- Your Netflix Pitch
- Movie Selling Points
- Distributor or Sales Agent
- Typical Netflix Deal
- Alternatives to Netflix Distribution
- Popular Questions
- Pop Quiz
If you’re like most film producers, you’re likely trying to figure out how to sell a movie to Netflix. And this is for a good reason.
With over 30 million subscribers, getting your film into the platform would represent exposure and validation.
As a result, it’s common to hear about otherwise pragmatic filmmakers ending up with a significant case of Netflix FOMO.
“I want to sell my movie to Netflix! And if I can’t sell a movie to Netflix, I would be happy to put my movie on Netflix for free. I want people to see it.”
Getting your film on Netflix is enticing. But accepting a deal that doesn’t pay the bills or pay back your investors is silly.
Your Netflix Pitch
There are two conventional ways to attract Netflix. You can cross your fingers and hope your film gets accepted to significant festivals, builds lots of buzz, and garners the attention of someone from Netflix. This rarely happens.The most common way to get your movie onto Netflix is to work with a distributor or a sales agent with a relationship.Click to Tweet
The most common way to get your movie onto Netflix is to work with a distributor or a sales agent with the relationships and reputation for making favorable deals with Netflix.
The challenge is this. Any good distributor or sales agent hears pitches many times a day. As a result, you’ll need to find creative ways to make your film rise above the noise and get noticed. For example, maybe you have a popular social media account, a robust list of email subscribers, or a super engaging trailer on YouTube.
Movie Selling Points
If you can show how your film has been received online, the buzz it has created, and how it has engaged with its target audience, you’ll make your movie more of a no-brainer for acquisitions. Here are some questions to help get you thinking:
- Do you have any “names” or “influencers” in your film?
- Does your movie focus on a popular subject?
- Does your film have a solid social media following or press?
If other movies on the Netflix platform are similar, you’ll need to figure out how to make your film unique from the competition. How does your movie fill a gap in the Netflix library? And how will your movie help Netflix retain current subscribers or attract new subscribers?
Distributor Or Sales Agent
Once you have a well-rehearsed pitch showcasing your film’s value, your next step is to reach out to the distributor or sales agent and make the pitch. Assuming the distributor or sales agent has an ongoing relationship with buyers from Netflix and other platforms, they will know quickly if they think they can sell your movie.
(Depending on your negotiation, you might even get a minimum guarantee.)
- Know your distribution goals and determine which deal points are negotiable and which are not.
- Before you make a deal, understand all the costs. The distributor will charge for marketing, deliverables, and other services required to release your movie.
- Make sure the distributor or sales agent has a reputation for transparency, open communication, and frequent updates.
If your film gets pitched to Netflix, it will take a few weeks to get a response. If the folks at Netflix are interested, they will negotiate directly with your distributor or sales agent. Most deals typically pay a licensing fee for one or two years.
Typical Netflix Deal
Netflix generally seeks exclusive deals. They usually want to be the only SVOD platform where viewers can stream your film during the licensing period. Assuming you’re working with a good distributor, understanding this can help you set realistic expectations and determine if the deal is worthwhile.
If Netflix licenses worldwide rights, you must provide video files and artwork. Your distributor will likely suggest an approved encoding house to handle the technical aspects, from meeting the platform’s stringent specifications to dealing with closed captions, metadata, and quality control. Money to cover movie delivery is usually taken directly from your licensing fee.
If you sell a film to Netflix and they pass, you usually won’t get much feedback. Do not take this personally. Perhaps Netflix picked up a similar film last week.
Or maybe the acquisition team is focused on other genres. Or perhaps it’s raining in Hollywood?
Alternatives To Netflix Distribution
While Netflix is a significant player, it’s essential to consider a multi-platform strategy to maximize your film’s reach and potential for success. Platforms like Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Showtime, and Stars all have their unique audiences and could be an excellent fit for your film.
A good film distributor will collaborate with you to maximize the film’s success. The distributor will work to get your movie’s best placement in each outlet. They will also work to negotiate the most significant dollar amounts for your film.
Ultimately, selling a movie to Netflix or other platforms requires strategic thinking, a deep market understanding, and persistence. With each step, you learn, improve, meet new people, and continually level up your filmmaking.
If you’re eager to deepen your understanding of distribution and effectively navigate this landscape, don’t miss out on downloading our comprehensive film distribution guide.
How To Get Film Distribution
Discover how to attract and effectively negotiate with sales agents and distributors for your film. This course equips you with the skills and strategies to navigate the complex world of film distribution to sell your movie.LEARN MORE
How Can I Sell My Movie to Netflix?
The most common way to sell your movie to Netflix is by working with a distributor or a sales agent who has a reputation for making favorable deals with Netflix.
What Are the Key Selling Points Netflix Looks for in a Movie?
Netflix is more likely to acquire your film if it has been well-received online, created buzz, and engaged with its target audience. Having “names” or “influencers” in your movie, a solid social media following, or a popular subject can also be advantageous.
