IndieGoGo Acquires Distribber: Does This Mean One Stop For Filmmakers For Everything From Funding to Distribution?
We've already blogged here about IndieGoGo, a pioneer in collaborative fundraising. But even if you can raise your financing (thanks to IndieGoGo or credit cards or benevolent parents), and your film gets made, most filmmakers still face their biggest hurdle when it comes time to distribute. After the festival screening, what can you do to get distribution? Should you consider using an aggregator to get your movie onto Netflix or Hulu? How else can a microbudget filmmaker get their film on iTunes?
On March 15th, 2010, IndieGoGo announced the acquisition of Distribber.com. Now filmmakers can use IndieGoGo for funding and get access to Distribber.com's streamlined portal to iTunes and other services.
Here's how Distribber.com works with iTunes: Distribber.com charges a flat fee upfront if you want to get on iTunes. This one-time charge of $1295 ($1595 if HD) covers all the encoding, chapter breaking, tagging, and general caretaking that is required to get full iTunes compliance and placement in the iTunes store. After that initial 1 year payment, Distribber.com just charges an annual service fee of $79 per film. For the money you pay, Distribber.com sees that you get 100% of your revenue from iTunes (after iTunes takes their 30%). Most other aggregators providing a similar service want from from 15-50% of your revenue (again after iTunes takes their 30% off the top). Of course, there is the possibility that iTunes will reject your film, even if it comes through Distribber.com: Last time I checked Distribber.com will keep only a small amount ($35?) if a filmmaker submits and finds out that iTunes will not accept their film.
Although Distribber.com doesn't make any promises about marketing help (the contract you sign with Distribber.com will likely say they don't promise access to iTunes or the other services they deal with) they have promoted clients’ films through social media networks and their mailing list. And Distribber.com does have an incentive to help promote your film (at least in the ways that come easily to them): For example, it makes Distribber.com look better if films they handle receive prominent placement on the iTunes Independent Film and Documentaries homepages. Similarly, it seems reasonable that Distribber.com would push for tie-in with other iTunes properties (film and music) when relevant.
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Randy Finch's Film Blog:
Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.