'Tattoo Nation' makes its online debut on Yekra

Prepare yourself for on-demand access to actor Danny Trejo’s tattooed chest.

Online distribution company Yekra has acquired exclusive 60-day online distribution rights to the Eric Schwartz documentary “Tattoo Nation” – which features Trejo, Ed Hardy and others sharing their body art.  

The film premiered online early Thursday morning and will rent for $6.99 on Yerka’s video platform. The cost of the rental can be applied to a $19.99 DVD purchase of the movie for those who want more than one viewing.

Founded in 2011, Yekra is not a destination platform like Hulu or Neflix. Instead, it relies on a somewhat novel partnership model. Rather than hosting its own videos, Yekra relies on niche websites in the genre of its films to embed links to its content.

A horror movie fan site, for instance, might offer a Yekra horror title for sale via an embedded link. Anyone who purchased the film would watch it directly on the horror site, and Yekra, the site, and the film’s producers would all share in the profits.

Yekra's founder and president, Lee Waterworth, said this strategy helped the company’s last film, “Sirius,” take in $250,000 in its first 48 hours after it appeared online. The film was rented 25,000 times through more than 4,000 partner sites.

“We’ve already paid back over $175,000 to the producer of the film,” said Waterworth.

In an interview, “Tattoo Nation” director Schwartz said he hopes for similar success, but acknowledged this distribution model is an experiment.

“We do have specific targets we want to hit, but we’re not sure how the mix will play out, because the model is so new," he said. "That said, I think this opportunity is a dream come true for an independent filmmaker.”

Waterworth said Yekra recently secured $3 million in capital from angel investors, and it will be used to keep the site’s video platform technologically relevant and expand the company’s marketing reach.  


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