If you ever asked yourself: How do I market my movie? You are not alone. One of our Filmmaking Stuff readers wrote in, asking some very good questions about how to find a VOD platform and how to choose a website domain.
I have had one frustrating year of trying to launch my film for sale onto the internet and I am really interested in what you have to offer. After listening to your audio downloads and having read your blog, I have many questions running through my head. How do I sell my movie on Amazon? Aren’t they a middleman? So how much of a fee do they charge? Also, my film is 700 MB big and will I be able to upload onto whatever you are offering? And I have not bought a domain name for the film yet. I am thinking of using GoDaddy.com. How many years should I subscribe for the domain?
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First of all, congratulations on finishing your film. This is a feat that very few filmmakers get to experience. And it is something that you should be proud of.
In response to your movie distribution questions, there are quite a few platforms that allow you to promote and sell your movie online. Since you mentioned Amazon, let’s start there. If you live in the United States, it is fairly easy to get your movie seen and selling in the Amazon marketplace. Simply visit www.CreateSpace.com and send them a copy of your DVD. In addition to Amazon, I recommend you research both iTunes and Hulu as two other options.
Hulu operates on a slightly different model than Amazon and iTunes. Unlike transactional video-on-demand platforms, Hulu operates in ways similar to traditional TV. Their revenue is based on advertisements. After submitting your movie to Hulu, they will then pepper your movie with blocks of advertisements. Hulu then splits ad revenue with the filmmaker.
I am currently running a test. If you visit the website www.ToxicSoupMovie.com, you will notice that we embedded the Hulu player on the home page. Since that time, we have been paying for pay per click advertisements to drive targeted viewers to the site. This model is sustainable as long as our costs for advertising is less than our Hulu revenues.
If you are based outside the United States, and you wish to enter the US Amazon marketplace, you will have to go through a third party, US based aggregator. One such company is called Distribber.
Since I’m currently operating as the director of operations there, I have a lot of experience working with non US-based filmmakers. [Update: I am now working as the manager of acquisitions at Chill - check them out here.]
Regarding your question related to website domains, GoDaddy.com is a pretty straightforward service. However, if you are looking for a way to reserved both your domain and hosting, I also recommend researching bluehost.com – In full disclosure, while both of these companies are good, they do pay me to promote. So make sure you conduct your own due diligence.
In terms of length, I suggest that you reserve your website domain for at least two years, if not longer. If you need additional help, check out the Indie Producers Guide on How To Sell Your Movie.