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How Would You Use All 27 New Platforms Available For Direct (aka DIY/DIWO) Distribution?

by Ted Hope
August 30, 2011 8:30 AM
15 Comments
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We are awash in wonderful opportunities. Distribution has long been said to be one of the top concerns of Truly Free / Indie filmmakers. Ditto on the marketing side. We've been neglectful to address the equally important social side, but that's changing. Financing is always a challenge, but even there we have new help and hope. The great news is that never before have we had so many opportunities in all these areas.

Now comes the time to develop some best practices. How do we use all of these wonderful opportunities? How do we prepare for them? How do we access them? Here's a list of the 27 platforms & tools I know of; I am sure you know some more to add to the list. Let's get this new model started!

How about everyone pick a platform (ideally one they used) and write up some recommendations on how to use it well, and we run them as posts on this blog?

So...

How do you think we should utilize all of these great tools and platforms? We are not going to figure it out one by one on our own. The truth will only be revealed through collective endeavor (and a little good fortune). I would love to hear some advice from all the budding and experienced PMDs out there... not to mention filmmakers who have utilized or plan on utilizing any of these.

I am having a bit of a hard time coming up with the proper discriptions for the tools and services. This is very much a Work In Progress. If you have a better definition, please let me know. Several services show up in different categories. There are definitely suppliers that I have forgotten or neglected to mention (my apologies, but this is a public service and not my job job).

UPDATED 8/31 730A (Now 30 Platforms & Services!) Thanks for the recommendations in the comments and elsewhere!
UPDATED 9/1 630A (Now 31 Platforms & Services!),UPDATED 9/1 830A, UPDATED 9/8 8A (32!), UPDATED 9/15 6A, 9/23,,

1. Artist Direct Distribution / Platforms: FilmDIY (promo video), MubiGarage, Ooyala, Viddler,

2. Artist Direct Distribution / Platforms - non-specialized: These are places filmmakers can "sell" their work, but are not filmcentric. Craigslist, Etsy,

3. Artist Direct Distribution / TVOD Players: Distrify, Dynamo Player (Review), EggUp (review), FansOfFIlm.tv (still in Beta) , FlickLaunch, Groupee, OpenFilm,

4. Artist Direct Distribution / Service Facilitators: Sundance's Artist Services,

5. Audience Aggregation, Analytics, & Commerce: FanBridge, TopspinMedia

6. Audience Participation: LiveFanChat, Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Social Guide, SoKap, Watchitoo

7. CrowdFunding/Audience Participation:
     IndieGoGo • 4% fee if you make your goal, 9% otherwise, +3% credit card processing fee
     Kickstarter • 5% fee, +3-5% credit card fee (only funded if you make your goal)
     RocketHub • 4% fee if you make your goal, 8% otherwise, +3-5% credit card fee
     SoKap • 5% fee, 10% fee on product sold via their marketplace, +3% credit card fee
     United States Artists • 15% fee + 4% credit card fee
     Eppela • 5% fee + PayPal processing fee (~2-4%), (must use PayPal, only funded if you make your goal, Italian)
     Kapipal • Currently no fee + PayPal processing fee (~2-4%), (must use PayPal, Italian)
     And 10 others listed here

8. Digital Delivery Facilitators: Veedios (article)

9.Digital Distribution Access Providers: Brainstorm, Distribber (analysis), GoDigital, Gravitas, Inception Digital Services, IndieBlitz ,Might Entertainment, New Video, Premiere Digital,

10. Digital Download & Streaming Aggregators: Amazon, AsiaPacificFilms.com, CinemaNow (aka BestBuy), FilmDIY, iTunes, Vudu, XFinityTV (aka Comcast),YouTube

11. Digital Limited Run US Theatrical Exhibition: Cinedigm, FathomEvents, Screenvision

12. Digital Streaming Aggregators FREE (AVOD): Crackle, Snag (Owners of IndieWIre, host of my blog), Vimeo, YouTube

13. E-commerce: E-Junkie (shopping cart)

14. Educational Market: An Overview, Educational Market Streaming

15. Exhibition/Four Wall Services (i.e. self booking): QuadCinemaFourWall

16. Exhibition/New Model: Emerging's Digital Repertory Program, Specticast

17. Free Peer to Peer: VoDo, BitTorrent

18. Fulfillment: Amazon Services, Amplifier, theConneXtion, CreateSpace, FilmBaby, IndieBlitz,Kufala Recordings, Paid, Transit Media, I got a lot more when I did a search but I don't know one from the other.

