Arriba Soft looks outside the box for Australian distribution

Arriba Soft looks outside the box for Australian distribution

Digital media management tool developer Arriba Soft has introduced Australia to its Web-based distribution model which includes direct selling yet doesn't exclude channel partnerships.

Arriba Soft recently launched its flagship media management tool, Arriba Express, under this model. And according to the company's president and CEO, Michael Lyons this double-barrelled distribution approach is essential to drive demand creation and fulfilment.

Lyons was in Australia last week scouting for local distribution partners and touting marketing plans for the product. He told ARN that while customers can buy Arriba Express directly from the vendor's Web site, bandwidth issues mean for most, it is not the preferred method of delivery.

"Because of the amount of time it takes to download from the Web site, people would still rather have CD-ROMs. I don't want to ship CDs from the US and customers want to pay in local currency," Lyons said.

He claimed the media management market is tipped to top $US3 billion globally by 2001 and potential Australian distributors of the product could be small or large.

They will be able to do their own downloads and distribute their own CDs with leads directed to them from the Arriba Soft Web site.

"It is my opinion that you will not make money in this market if you apply conventional wisdom and old-style distribution channels," Lyons said.

"My prediction is that Australian distributors will go through some morphing. In two years they will be far more marketing-focused than sales-focused. Much of today's distribution strategy for software vendors is being able to take all prices to zero and make money on marketing, services and support," he said.

Comprehensive organisation

With a $269 price-tag, Arriba Express supports 400 digital media file types, provides comprehensive organisation and categorisation capabilities and a "Web Vac" engine to rapidly extract media from Web sites. It also provides native authoring tool support, search capabilities, project organisation and a Windows-based interface.

While some might see potential piracy problems from Arriba Soft's distribution channel, Lyons sees software pirates as being a necessary evil. He said most pirates are teenagers and they probably wouldn't pay for the product anyway. "In this world, I would rather have a strategy where 10 million copies of my product are out there even if nine out of 10 of them were stolen," said Lyons.

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