The demise of DVD distribution, coupled with inexpensive production technology, has flooded the market 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 the primary way movies are seen and sold. This paradigm shift requires every filmmaker to create a specific marketing, sales, and distribution plan for their film.
The Zen of Digital Film Distribution
To succeed, you need to figure out how many units you need to sell to break even. For example, let’s assume your budget is 100K, and you will launch with a 10-dollar release price on your film. Then let’s 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? Writing out a marketing and distribution plan you control is essential at this stage. This plan will outline your target audience. It will include specific tactics for reaching your audience and promoting your film. Your project 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 to leverage online and offline media to achieve the necessary sales, you must budget for this. How many units will you need to sell at a defined price point to break even? How much will you sell enough units to make a profit cost? How much time will you need to execute your marketing plan and achieve these goals?
Success in digital film distribution depends on 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 have no business.