Will Explosive Growth in VOD Fill Indie Filmmaking's Revenue Gap?

On January 10th, 2011 the Wall Street Journal reported on the growing importance of video-on-demand ("VOD") services to non-studio filmmakers struggling to make up for shrinking revenue from theatrical and DVD sales: "According to the Digital Entertainment Group, a trade organization, consumer spending on VOD totaled $1.8 billion in 2010, up 21% from 2009. Sales of movies via digital-download services like Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store and Amazon.com Inc. grew 16% in 2010, to $683 million."

These numbers are in line with predictions by Cisco (the leading networking and communications company) of explosive growth in worldwide consumption of Cable VOD. That growth in Cable VOD is already well underway but experts predict a near tripling in the next four years. (Transmission of video online can be measured in exabytes ("EB") and petabytes ("PB") with one EB representing more than 1000 PBs and one PB representing more than 1000 terabytes.) For example in 2010, America and Canada Cable VOD was estimated to be 2214.2PB. For 2014 it is expected to be 5641.8PB. According to Cisco, another area which will experience explosive growth is internet video: 891.1PB in 2009 to 4375.4PB predicted for 2014.

But the question remains: What mechanisms will evolve to allow non-studio filmmakers to get their hands on their share of that revenue?

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