Can Filmmakers Make Money With Digital Distribution?

One of our Filmmaking Stuff readers asked: “Can you make money with digital distribution?”

“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, can you make money with digital distribution?

make money with digital distribution

Can You Make Money With Digital Distribution?

Having spent the greater part of my career working in film distribution, I can tell you the best answer is probably not as concrete as you would like. The answer is, “It  depends.”

Unless you are lucky enough to land a MAJOR deal with a distributor (complete with a minimum guarantee and promotion), then your ability to make money with digital distribution depends very little on where you place your film. Rather, your success has everything to do with the strength of your marketing, the strength of your audience and the quality of your work.

Your success has everything to with your conversion rate.

Out of all the people who visit your movie website, how many visitors can you convert into a movie buyer? You can start this process by evaluating your movie idea. The answer to these questions will help you find ways to make money with digital distribution.

  1. Who Is Your Target Audience?
  2. How Large Is Your Target Audience?
  3. How Will You Reach Your Audience?
  4. What Is Your Marketing Strategy?
  5. How Many VOD Sales To Break Even?

In a past article I wrote about VOD sales projections. The math is sobering and reveals why studios spend millions of dollars on promotion. 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 distribution.

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

If you'd like more tactics like the article you just read, make sure to grab a copy of the filmmaker checklist. You'll get 65 useful steps you can employ to produce your next feature film.
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