If you’re looking for tactics for making money with VOD distribution, you’re not alone. The world of film distribution is disrupted. For the most part, DVD retail distribution is dead. The good news is, digital distribution platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Amazon Prime are accessible.
But just because you can get your movie into the marketplace does not necessarily mean your movie will make a profit. In this filmmaking article, we answer our reader’s question – Is it possible to make money through video-on-demand distribution?
I’m an entrepreneur and I’ve been researching about indie films production. But as all my businesses are digital and online projects, I became really interested in digital distribution. I am considering the prospect of producing a few films with indie filmmakers.
BUT as an investor, the current problem is many filmmakers talk about online distribution and how great it might be, but no one actually shows some real results. For example: “We invested $50K into that movie, and six months later made $250K in profit.” And as I’m practical, I cannot trust anyone who just says they are making money with VOD distribution but don’t show any proof.
Can filmmakers make money with video on demand?
– A Skeptical Film Investor
Making Money With VOD Distribution
Dear Skeptical Film Investor,
I am going to tell you what all those other filmmaking gurus are too scared to share. And that is: Most movies DO NOT make money. I am serious. After years of hard work, most movies play in a few film festivals (that you never heard of) and then die in quiet obscurity.
This is because filmmakers spend all their time making a movie. They never think about marketing and selling their movie. Making money with VOD distribution is possible if you have a plan.
If you were creating any other business, wouldn’t you take the time to study your target market? Wouldn’t you figure out if people were actually interested in your type of product? Wouldn’t you also budget for your sales, marketing, and advertising and establish your breakeven point?
Having an accessible marketplace is an improvement over the old days when indie filmmakers depended on the whims of predatory distributors. Back then, most filmmakers gave away their rights for no money, in exchange for the validation of seeing their DVD in the local video store.
Yet whenever we talk about filmmaking, we just pretend that the end platform is the engine behind sales and Return On Investment. This is a flawed assumption.
In my indie distribution guide, I emphasize this: If churning a profit was easy, movie studios would not spend millions of dollars on advertising. They would simply create a movie, put it in iTunes and wait for their return. Like the studios, as a modern moviemaker, YOU are responsible for researching your target audience.
YOU are responsible for determining your budget and how many units you need to sell to get a return.
And YOU are responsible for making sure that the money you spend on advertising comes back as profit.
While there are no guarantees in any industry, most filmmakers fail to take time to plan. Most ignore all of these metrics. And as a result, many of filmmakers are destined for failure from the outset.
I am sure this is not the silver bullet you were looking for. But I would be doing the filmmaking community a disservice if I pretended that access to popular VOD platforms is all you need for success.
Filmmakers need to understand marketing and they need a plan. And as a prospective movie investor, you can never forget that you are simply creating and selling a product. General business principals still apply. For more information on how to market and sell your movie, visit www.HowToSellYourMovie.com