Subscribers: Creating, Viewing, Managing


Patrons can access your virtual event's content in one of two ways, with a Voucher (also know as a ticket) or as a Subscriber (also known as a pass holder).   Whereas a voucher provides access to one specific piece of content, a subscriber's subscription provides access to a group of content, which may or may not be all of your virtual event's content.  A patron accessing your Patron Portal as a subscriber logs in with their email address and password (or in the case of a TVapp they'll pair their device) and arrives on the subscriber view page where they can browse through all of the titles available to them using an interface similar to other popular streaming services (ie. Netflix, Hulu, etc).  The subscriber (or patron) can select a title to arrive on that event's landing page with details and access to the content which may include a primary video, a trailer, a scheduled live stream, or pre-recorded bonus material.

If you are using a ticketing solution to sell subscriptions (or passes), their system will utilize Cinesend's API to create the subscriber automatically, with their subscription, as part of the transactional process.  In addition to, or instead of, you can manually create a subscriber in your CineSend account and even import a csv file of subscribers.   Please note, for ticketing solutions that utilize a single sign on (SSO) integration you cannot manually create subscribers in your Cinesend account, they'll need to be added in your ticketing solution so that the sso password verification will work as intended.

Manually Creating Subscribers

Even if you have an automated method for creating subscribers there may be times when you need to manually create subscribers yourself.  This includes giving yourself or others access to your patron portal so you can review and modify its appearance.  When you create a new subscriber, you’ll be creating for them an email invitation to log into your Patron Portal and set their own password.   Again, this process does not work if you are using a ticketing solution that employs a sso integration, so in that case you'd add your subscribers in the ticketing solution.

To create a new subscriber, navigate to the SUBSCRIBERS area and click the Invite Subscribers button.  Enter their name, email address, and select subscription type(s) if necessary (more on that later).  Enter a password for the subscriber if you have that, and in this case the patron will not receive an automated email inviting them to join your portal.  If a password is not entered, however, the patron will receive an automated email invitation to join your site, creating their password in the process.  The email can be disabled if needed by using the switch at the bottom of the modal window.   Click the Add Row button if you want to create more subscribers. 

Manually Importing Subscribers

If you have a large number of subscribers to enter (for example a membership or donor program list), you can choose to import them from a csv file.  Click the Invite Subscribers button, choose the subscription type if needed, and then click the "Import by CSV" button.  You'll be presented with instructions and an "Upload CSV" button.  If your subscriber already exists, the import will update their subscriber account, adding in the subscription type to those they already have.   If you do not include a password column, new subscribers who are imported will get an automated invitation email to set up their password, unless you disable this with the switch beforehand.  Existing subscribers whose accounts are updated do not get an invitation email, and can use the password they already have set for access.  You can include three columns of custom data, which will be present in subscriber reports and can be used to search subscribers as well.  This might be a useful place to include an order number, or a membership level.  

Subscription Types

Subscription Types are employed when you need to setup different content access for different subscribers.  For example you might have an All Access Pass that is entitled to see all of your content, but other passes that are entitled to see only of a portion or segment of your content.  To create subscription types, navigate to the Subscriptions area from the left hand menu and click the "New" button.  

Once you have created your subscription type, you can then add which content is accessible by clicking on the "Add Content" button and choosing the assets for this subscription type.   Alternately, once your subscription type has been created you can add it individually in the asset areas above (videos, live events, playlists, series).  

The Subscription Type contains fields for Title; Subscription ID; and Custom ID.   The Title or Subscription ID fields can be used through the API for a ticketing solution's transaction integration.   The Custom ID is used when a ticketing solution must provide the ID from their system to connect to Cinesend's system.   Additionally, you may choose to have a particular subscription type ignore the default geoblocking, which could be useful for comped passes for filmmakers, critics, or jurors who may not necessarily be located in the geoblocked regions.

Viewing and Managing Existing Subscribers

You can view your existing subscribers in the Subscribers area of your administrative portal.  Here you can make changes, view a subscriber's viewing sessions, and see their logged in devices. Use the Search field to locate the subscriber or select them from the list below.  The "Subscriptions" column will display any subscription types they have been assigned (if any).  The "Status" column will display Active if they have logged in and established their password, Invite Pending if they have not yet logged in, Inactive if the subscriber has been deactivated, or Suspended if their account was suspended due to too many failed log in attempts.  With the vertical ellipsis at far right of each subscriber row you can add or update the subscription types, deactivate, or delete.  If the status is Invite Pending, you have the additional option to resend the email invite.   If you click the boxes at left of a subscriber name, you will have bulk editing options to Activate, Deactivate or Delete the subscriber or subscribers.

If you click on a subscriber's line you will see similar options under the Details sub-menu, and additionally you can set it to ignore any geoblocking restrictions, if necessary. You can also view session analytics by choosing the sub-menu option Sessions or their logged in devices by choosing Access Devices.

You can limit the number of devices your subscribers are allowed to log in with by enabling the feature "Login Restrictions" found in the SITE SETTINGS area, under the sub-menu Asset Access.  This sets the maximum number of devices permitted for a subscriber.  If they reach their limit, they can delete a device using the gear icon online (on the patron portal), or you can delete a device for them from the Access Devices sub-menu as seen above.

Subscriber Self-Registration

It is now possible to allow subscriber "self-registration", where users can register for an account themselves without requiring an invitation. This is great to allow new users to sign up for an account on their own to access free programming or a subset of teaser/promo content.

Note that this feature is only available when using CineSend's built-in subscriber authentication. It will not work if your account has been configured with a third-party identity provider (Elevent, Agile, or another SSO solution).

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