The demise of DVD distribution, coupled with inexpensive production technology has flooded the marked with cheaply produced, accessible movies. For most filmmakers, basing an entire distribution strategy on outside studios “picking up” completed films is silly.
Digital film distribution is now a primary way movies are getting seen and sold. This paradigm shift makes it necessary for every filmmaker to create a specific marketing, sales and distribution plan for their movie.
The Zen of Digital Film Distribution
To succeed, you need to figure out how many units you need to sell to breakeven. For example, lets assume your budget is 100K and you’re going to launch with a 10 dollar release price on your film. Then lets assume the platform (like Amazon) takes fifty percent. That means you’ll need 5 dollars per sale.
To recoup 100K, you will need to sell 20,000 units.
How will you achieve this? At this stage, it’s important to write out a marketing and distribution plan that you control. This plan will outline your target audience. It will include specific tactics for reaching your audience and promoting your film. Your plan will also detail the marketplaces you will utilize to achieve your goals.
- Will you take the festival route? What is your goal?
- Will you sell your movie on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and more?
- Will you send your movie directly to sales agents and acquisition pros?
Once you figure out how you will leverage online and offline media to achieve the necessary sales, you will need to budget for this. How many units will you need to sell at a defined price point to break even? How much will it cost you to sell enough units to make a profit? How much time will you need to execute your marketing plan and achieve these goals?
Success in digital film distribution is dependent upon audience engagement. Regardless of any technological trends coming into vogue. Without finding out where your audience congregates online, and then making a plan for reaching them, you really have no business.