What Do You Want Out of a Distribution Service

(Difer Studios) #1

I’m an entrepreneur who is currently in the process of creating a streaming distribution service for webseries, short films, and independent films. This service is going to be designed in a way that puts filmmakers first and gives them a platform to showcase their work and grow their fan base. We figured the best way to figure out how to do this is to go to y’all and figure out what YOU are looking for.

What do you want out of a distribution service?

The service can only improve with some quick thoughts from everyone and if y’all are interested in taking a more in-depth survey, you can at this link.


Thank you all so much for your cooperation and help. Independent filmmakers are the lifeline of the industry and we’re very excited to help bring a platform to all of you. Have a great day!

(Meg Carroway) #2

The biggest thing I would want from a distributor is a guarantee that they’ll go to bat for me, in terms of marketing/audience building. It might sound cooler to say I’m distributing on a platform that isn’t YouTube, but people understand YouTube and there’s a better, more controllable chance that I can find audiences already on that platform and move them to my content. So if I sign, especially sign an exclusive deal with a new distributor, I need to know my content is being seen by more people than I would have gotten myself on YouTube. That, or I’d need to be paid substantially. Otherwise, why bother?

(Bri Castellini) #3

Agreed! With nonexclusive distributors I’m less picky, because I can still build my audience on my own and have agency over my content if the distributor doesn’t do as much of the heavy lifting as I’d want in a more “mainstream” setting. But if it’s exclusive, ESPECIALLY if it’s behind a paywall, then I need to know there are subscribers already and a marketing budget in place, otherwise that’s honestly worse than just uploading to Vimeo and waiting. No one sees it, and even if I got someone on the hook, they’d have to pay for the content, and I don’t make content to not get seen.

It either needs to get seen/get me opportunities because of being seen, or it needs to get me paid enough that I don’t mind that it’s not seen that often.

(Difer Studios) #4

Thank you both, this is really great information. Would you recommend that if a distribution service was just starting out that it stays nonexclusive until it builds a stronger built-in audience?

(Bri Castellini) #5

Depends on how that’s worked out in contracts! Our goals as filmmakers are, in no particular order or combo:

  1. To get an audience and get famous
  2. To make money
  3. To prove ourselves/get more work
  4. To get our work seen, period

If a distributor can’t do at least one of these things significantly better than we can do on our own, there’s not really a point for us.

(Arthur Vincie) #6

Timely communication
A reasonable cap on expenses, and some kind of explanation of how you arrived at that number.

Listening to us about marketing ideas. Sometimes filmmakers suck at marketing, but often we’re coming to you after being on the festival circuit for a while - and we really understand our audience and how to reach them.

If you’re asking for exclusivity, you’ve got to have something really appealing to offer in return.