Looks like you are a new visitor to this site. Hello!

Welcome to Hope For Film! Come participate in the discussion, and I encourage you to enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe. It's free! And easy! If you have any suggestions on how to improve this website or suggestions for topics please don't hesitate to write in to any of the blogs.

You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

(If you keep getting this message, you probably have cookies turned off.)

March 5 at 8:30am

Diary of a Film Startup: Post # 22: Outlet Soup

By Ted Hope

By Roger Jackson

Previously: Delivery Begins

Outlet Soup

It seems like every few days there’s an announcement of another video-on-demand platform. We’ve been tracking them since we started 6 months ago. I have a spreadsheet listing them all — where they are, what type of films they want, deal terms, ownership, traffic ranking, etc. As of today there are 163 on my list, and I’m sure I’m missing a few. What does this mean? How is it possible for even a fraction of these platforms to thrive and prosper in a VoD ecosystem dominated by large incumbents with established brands, pre-existing audiences and deep pockets? Netflix has 27m subscribers in the USA and is rapidly expanding in Europe and Latin America, with 6m+ non-US subscribers already. Amazon has a multi-billion dollar VoD war-chest and has gobbled up LOVEFiLM in the UK and Germany. Hulu is closing in on a billion dollars in annual revenue, and already has 3m subscribers for Hulu Plus. And Vudu is owned by Walmart. Oh, and Dreamworks and Technicolor just launched their impressive VoD platform, M-GO. Even Microsoft is getting into the VoD game with Xbox Live Movies. Of course, from KinoNation’s point of view, this expanding system just makes our service more valuable, since most filmmakers want their movie available on as many of these services as possible. So I’m busy signing deals with as many of these 163 outlets as possible.

Early Success

Since we’re now actively “pitching” the first tranche of Kinonation films, I thought it might be useful to give a few examples of movies that have been Accepted by outlets in various countries — outlets such as Hulu, iTunes, SnagFilms, Viewster, IndieReign, Kinopto. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but a sampling of ten films — 5 features and 5 docs — in various categories and from various countries — that have been green-lit for distribution by our VoD partners. I’m linking here to the trailers.

Black Sun
This is Ours
Meanwhile in Mamelodi
Kumpania Flamenco
Banana in a Nutshell
Citizen Jia Li

What do they have in common? I’m not sure, except they’re all compelling, unique, attention-grabbing. The trailers don’t waste precious time — they get right to it. Plus the simple but important first impression stuff that I never stop talking about — attractive, clear, readable poster art. Intriguing — or at least not boring — title. Some film festival laurels and a decent number of views for the trailer. Plus a level of depth, care and completeness for the metadata. e.g. IMDb page has poster art, festival info up to date, thumbnails for the main actors, etc. All requires work, but very achievable, and makes ALL the difference when VoD outlets are making their Yes or No decisions.

Speaking of Metadata…

It’s increasingly clear to me that for films to succeed in this VoD ecosystem they must have incredibly rich, detailed and imaginative metadata. We’ve just released to our 100+ beta testers the latest version of our site with a radically expanded “super-set” of metadata. It’s SO important for filmmakers to invest time in this data — a lot of time — that I’m tempted to head each of the 12 metadata pages with “Spend at least 2 hours here before you move on to the next page!” Seriously? 24 hours or so of brainstorming and thought and effort in things like plot descriptions, keywords, images and marketing data? Yes, absolutely! In my previous post I covered the critical importance of rich, detailed and imaginative keywords & phrases. And I’ve already written about why kick-ass key art, poster image and thumbnails are mission critical to getting the audience to buy. The bottom line is that once your initial online sales push (email blasts, Facebook posts, press release) is done, you want your film to get found — discovered is a better word — over and over, year in, year out, across dozens of VoD platforms. That only happens with excellent metadata.

Keep ‘em Coming

Finally, great films are submitted to KinoNation every day. This one — the beautifully shot Julien & Claire — came in today. Love it — can’t wait to watch the full length version that will be automatically generated once filmmaker Adam Neustadter completes the upload. Keep them coming.

Next Up: Post # 23: (scheduled for Tues March 19th)

Roger Jackson is a producer and the co-founder of film distribution start-up KinoNation. He was Vice President, Content for digital film pioneer iFilm.com and has produced short films in Los Angeles, documentaries in Darfur, Palestine and Bangladesh, a reality series for VH1 and one rather bad movie for FuelTV. You can reach him at roger@kinonation.com.

  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • Print


leave a comment
  1. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Right here is the perfect site for anyone who would like to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  2. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always helpful to read through articles from other writers and use a little something from their sites.

  3. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    After I originally commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

  4. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t fail me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I really believed you’d have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

  5. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Excellent article! We are linking to this great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  6. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    I was very happy to find this page. I need to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you book marked to look at new stuff on your site.

  7. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    I blog frequently and I really thank you for your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

  8. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this issue here on your website.

  9. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Your style is very unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this page.

  10. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Very good info. Lucky me I recently found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!

  11. www / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Your style is unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.

  12. Clifford Yocius / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Utterly written subject material , regards for entropy.

  13. cordek.com / Mar 5 at 8:30am

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

Leave a Comment

This site could not have been built without the help and insight of Michael Morgenstern. My thanks go out to him.

Help save indie film and give this guy a job in web design or film!