehearsing your piece. The choreographer will make video as clear as possible to ensure the desired execution. After purchase, the choreographer will have a limited role in executing the final result of the piece. In the future, Choreography Online may expand its platform to include in-person residency bookings, allowing greater connectivity and education between the choreographer and buyers. For now, we encourage choreographers to embrace this platform to share their work globally, the same way composers, musicians, and painters share their content.
Will a school or regional company performing a choreographer’s work poorly affect the choreographer’s reputation in a negative way?
When kids and young musicians make mistakes and hit flat notes while playing the Four Seasons, do people in the audience think that Vivaldi was a mediocre composer?
As much as choreographers fear that quality of execution reflects on the quality of choreography, the truth is that most audience members don’t think about the choreographer when dancers make mistakes or have less than ideal technique. The people who will think about the choreography are professionals, and professionals know the difference between the choreography itself and its actual execution. The fact that this concerns you is because you, as a professional, know the difference, which means that other professionals do and will as well.
Will I lose choreography contracts when people start opting for the less costly option online?
How many contracts are you currently getting per year in Australia, the UK, Germany, South Africa?
For choreographers, we feel that the platform will open the door to new markets by allowing people to experience their work at a lower initial cost and thus a lower risk to them. This eventually generated popularity in these so-called “untouched markets.” As a result, buyers will become more willing to take the financial risk in bringing them in to create original works since they have already “tested the waters.”
In addition, contrary to what people predicted would happen, music file sharing actually increased music and concert ticket sales for independent music labels. So essentially, by opening their work to new markets, choreographers are also able to gain supplemental income often times for work that has already been done and created.
In what countries will Choreography Online market?
Initially we intend to focus our efforts on North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia since this is where we performed our preliminary market research. In addition, there is a higher demand for this type of service in these markets and these areas are more familiar and comfortable making digital transactions.
If I open a choreographer account, how can I ensure that I don’t get lost among the mire of other choreographers on the platform?
There are huge advantages in having many choreographers located in one place in a structured, searchable manner:
Imagine you are a consumer, chances are you wouldn’t shop on Amazon if they only had 10 products. The same logic can be applied to choreography. People will not look for choreography on a site that has only 10 choreographers. They will shop on a site that has 1000.
Just as you will be guiding people to your profile on the Choreography Online site via social media and word of mouth, so will every other choreographer. Every time a choreographer drives people to the site, they also potentially lead them to your work as well. Centralizing content allows all choreographers to benefit from the power of “collective promotion.”
Chances are that you will not have a marketing budget to promote and advertise your choreography. However, we do and we want to share that with you! That being said, our marketing investments only serve to augment, complement and support any promotional efforts you make to promote your own choreography. The goal is to bring them to where the magic is - your profile page where your work lives!
I don’t have a professional camera! I’m worried about having to make that investment.
We created this service in order to share amazing content and choreography, not to show our filming techniques and resolution technology skills. That being said, you don’t need a professional camera. Most phones today can film in 4K resolution which is more than enough to create clear and professional looking videos for the internet. In fact, we recommend that you not use “professional” equipment because the file sizes that professional equipment produces are too large to be uploaded or for people to watch. You will then need to lower the resolution in order to load the video onto the platform thus reducing the resolution anyway.
I’m concerned with the amount of work it will take to create the videos needed to be able to sell my choreography.
While it is true that the process will take some effort, it is much less time and effort than teaching dancers the choreography in a rehearsal. Since this is a video and can be rewatched as may times as needed by the person learning the piece of choreography, you only have to show the work and explain counts, visual and/or audio landmarks once as opposed to a live rehearsal where things are repeated numerous times.
What does Choreography Online charge for the service?
Opening an account and uploading your choreography so as to sell it on the platform costs nothing. Choreography Online takes 10% of the licence fee only when one is sold. With respect to credit card processing fees, the plan is for the choreographer to be able to decide whether or not to add the cost of those fees into the licence price or not.
What about choreographers’ agents? Will they get a commission for sales made through the platform?
No, for the moment, choreographer’s agents will not get commissions through the Choreography Online platform. Choreographers on the platform act as independent contractors, representing themselves, selling as themselves, and solely getting paid for the sale of their work. In the future, we do see the platform evolving and expanding to offer agent accounts that can be connected to the choreographers they represent. This will be linked to a service where people who are interested in having an original work created for them can negotiate with the choreographer’s agent and pay their fees entirely through our platform. In this case, the agent would obtain their commission through the platform.
Who is responsible for obtaining the rights to the music used in choreography?
In order for choreography to be sold on the platform, the choreographer will need to obtain rights for any music used in their danced video of the choreography. For those who purchase and perform choreography set to music, they must agree to be responsible for obtaining rights to use the music in performance (this is not the choreographer's responsibility). Legally, this has always been the protocol to adhere to.
In the future, we would like to add the ability to directly purchase music rights through the platform. However, in order to ensure that the quality of our platform, services and choreography offered, at the outset we will concentrate energies on the principal value offering and unfortunately will not be able to include music rights purchasing services.
How does pricing work?
Choreographers decide what price they would like to charge for each licence type.. Choreographers can also choose to add One Year Exclusive Licence options, in addition to the regular licence types (see the next paragraph for an explanation of what an Exclusive Licence is). Although we can suggest a reasonable baseline prices based on our market study, the ideal price will vary depending on the type of choreography (solo, duo, trio, group), and the notoriety of the choreographer.
Will buyers be upset if other people buy the same choreography as them?
Predicting someone’s reaction is impossible so it is safe to say that some might be unhappy while others will not mind. In order to minimize any negative reaction with regards to this topic, we have included an option to sell a limited-time “Exclusive” licence type. As soon as someone purchases the Exclusive Licence, the piece of choreography will disappear from the catalog until the Exclusive Licence expires. This licence type is sold at a higher price since it reduces the number of times a choreographer can sell their piece. Because the piece disappears from the catalog once an Exclusive Licence is sold, it is not recommended to include an Exclusive Licence as a purchasing option unless you have many active choreographies in the catalog.
Will there be a way of searching the choreography catalog using various parameters?
Yes. The following search parameters will be included on the platform:
Category / Dance Style
Type: Solo, Duo, Trio, Groups with # of people
Gender of dancers in piece: Male, Female, Mixed, Not-applicable (either)
Mood: For instance, Slow, Serious, Joyful, Angry, Loving, etc.
Style: Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Theater, Ballroom, etc.
Difficulty level: On a scale from 1 to 10
There is also a Trending List that lists choreographies in order of Popularity (Likes and Loves). Underneath the Trending List is an Editors’ Choice List that will be an order created by dance professionals hired by our team.
What other advantages can this platform bring?
It alleviates the need for travel visas. So setting or creating work overseas becomes very cumbersome due to the need to apply and wait for visas. Some companies and people won’t hire foreign choreographers simply because the visa application process is too complicated with no guarantee that the respective governments will approve the visas. With Choreography Online, the barrier of needing to obtain visas is completely removed.
You can sell the same piece multiple times. There is no limit to the number of times you can sell the same choreography. Moreover, once your choreography is online for sale, you don’t have to monitor it. You can promote it, but there is no upkeep to do once it’s online and ready to sell.
When teachers and parents of young dancers buy your choreography for stage use, you are contributing in a major way to their artistic development and technical education. Young musicians grow up playing music composed by the great composers as part of their education-- but the process for obtaining professional choreography is so complicated and difficult to procure. The Choreography Online platform aims to make choreography by professionals as accessible to dancers as great music is to young musicians.