19. Influencer / Social Media Analytics: Klout, PeerIndex, Topsy, Traackr, Twitalyzer,

20. Markets / Online On Demand For Territorial Licensing (B2B): Cinando, Festival Scope,

21. Mobile Phone & Tablet Film App Builders: Mopix (see demo here) Stonehenge

22. Mobile Video Sharing: Thwapr,

23. Platforms: Facebook, Playstation, Roku, RoxioNow, XBox

24. Search (for SEO): Ask, Bing, Google,Yahoo

25. Social Discovery Platforms ( Online TVOD): PreScreen

26. Social Networks: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Weibo

27. Stream To View Transactional VOD (Pay): Constellation, Prescreen (review)

28. Streaming Subscription (SVOD): Amazon, AsiaPacificFilms.com, Fandor, Hulu, LoveFilm, Mubi, Netflix

29. Trailer Distribution / Online Internet Video Archive

30. Video Conferencing / Multi-party (for Fan Engagement & Remote Appearances): Watchitoo

31. VOD Aggregation: itzon.tv,

32. VOD Channels: Multichannel Video Programmers (note: not all offer VOD), FilmBuff

15 Comments

  • Rebecca Thompson | December 16, 2011 4:00 PMReply

    This is such a useful list - thank you very much. I've just taken on PMDing for a Scottish movie, and this will be invaluable.

  • dan kershaw | September 27, 2011 7:39 AMReply

    this is remarkable. thank you! does anyone know if a similar list exists for music?

  • gaetano marano | September 14, 2011 3:31 AMReply

    .
    .
    .
    these are two italian crowdfunding sites (also in english)
    .
    www.eppe.la
    .
    www.kapipal.com
    .
    .
    .

  • gaetano marano | September 14, 2011 3:28 AMReply

    .
    .
    .
    see my IndieGoGo campaigns here: http://www.indiegogo.com/gaetanomarano
    .
    .
    .

  • wendy bernfeld | September 1, 2011 8:54 AMReply

    ok, now all you need to add is the international equivalents to this list...will collate some info for you from over here in EU fof the counterparts...www,rights-stuff.com

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | September 1, 2011 3:35 AMReply

    2 related ideas to contemplate:

    1 - the oldest platform: the movie theater - still works well for some indie-ish projects I think (of course I do not know the number$ associated with the title, but Midnight In Paris still seems to be doing good business). So, have we figured out how to make money (with a good film) at the theater while using all the marketing tools now available for free (& cost of labor/web marketers) on the web? What are some great examples of using relatively free/low cost web marketing to drive people to theaters to watch real indie movies (or, for that matter, fake indie movies :)? Are there any yet?

    2 - a group of proven experts who select a worthy (in their opinion) indie film & then uses Kickstarter, etc. & their expertise to raise funds for, pay themselves, & distribute the film/make money for the filmmakers. this kind of thing probably has already happened to some significant degree on some projects, but more of it, more info on it would be interesting/useful - maybe this is an idea for a new kind of a filmmaker service company (filmmaker comes to the company with a film, the company/group of experts, helps the filmmaker raise funds for distribution via kickstarter, etc, including paying for the work being done by the company, and then proceeds to assist the filmmaker distribute the movie & hopefully (filmmaker) make some money from the project).

  • Marian | August 31, 2011 12:27 PMReply

    I'd love to know which of these are best for people outside the US, both with content to share and for access. For instance, from New Zealand I can't access Netflix. But can access MUBI. Are some of you out there hanging onto your global online rights to sell as a unit, while selling all your other rights in the old way, into geographical territories? How are you dealing with geoblocks?

