As all of us low-to-no-budget filmmakers scramble to figure out how to survive in this new landscape, the question rises often: "Can you really make money on VOD?"
I'm going to tell you that it's certainly possible given how our newest film "Garden of Hedon" has been doing on Amazon. Have we made our budget back? Hell no. But considering we've done ZERO advertising on it other than a few interviews for online sites it's been doing very well. (and we've also only offered it for sale, not rentals...so it's actually selling at a $9.99 price point)
Haven't checked it out yet? What are you waiting for? CLICK HERE!
(it's also available on Blu Ray, but it's almost sold out AGAIN)
Anyway, I stumbled onto a site called kinonation--they're an aggregator. If you don't know what that is, I'll try to explain it quickly.
You will not get your movie to Netflix or Itunes or Hulu or any of the other big boys without a distributor...OR an aggregator. For a fee you can submit your movie to the aggregator, and they will then submit the film to any of those sites you ask them to(and have paid them to, as each site costs something different)
The decent aggregators will give you your money back(or most of it) if your film is rejected from the place they submitted it. It's expensive(most aggregators want in the neighborhood of $1500 to submit your HD film)--so believe me, if you're NOT going to get your money back on rejection then it's a $1500 gamble.
If your movie DOES get approved then you get 100% of the profits minus a yearly fee of like $79 from the aggregator.
I have never tried an aggregator.
But kinonation has a new idea. They will take your film and submit it to the various places for NO upfront cost. They take 20% of any money you make on any approved venue.
A much bigger chunk but the much-better way for filmmakers. I feel the same way about producer's reps--you wanna go with the guy who's willing to take a percentage from what you make rather than an upfront fee. He doesn't make a dime unless he sells your movie, so it's incentive for him to pimp your film. It also tells you that he believes in your movie.
Any rep who wants upfront money rather than a percentage is clearly a guy who has no confidence in selling your flick.
So kinonation is relatively new. I can't find any information about their successes. They keep a pretty great blog with a lot of useful information, and I found this interview below with the founder that sheds some actual light on--get this--NUMBERS you might expect from VOD.
Pretty interesting stuff. I've applied for an account so I can get a better idea of what they're looking for in deliverables. I was a little weirded out that they claim your movie cannot have any URLS in the end credits...they say all VOD outlets insist on this, but I can tell you that my movie Bounty has a bunch of URLs(not just the movie's, but a couple of web sites I thanked), and we played on Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon, etc.
And I thought most movies have URLs at the end, so I hopped on Netflix and scanned the first two movies I came across. No URLs. So I dunno.
Will update this as I find out. But if you have had any dealings with kinonation please post a comment so we know.