One of our Filmmaking Stuff readers asked me a question worth sharing: “As a filmmaker, I would like to make a living making movies. There is all this talk about selling movies online, but I can’t find any numbers to reflect how many films people can sell on sites like Amazon, Hulu and iTunes. Can you help? I mean, how many films can you sell?“
Having spent the last six months working behind the scenes for a movie aggregator, I can tell you the best answer is probably not as concrete as you would like. The answer is, “It depends.”
Your success as a filmmaker depends very little on the VOD platform you choose. Rather, your success as a filmmaker has everything to do with the strength of your marketing, the strength of your audience engagement and the quality of your work. Your success has everything to with your conversion rate.
Conversion Rate: Out of all the people who visit your movie website, how many visitors can you divert to your preferred VOD platform? And out of the visitors who click through, how many will buy your movie? The answer to these questions is your conversion rate.
You can start this process by evaluating your movie idea:
- Who Is Your Target Audience?
- How Large Is Your Target Audience?
- How Will You Reach Your Audience?
- What Is Your Marketing Strategy?
- How Many VOD Sales To Break Even?
In a past article I wrote about financing movies with VOD sales projections. The math is pretty sobering and reveals why the studios spend millions of dollars on marketing. Yet for some reason, indie filmmakers pretend that marketing is something best left to some sort of magic movie marketing fairy.
If you want to find out more about how to market and sell your movie, check out the indie producer’s guide to digital self-distribution.