When it comes to distributing your film digitally, you’ll find most filmmakers have very strong opinions. I learned this the hard way back when I published my article on VOD sales projections, I got lots hate mail from veteran filmmakers. And one guy even went on to tell me that my grammar sucked.
Despite the backlash, I was simply applying a standard internet marketing ROI formula to video on demand. Nothing more. And all of this was based on the premise that selling films during the TVOD window is no different than selling any other digital product. With this in mind, you are lucky if you convert one percent of your traffic.
Distributing Your Film Digitally
I learned how to market and sell movies on the internet because our first feature did not garner a traditional distribution deal. Or let me rephrase that… We had offers. But all the offers sucked. So like a lot of filmmakers, we ended up selling our film on Amazon. That was years ago, when distributing your film digitally was a new concept.
Since that time, thousands of filmmakers have saturated the market with titles. And unlike years ago when there was heavy curation, a terribly produced backyard indie can now share virtual self space with major studio releases. Couple this with the decline of various physical (DVD) sales channels, and simple economics should come to mind… There is way more supply than demand.
The major challenge you have is producing at a level that allows for a good product and ROI. And unless you’re a major studio, getting a return on anything over 1M dollars is tough. Aside from making a spectacular film, you’ll also need substantial cash for promotion and advertising. And your film better appeal to an international audience.
When it comes to distributing your film digitally, there is good news in all of this. You no longer have to operate from a hope and pray strategy: “If we are lucky, we might get into festivals and garner a distribution deal.” Instead, you can can reach the marketplace and promote directly to your audience without asking permission. This makes the indie movie business work like any other small business… Produce a product and then market, sell and distribute your product.