What is a Typical Netflix Deal Like?
Netflix seeks exclusive deals and usually wants to be the only SVOD platform where viewers can stream your film during licensing. Most deals typically pay a licensing fee for one or two years.
How Long Does It Take to Hear Back from Netflix After a Pitch?
It usually takes a few weeks to get a response from Netflix after your film has been pitched.
What Costs Are Involved in Distributing a Movie on Netflix?
The distributor will charge for marketing, deliverables, and other services required to release your movie. Money to cover movie delivery is usually taken directly from your licensing fee.
Is It Possible to Distribute My Movie for Free on Netflix?
While the desire to get your movie on Netflix for exposure is understandable, accepting a deal that doesn’t pay the bills or pay back your investors is not advisable.
What Are Some Alternatives to Netflix for Movie Distribution?
Other platforms like Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Showtime, and Stars offer unique audiences and could be an excellent fit for your film.
How Can I Make My Movie Stand Out to Netflix?
You’ll need to find creative ways to make your film rise above the noise and get noticed. This could be through a popular social media account, a robust list of email subscribers, or a super engaging trailer on YouTube.
What Should I Look for in a Distributor or Sales Agent?
Ensure the distributor or sales agent has a reputation for transparency, open communication, and frequent updates.
Why Didn’t Netflix Acquire My Film?
There could be various reasons, such as Netflix having picked up a similar film recently or the acquisition team focusing on other genres. It’s usually not personal.
The article provides a guide for film producers on how to sell a movie to Netflix. It covers various aspects, such as crafting a compelling pitch, identifying unique selling points for the film, and working with a distributor or sales agent with a good relationship with Netflix.
The article also discusses the typical terms of a Netflix deal, including the exclusivity and licensing fees. Finally, it suggests considering alternative platforms like Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, etc., for a multi-platform distribution strategy.
Here’s a glossary based on the article, complete with definitions:
Netflix FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out on having one’s film featured on Netflix, often experienced by filmmakers due to the platform’s large audience and industry credibility.
SVOD: Subscription Video On Demand. It refers to platforms like Netflix, where users pay a subscription fee to access a content library.
Netflix Pitch: The presentation or proposal made to Netflix (or a distributor/sales agent with Netflix connections) to consider featuring a film on their platform.
Distributor: A company or individual responsible for marketing and placing a film on platforms like Netflix, often in exchange for a percentage of the revenue or a fee.
Sales Agent: A person or company focused on selling films to distributors or platforms like Netflix.
Movie Selling Points: Unique features or aspects of a film make it attractive for acquisition by platforms like Netflix.
Licensing Fee: The amount of money paid by Netflix to feature a film on their platform for a specific period.
Minimum Guarantee: An upfront payment that a distributor or sales agent may offer the filmmaker based on their confidence in the film’s potential success.
Multi-platform Strategy: Distributing a film across multiple platforms (e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu) to maximize reach and revenue.
Metadata: Data that describes other data. In the context of film distribution, this could include information like the film’s title, director, actors, and other descriptive elements that further categorize the movie.
Closed Captions: Text versions of the spoken parts of a film, which can be displayed on screen, are often used to make content accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Quality Control: The process of ensuring that the technical aspects of a film meet the standards required for distribution on platforms like Netflix.
Encoding House: A specialized service that prepares a film’s video files to meet the technical specifications required by platforms like Netflix.
Acquisition Team: The people at Netflix responsible for identifying and acquiring new content for the platform.
Deliverables: The various elements (e.g., video files, artwork, metadata) that must be provided to a distributor or platform like Netflix for the film to be featured.
Transparency: Openness and clear communication are often expected from a distributor or sales agent in dealings with filmmakers.
Pop Quiz: Selling a Movie to Netflix
- What is the most common way to get your movie onto Netflix?
- A) Winning a film festival
- B) Working with a distributor or sales agent
- C) Directly contacting Netflix
- D) Posting the movie on social media and hoping Netflix notices
- What is one of the key selling points that can make your movie attractive to Netflix?
- A) Having a long runtime
- B) Featuring “names” or “influencers.”
- C) Being a silent film
- D) Being filmed in black and white
- What does a typical Netflix deal usually include?
- A) A lifetime licensing fee
- B) A licensing fee for one or two years
- C) A percentage of Netflix’s subscription revenue
- D) A one-time payment for permanent rights
- What should you look for in a distributor or sales agent?
- A) A large social media following
- B) A reputation for transparency and open communication
- C) The cheapest rates
- D) A focus on international films only
- Which platforms are NOT mentioned as an alternative to Netflix for movie distribution?
- A) Amazon Prime
- B) Hulu
- C) HBO Max
- D) Disney+
B) Working with a distributor or sales agent
B) Featuring “names” or “influencers.”
B) A licensing fee for one or two years
B) A reputation for transparency and open communication