  • Susan Albershardt | August 31, 2011 11:12 AMReply

    Hi Ted,

    Thanks for putting together this list. Just an FYI - to get films onto iTunes, if you do NOT have a catalog of at least 5 films to distribute, you must work with someone who does (i.e., a distributor) or use an Apple approved aggregator. You can find the list of 5 movie aggregators here: https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa/wo/2.0.0.9.7.3.1.11.1.2.3

    Hope this helps.

  • mike vogel | August 31, 2011 5:18 AMReply

    I make nanobudget movies so I'm always looking for new ways to distribute my film. On one hand, I love lists like this because it shows there's so much happening. But my gut tells me that the only one of these platforms that will matter for distribution in the future is YouTube (and Netflix/Amazon if you can get your movie there).

    I posted my first feature to YouTube and annotated it with a director's commentary that can be toggled on/off. It's eligible for revenue sharing and any money I make from that will go into targeted Facebook ads or a promoted video on YouTube to build a Subscriber base to make it easier to reach people with every new video. I don't think the feature film format is the best format for people with no budget. I'm focusing on shorter, more frequently released content and then adapt my plan as things evolve.

  • Pam Horovitz | August 30, 2011 7:34 AMReply

    Great list! I would just add that getting the trailer for your movie into wide distribution online is also important. Indie film makers in particular can't count on just iTunes, or YouTube to get the word out. My company, Internet Video Archive, specializes in online trailer distribution, and while we promote movies from all the majors (we have over half a million promotional assets), we love promoting indies to our affiliate network (which includes Flixster, Fandango, and 300+ million fans). Sujewa was very smart to include the player platforms - we've seen explosive growth with Playstation and Roku.

  • john D | August 30, 2011 7:23 AMReply

    Ted,
    Whenever you add a link you should have them open up in a new tab. It's really annoying to click on a link and be forced to leave your site.

    From experience you should know that VoDo is a complete joke. They take forever, 6+ months, to get your movie onto their site. That's if they even get around to doing it. I've had one movie I uploaded 8 months ago and it's still not on their site. The creators of VoDo are clearly lazy and/or indifferent. Not worth it. It won't be around in a year.

  • Jamie KIng | February 16, 2012 7:50 AM

    Hey John D., Owen M. Only just discovered these comment. Sorry to hear you had trouble getting your film onto the site last year. Please do contact me personally if there is anything we can do to help you out. We are a small project, but we do try our best :) -- jamie

  • Owen M | December 8, 2011 9:43 AM

    Agree.

  • Jerry Lentz | August 30, 2011 7:07 AMReply

    I agree with Sujewa Ekanayake, great list!

    It's a great list and I wish the pr behind these sites would comment here to add what makes their service good for the filmmaker. Even 27 is a lot to go through, that's competition, so it would be nice to see who really cares to step up to the plate and tell us why we should be using them and not another. It's a competition! Ready, Set, Comment! The Winner wins our content! Yay!

    Also, while print is dead... It still lingers for some. The numerous free weeklies have FREE ads once a month in their Back Pages. I sold many movies from LA Weekly, City Beat, New Times... And they can be great for casting notices as well. Sometimes with a ad posting the intrepid writer or editor will ask for an interview about your project and that can sometimes be good.

    More awesome dope from Hope! Thanks for being there in the trenches for us!

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | August 30, 2011 5:39 AMReply

    Great list, thanks.

    Etsy might be a good place to sell certain films, and handmade-ish items related to films. I know some filmmakers sell on Etsy.

    Craigslist might also be a good place for selling DVDs, merch, etc. (certainly many other biz's use Craigslist well on a daily basis). Of course that site is very useful for production staffing, etc.

    Not sure if iTunes is on the above list (if not, then iTunes :). Not sure how accessible they are as a sales platform for all indie filmmakers, but some certainly have had great success w/ them.

    There is a Kickstarter type site called United States Artists - I believe there is some kind of a matching grant deal associated with it - might be worth a look for some filmmakers.

    Perhaps screening for hire/distribution for hire services offered by Quad Cinema, etc should be added to this list, might be useful for some projects & filmmakers.

Hope on social

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