Saturday, August 16, 2008

Online Distribution

There are four types of online distribution:

1) Web sites that sell dvd's of films.  There are many of these, including Amazon.com.  A more alternative approach has been taken by www.bravenewfilms.com where socially conscious films are listed and people can order copies of films to show in their communities.  They currently have 340 films available there. 

2) Web sites that show films as embedded video.   These are typically shorter films.  

3) Transactions where the viewer can pay to watch the film. (And often buy the dvd for an extra price)
    Example:  The Secret,  used Vividas technology to play high end video and protect from piracy.  They built up a huge anticipation before hand with emails of the trailer, then when it came available, sold single views of the film online for $4.95, which would then credit the viewer toward a $19.95 purchase price to buy the film on dvd.   Virtually 100% of viewers of the online version bought the dvd.  Over 600,000 dvd's were sold this way.  Now the DVD sells for $34 in retail stores.. The companion book went to number one on the NYTimes bestseller list and the second printing went to 2 million copies.

4) The Netflix model - who distribute "rentals" of films - also now they allow on the fly downloads as well. Netflix's distribution company is Red Envelope Entertainment: which distributed: "Born into Brothels", "Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends",  "Business of Being Born", "Kicking It",  "Steal a Pencil for Me", "A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory", "Protagonist", "Running with Arnold". All these films have deals with Red Envelope Entertainment – who are increasingly buying films at Sundance – and whose goal is to 1) circumvent Sundance and 2) buy all the films at Sundance. With Longtail cross promotional marketing they are in a great position to do this.   Ted Sarandos, has access to Netflix's 5 million subscribers, which already has 7 million dvd rentals each week. 

5) There are also sites that assist with online marketing, such as withoutabox - which uses viral marketing to enable audiences to get a screening, complete with filmmakers in their town.  See Case Study: Four Eyed Monsters

This is just a general survey of what I found on the subject. 

Good luck with developing your own online distribution approaches!  Please add to my comments other aspects of online distribution you'd like to add here. 

Thanks,

Stephanie Hubbard
Los Angeles
(323)202-5645


 


 

2)    Iraq for sale similarly marketed to 100 social change groups emails – got 3000 people to each donate $100 to making the film in two weeks set up screenings in peoples homes via www.bravenewtheaters.com  How many films on there, currently 340.

 

3)    Red Envelope Entertainment: "Born into Brothels", "Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends",  "Business of Being Born", "Kicking It",  "Steal a Pencil for Me", "A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory", "Protagonist", "Running with Arnold". All these films have deals with Red Envelope Entertainment – who are increasingly buying films at Sundance – and whose goal is to 1) circumvent Sundance and 2) buy all the films at Sundance. With Longtail cross promotional marketing they are in a great position to do this.   Ted Sarandos, 5 million subscribers, 7 million dvd rentals each week. 



--
Stephanie Hubbard
Editor/Writer/Producer
www.stephaniehubbard.com
Check out my editing workshops for directors!

2 comments:

Le said...

Excellent post!!! This is such an invaluable summary of tried-and-true cases of successful internet marketing!

Stephanie Hubbard said...

Thank you, Stephanie, for this helpful information about distribution. Another source, for certain films, is The Spiritual Cinema Circle. They just picked up my documentary short, “Greedy for Life” with a non-exclusive deal that allows me to sell the film myself as well as be distributed by them.

Laurie Schur
Www.beautyofaging.com