German directors open trailer site nixes pre-roll ads and pays viewers to watch

BERLIN — German directors Roland Emmerich and Marco Kreuzpaintner are launching a movie trailer website that nixes irritating adverts and instead engages viewers with an interactive “earn-per-view” element.

Citing studies that show most Internet users skip pre-roll ads for trailers or simply quit trying to view the trailer rather than sit through the ads, the creators of hope to attract movie fans by rewarding them for watching.

Users can log on to the site, watch trailers and then answer quizzes and earn up to 10¢ in a virtual account that can be used to buy movie tickets, DVDs, VOD downloads or games. The winnings can also be donated to German charities such as the the Ein Herz fuer Kinder child care organization or the AIDS and HIV support group Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe.

Emmerich and Kreuzpaintner partnered with producer Christopher Zwickler and Alexander Artope, CEO of peer-to-peer credit mart Smava, on the movie marketing platform.

Zwickler, CEO of, says it will be financed by distribs who book slots for trailers paid for out of their own ad budgets, and by traditional banner ads.

In addition to distribs, has also secured the support of multiplex operator CineStar.

The first trailers to roll on the site, which launches Thursday, will include Universal’s “The Bourne Legacy” and “ParaNorman,” Universum’s “Cabin in the Woods” and Tobis’ “To Rome With Love.”

Star dubber Kim Hasper, the German voice of James Franco, Zach Braff and Ryan Phillippe, will introduce the trailers and discuss upcoming films.

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