If you’re wondering “how do I get my movie on iTunes?” you’re not alone. When you look at the digital landscape, iTunes represents one of the major transactional video on demand outlets. And the platform makes your film or television series accessible to the thousands of people who use Apple devices.
While getting your motion picture content into iTunes is exciting, you will first need to evaluate your goals. What are your financial goals for your motion picture? What is your price point? And how many sales and rentals are needed to hit your goals? Is this number achievable in iTunes alone, or will you need to add more platforms and more territories?
How To Get Your Film On iTunes
Unlike filmmaker direct platforms like Amazon, iTunes does not work directly with filmmakers. This means you’ll either deal with a distributor (who works with iTunes) or you’ll need to work directly with an iTunes approved aggregator. There are obviously pros and cons to both approaches.
Before you decide on your approach, you will want to conduct your own due diligence. At the very least, this will include researching each distributor or aggregator, and reaching out other filmmakers who have worked with these companies in the past. Because every distribution deal and aggregation agreement is different, you will also want to consult an entertainment attorney well versed in distribution.
Once you decide how you want to approach iTunes, you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary releases and paperwork required to distribute your film. You’ll also need to gather all the required technical deliverables. This will include your motion picture files, your trailer and artwork. From there, your content will undergo a rigorous technical process that includes encoding, quality control, review and delivery. Additionally, if you plan to release in the US, you’ll need closed captions.
Promote Your Film on iTunes
Even if you work with a distributor, you will still need to promote your film. The first step of promoting your motion picture involves defining your target audience. What types of people are you trying to target? And where do these people congregate online? Once you answer these questions, you’ll want to perform a Google search for blogs and websites that cater to your target audience. You can then reach out to the site owners, make an introduction and see if they will promote your film.
When it comes to launching your motion picture in transactional platforms like iTunes, your goal is to make as many sales as possible. So you will want to set an ambitious sales goal. One simple tactic (that most everyone avoids) is to ask cast and crew to telephone ALL friends and family and let them know about the film. Assuming everybody has roughly 70 contacts, a few calls can get hundreds of people searching for your film. And if you’re lucky, this may help your film rise in the sales rankings…
In addition to telephoning friends, I also recommend you refine your film website to promote sales. One way to do this involves creating a home page that lists: Your film’s title, a tagline, some quotes, the trailer and a big BUY NOW button. That button can then be linked to your film page on Amazon. And if you need extra help, check out this film distribution training.