Written By: Alba Ortiz Reyes and Ricardo Derose
Online distribution has become all the rage for a smaller budget and independent films as an option for sharing the created content. The Internet explosion and advanced technology, multiple platforms are dedicated to providing online distribution for these smaller scale projects.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Vimeo on Demand are just three of the big corporations in that field. These companies provide small businesses and filmmakers, not affiliated with a studio, the chance to distribute the created content for a lower portion of the profits without necessarily going through traditional costly distribution. However, getting onto these platforms is not a simple matter.
Amazon Prime Video, for example, requires filmmakers to work in conjunction with a direct Amazon aggregator. Therefore, a filmmaker has the opportunity for their film to have a platform. An aggregator has specific software that collects creative content for these different online distribution companies. The aggregator then will charge the filmmaker a fee to begin the process of sending the film/ creative content to the online distributor. However once the product has made it onto the platform (in this case APV), the creator get paid per stream.
The other option available would be something where the filmmaker himself has to make the views happen. Vimeo on Demand is the best example. With Vimeo the creator pays a yearly subscription and the platform then allows the user to upload his content and charge for the views. However, it then falls on the creator himself to get people to watch the film.
Lastly, there is Netflix. Netflix has over 30 million subscribers, but it does not pay for the views. In fact, it only pays for the license to stream the content. It is a great way of promoting the product, but it does not provide additional income per views. It serves mostly as a great marketing strategy for the creator and a way to create an online portfolio of sorts.
In the old days, the only way for a filmmaker to get his work published and distributed was through negotiations with a major film distributor or film company. The Indie Filmmakers were almost nonexistent. Because they had no way of showing their work if a major Film Company did not accept it. Nowadays, with the new technology and the power of the Internet it has gotten easier for filmmakers to distribute their work. However, they also have to rely on their network to properly market the product to make a profit. These are only three (3) of the many options available to filmmakers for online distribution. As an independent filmmaker it is important to make the proper research to find the platform that fits the needs of the created content.
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