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by Max O'Connell
March 20, 2014 11:21 AM
6 Comments
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Attention Filmmakers: Who Needs a Distributor? Check Out These DIY Digital Distribution Platforms.

Digital storefront for "Indie Game: The Movie"

For new filmmakers, finding ways to get people to see their films is just as much of a struggle as making them in the first place. Even for those films that make it into festivals, there's not necessarily a guarantee of a distribution offer. But with the digital shift comes new ways for filmmakers to get their work seen. BitTorrent recently announced its plans to DIY distribution and change their piracy-tinged reputation, but there are other DIY services that filmmakers can use to get their films distributed without having to get through a gatekeeper. Here's a round-up:

CreateSpace

How it works: An Amazon company, CreateSpace provides proof copies, free online publication tools, wide distribution, and industry-leading royalty rates, among other services. Obtain all copyright licenses, provide a source copy (a duplicate of the master is recommended, not the original), and ship via a traceable method such as FedEx or UPS.

Price: Fixed $4.95 charge plus 15% of list price for each eStore sale; $4.95 charge plus 45% of list price for each Amazon sale.

Type of Distribution: Amazon/Amazon Instant, e-Store Product On-Demand

Distrify

How it works: Upload a video according to the specifications. Provided services include a market for your film, the ability to embed your trailer on any website, instant transparent accounting for whoever is buying or selling your film, and an easily playable file across all formats.

Price: Varies, depending on plan. "Indie" plan sign-up is free, with distribution for 1 movie and a charge of 30% for every sale. Higher plans have monthly fees ($20 for Pro Plan, $101 for Distributor Plan, $500 for Studio Plan) and varying rates, but more options including deluxe editions, more customization and distribution for unlimited films.

Type of Distribution: DVD, VOD

Read More: Vimeo Launches Rebuilt Faster Video Player and Other Filmmaker-Friendly Tools

IndieReign

How it works: Upload your file (most formats work), and IndieReign will help with marketing and sales. Access to partner Indiegogo is another perk.

Price: 30% of each sale.

Type of Distribution: VOD, Download

MoPix

How it works: Fill in a quick form on MoPix's website and you'll get a response within 5 days. Offers an embeddable widget, sales on an iOS app/online.

Price: $149 startup fee, ongoing percentage of sales.

Type of Distributon: Download

Editor's Note: MoPix is no longer doing business.

PUMit

How it works: Sign up to upload up to 10 videos. You can sell tickets to all of your guests and keep 100% of the profits. Sign up and get 10 free tickets (3 viewings each) to sell to your guests/fans. PUMit also works with Crowdstarter to build an audience.

Price: $30/month.

Type of Distribution: Download

Pivotshare

How it works: Sign up for access to Embeddable player, multiple monetization types including rental and purchase, your own web domain, piracy protection and more.

Price: 30% of each sale.

Type of Distribution: Instant streaming rental, downloadable copy for purchase

QUADflix

How it works: For a Digital Platform, mail completed form, DVD screener, past reviews, festivals attended, any awards received, and a brief synopsis. The film will then be a part of a 3-year agreement where QUADflix will submit to various streaming services. For more money, the film can also play at Quad Cinema in New York for a week, get publicity and advertising, find domestic and foreign distribution, and have an Oscar-qualifying run. 

Price: Digital Platform costs 25% of the profits for a handling fee, $500 for encoding and lab costs, and an estimation of $4.50 a minute for closed-captioning costs. National distribution costs vary by city. Oscar Qualifying run costs $9,000. Full package costs $11,000.

Type of Distribution: Film submitted to various streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, VOD services. Other services listed above.

Reelhouse

How it works: Create a Reelhouse account, upload a film, set a price, and sell your film on any website using a Reelhouse player

Price: 6% of each sale

Type of Distribution: Downloadable copies for sale, online viewing for 48 hr. rental.

Read More: Direct-to-fan Distribution Service VHX Opens to the Public

VHX

How it works: Deliver your film to VHX via Dropbox, native browser uploader or Aspera plugin, or contact VHX if you're unable to submit electronically. Create a site on VHX to promote your film. VHX can also help measure the effectiveness of your marketing.

Price: 10% plus 50 cents per sale

Type of distribution: Streaming and download

Vimeo on Demand

How it works: Anyone with a Vimeo Pro Account may upload their film and charge a fee. No aggregator required. Recommended for filmmakers with a preexisting online presence.

Price: $200/year for Pro Account.

Distribution: VOD

6 Comments

  • Philippe Sang | July 2, 2014 9:24 AMReply

    Hi there,

    After reading this excellent article, I would like to present you a new solution for video on demand : Kaemo (kaemo[dot]com).

    With Kaemo, you can set up your Netflix, a real video on demand platform.
    This is your own e-commerce website, where you can sell your videos on demand (VOD) and with subscriptions (sVOD).

    Setup your videos catalog, add video extracts, screenshots, actors & realisator infos, and sell your video on-line in your own video platform!

    With Kaemo, you can now distribute directly movies, short-films, documentaries, or video clips without any technical skills or money to start your business.

  • Cherie Diane Wallace | March 22, 2014 2:25 PMReply

    Thank you !

  • earnest reply | March 20, 2014 8:16 PMReply

    When are more of these services going to be available to watch on something like Roku or Chromecast!!!! It's so frustrating. I really like to watch films on my home TV, NOT my computer/phone/tablet.

  • NONPLUSSED REPLY | March 25, 2014 12:42 PM

    Does Chromecast even have native apps? Don't you always have to stream the content off a computer, phone or tablet? I've never used a Roku box, but it also allows streaming as far as I know. Streaming in general has always worked well for me - I could care less about waiting for native apps.

  • Dorian Cole | March 20, 2014 5:02 PMReply

    VZX.tv

    How it works: We distribute high quality content that meets audience expectations. Opportunities vary by content (movie, show, series), length, and quality. We especially like series. We accept short form (under 22 minute) for ad supported viewing. Long form, 24 minutes and above, may be PPV or ad supported. Full information is under Distribution on the VZX.tv Web site. The audience is the final arbiter of what programs are distributed and how they are monetized.

    Price: No upfront fee. 20% of profit, after advertising. Profit is the amount left from revenue after distribution costs. Distribution costs are small. During the first two weeks, a substantial amount of revenue may go back into advertising your program. If the content goes to Dish or cable, there are upfront fees charged by those representatives.

    Type of Distribution: Worldwide, VOD, PPV, or ad supported. Content will be displayed on VZX.tv, and potentially on Dish, cable, Roku, and other outlets. We use the international servers of two major TV networks, and display content anytime, anywhere, on most Internet connected devices.

  • Adam Golob | March 20, 2014 12:51 PMReply

    Paystr is simply a platform for you to easily sell and distribute any digital media (videos, ebooks, etc.). Since all the sales take place on your site, the customers that purchase your media are yours. Unlike iTunes that owns your customer data…with us, you own the customer data. You have the ability to use that customer data to cross-promote your classes, other videos, merchandise or whatever else you are working on. We provide the technology and the services (payment processing, content hosting & delivery, and support) … you provide the content.
    Please keep in mind…there is no cost to run the Paystr platform. There are no monthly fees or monthly minimums. You only pay a fee when a sale is made.