M dot looks at some self distribution options in 2013








DPD- (What I'm currently using)

Pro

They take no cut of sales
Allows for pre-orders
Manages email lists of customers
Easily update products
Easy to manage affiliate marketing programs
Can sell multiple films + extras as long as you pay for enough space
Can sell ANY digital or physical product

Con

Price for service is $360 to $540 per year
No social components so you have to do all the hustlin yourself
Have to host/manage your own film sales site
No on demand, downloads only
Have to wait for downloads to finish and know how to play them

Comments: This is the most DIY of all the solutions so it requires the most work. The only reason I would stick with this one is because of the affiliate program potential as I have some new ideas to capitalize on this and I can help the cast/crew make $ by sharing the film which I think is important to the future of independent productions.





Pro

Allows On Demand + Downloads
Low cost of only $199 a year
Integrated with many internet TV devices
They handle the web hosting/tech stuff
Can sell multiple films + extras
Nice Interface

Con

No affiliate program
They take a %10 cut of each sale + processing fees which equals %12-%20 per sale
Doesn't keep email lists+ can't do coupons etc
No external service VOD options

Comments: This one seems like its improving all the time- from reading comments on their forum it seems like its a bit buggy for creators as well as consumers. Unlike the latter two options Vimeo charges you a yearly fee AND takes a cut of each sale.








Vhx- (I've been lucky enough to be accepted into the Beta so I've been testing it out)

Pro

Great design/interface
Allows On Demand + Downloads (with extras)
No up front costs- they only take %15 + 50 cents per sale
Great built in marketing stuff (emails lists, coupons etc)
Built in social networking magic
They handle the hosting + tech stuff

Con

NONE

Comments: This one looks really awesome- it pretty much has everything I would want except for affiliate programs so I'm going to contact them and recommend it ^_^ (UPDATE: they replied to my query and they DO have an affiliate program in the works so for me VHX is perfect)






Chill- (I've been lucky enough to be accepted into this one too so I've been testing it out)

Pro

Great design/interface
Allows On Demand + Downloads (with extras)
No up front costs- Split is %70 for you %30 for them
Great built in marketing stuff (emails lists, coupons etc)
Built in social networking magic
They handle the hosting + tech stuff
They can get your film sold in online and TV/Cable VOD services like Itunes, Netflix, Xbox, Ps3, Comcast etc

Con

No affiliate program

Comments: This one also looks really awesome- I like how they are more like a traditional distributor in that they are trying to sell your film in all places possible- they take a bigger cut then the others but having gotten a film in Itunes before I know it costs about $1500 a film to have it processed so if they pay that fee for you that would be great (I don't know if they do)  There is also lots of leg work in creating/formatting art to get in the Xbox store etc. So I need to learn more about what it takes to get into these external VOD marketplaces but I like that they are pursuing/offering that.













Final Thoughts: Compared to the options I had in 2012 when distributing my last film the options we have now in 2013 are AMAZING! I choose to go totally DIY with DPD and I pretty much made my own VOD service. I've been doing that for over a year now so I know all the things that entails. It has worked great for me so far and I love the potential of being able to run affiliate programs and profit share with the cast/crew BUT I also need to explore new avenues if I am to be more successful makin dat money with my films.

These companies like Vimeo, Vhx, and Chill have it in their best interest to promote your film the best they can and get the most sales they can and that is GREAT. NOW that doesn't mean you don't have to lift a finger to market your stuff- of course you do.

Prior self distribution options usually included paying for a batch of DVD's to be made then either selling them to a distributor or selling them yourself. Dvd's are great and all but these are far from ideal scenarios for me as the inventory is limited and you have to deal with the bullshit involved in selling physical retail products like paying for shelf space, packaging and shipping them, paying for retail visibility, having payments withheld due to returns etc.

Or finding a middle man to get into the Itunes store just so they can charge you $1500 to encode your film after you filled out their forms and jumped through all the hoops they made you jump through- me no likey.

One of the best things about these new sites/services is that they are NON EXCLUSIVE- you may take that for granted now but that is a BIG DEAL compared to what a lot of old school distributors offerred. Since they are non exclusive you could use any or all of them- they them all try and help you make the most money possible with your film.

I know there are a ton of other companies that offer similar services like Reelhouse, Indiereign, and Distrify and thats great! The more options the better!

If you have any experiences with these are similar companies please share them in the comments.




Comments

  1. I know create space offers the digital download feature too. I know you use them for the pretty much free DVD distribution, whats your thoughts on their downloads feature?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Createspace digital downloads are SD only and use Amazon video- which I tried to use once to buy a video- it was a big hassle and it has a horrible interface- in other words IT SUCKS so I don't recommend it- we need user friendly well designed interfaces like VHX and Chill me thinks ^_^

      As a DVD distriB createspace is kinda crappy too so I need to look at other options- pretty good for books though!

      Delete
    2. Do you know what ever happened to FilmBaby?
      That's where I bought my WATS DVD forever ago, seemed hassle free as a buyer.
      What was your experience with the whole sending them 5 copies thing, as a seller?

      Delete
    3. Yeh they got bought by discmakers and the people from that company started Indieblitz- filmbaby was cool but you still had to pay to get your own dvd's made- I never did the 5 thing- I had a special deal with them where we did 5000- it worked out good but dvd's just don't seem as practical to do as they were before

      Delete
  2. Why not try all of them to maximize your work?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment