Distribution : Indie Film Distribution Questions by Christopher M. Rutledge

Christopher M. Rutledge

Indie Film Distribution Questions

Greetings & Happy New Year!

I've got a short film that's just finished it's two year run in the film fest circuit and now I'm seeking recommendations for submitting it to a streaming platform. I'm open to various streaming platforms that accept indie productions. I'm aware of Amazon Studios allowing submissions of films but I've learned  that it's best to submit via an aggregator? Thanks in advance

Learn more about my film here www.trombonejonesfilm.com

Guerilla Film Group | Trombone Jones Film
Guerilla Film Group | Trombone Jones Film
Guerilla Film Group presents "Trombone Jones", short silent film about the rise and fall of a trombonist and former US Marine struggling with PTSD.
Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Aggregators have mostly all gone bankrupt in the last 18 months, and their business model is one which pretty much removes all revenue for you from the stream as well as charging for their service up front. You can place your product on Amazon yourself - it's just a bit tedious to follow their technical rules on captions/subtitles/links etc. but there is literally no reason to pay an aggregator for that. If you had any kind of series, I would be interested in looking at it at ondemand.global but we don't do shorts for streaming. However, we ARE creating a film market which is cost-free to producers, so you might be interested in keeping in touch with me as that gets up and running over the next month or so.

Christopher M. Rutledge

Thanks Shadow! It's my understanding that aggregators can also design and advise on digital distribution and marketing strategies. I've read that (yes) I can upload my own content to Amazon but the films can be lost in the shuffle with so many titles if their is no marketing strategy. Which is something I admittedly have no experience with for films. What's been your experience with film marketing? I'll check out your site also

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Christopher M. Rutledge Well as far as Amazon is concerned, the hard truth is that the reason they take literally any content is because it brings traffic to them which they can switch to their preferred properties. They use indie content as another piece of bait, in other words (it's worse than that, actually, but that's another discussion). Remember the first principle of internet marketing: if you are NOT paying for the product, you ARE the product. Further, Amazon sells its keywords to the highest bidder, so standard things like SEO is almost pointless on your Amazon presence. In my opinion, your marketing effort should focus on reaching audience generally, outside of Amazon (or whatever platforms you are on) and growing fans and audience specifically for your product. That means creating your own email contact lists, etc. and marketing directly to YOUR audience - being careful not to lose your audience to Amazon. Use Amazon only as a delivery system but be sure to connect with audience BEFORE they go to Amazon. Because being on Amazon not only doesn't mean anyone at all will see your product - their strategies are designed to flip those audience who do, and make sure you cannot aggregate that audience yourself. (... they prohibit links to your website or anywhere off Amazon site for instance, in you production or on you Amazon page)

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