Three Steps For Netflix Distribution

Since taking on the role as the interim Director of Operations for Distribber, I have found that many indie filmmakers are interested in finding out how to distribute their titles on Netflix. So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to provide some details and save you headaches.

Step 1 – Verify The Netflix Database
Netflix has a proprietary, systematic approach for scouting and selecting titles for their database. And unless your title is selected for the Netflix database, Netflix will not make an offer for it. This is a circular requirement. If your title is not listed, there is not a whole lot you can do to change this.

Step 2 – Increase Queue Demand
If your title is listed in the database, the next step is increasing the “queue demand” so that the Netflix algorithm can determine the value of your title. To increase Queue Demand, you will need to organize a mini campaign that involves getting friends and your social network followers to add the film to their Netflix queue.

Step 3 – Get An Offer
Assuming your title is included in the database and you are able to increase “queue demand” then a 3rd party or aggregator (like Distribber) would approach Netflix for an offer. At this point you will either get an offer that makes sense for your movie or they will pass on your title.

Keep in mind that these offers can sometimes be much lower than anticipated – so it is important to manage your expectations.

While I think Netflix is a popular platform, some filmmakers will not want to go through the process. If this describes you, it might behoove you to check out Hulu, iTunes and Amazon as great alternatives. My guide to VOD distribution might help.

Comments

  1. Arthur says

    Jason, can you say a little more about how films get into the Netflix database? How does Netflix find the films that they do put in the database? IMDB? Film festivals? Other databases?

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