February 6, 2014

Think Crowdfunding Is Just About the Money? Now It Can Be Your Ticket to Distribution

indiegogo distribution programIf you're thinking about making your next film, you might be toying with the idea of crowdfunding some (or all) of the budget. If you thought picking your crowdfunding platform was about deciding which site's design you like better, think again! During Sundance, Vimeo announced it was partnering with Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Seed&Spark to help successful projects find audiences. A week later, Indiegogo announced a specialized Film Distribution Program with VHX and Yekra. Now, your crowdfunding platform could also get you a clear, discounted, or lucrative channel to distribution! Below is a look at what the changing distribution opportunities could mean for you.

Until now, a successful crowdfunding campaign was just about meeting your goal (and keeping backers updated when they wondered what in the world was taking so long). In 2014, a new, exciting can of worms is being opened as crowdfunding platforms gear up to help projects get distributed. In one corner, you have Vimeo who will work with Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Seed&Spark. In the other corner, you have VHX and Yekra who will be working exclusively with Indiegogo. Here's a quick look on what both are offering.

Vimeo On Demand through Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Seed&Spark

Vimeo's Sundance announcement made an enticing, albeit vague, offer to give selected films with successful campaigns at least $10K in marketing funds and a Pro account in exchange for an exclusive digital distribution window with Vimeo On Demand. (With the fund for these marketing dollars at $500k, my best guess would be that they are planning to support 50 projects or less.) The general agreement for Vimeo On Demand is that you keep 90% of your profits. Most recently, Vimeo added in-player transaction support so you can sell your work on your own site adding that extra bonus to the deal.
Variety reported Greg Clayman, Vimeo's general manager of audience networks, on the company's new initiative:

While crowdfunding has changed the game in getting films made, Vimeo is taking the next step supporting filmmakers to get their work seen and purchased on Vimeo and across the web.

VHX and Yekra through Indiegogo

On top of the chance to work with Vimeo, Indiegogo added two options to help filmmakers fulfill their films to backers and beyond, from streaming on a VHX-built site to authoring DVDs with a discount from Yekra.

indiegogo vhx yekra breakdown

Here is Indiegogo's description of their distribution program:

Through this new program, filmmakers running crowdfunding campaigns can now rely on Indiegogo to help facilitate a connection to an industry-leading distribution partner and complete the last critical stage in releasing and promoting their films. This program is also available to films that have already completed funding on Indiegogo.

If you offered a digital download or stream of your film as a perk in your campaign, you may be licking your lips on that free fulfillment offer from VHX! Vimeo's marketing dollars sound great, but which projects will get them, and how their marketing campaigns will be run, remains to be seen. With Indiegogo making a concerted effort to get all their projects hooked up to distribution, Kickstarter might need to think of something else to add to their crowdfunding package. And if crowdfunding platforms are going to compete with each other over our campaigns, filmmakers can only stand to benefit!

Would the Indiegogo Film Distribution Program influence your decision in choosing a crowdfunding platform? What could Kickstarter offer to compete?

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7 Comments

But have to say you cannot just aspect to start a Indiegogo channel and think free money, its mostly in exchange for something else. Also most successful ones have big marketing campaign behind it and some have famous people helping it. VGHS you can see they were able to get allot of money to film as they have a large following already so make sure you have allot of people who already know you or know which website would most likely to talk about your things. Check out my Indiegogo which I am making an affordable Follow focus lever.

February 6, 2014 at 2:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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You're absolutely right about that, Chung. I'd love to check out your campaign for the follow-focus lever.

February 7, 2014 at 12:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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You made my day. I actually was undecided whether to use Kickstarter or Indiegogo for my upcoming feature film project. I had a very good experience with Indiegogo for my last short film but I also kind of fell in love with the idea of using VHX for fulfilling the digital download perk for my next project. Now this has become a no-brainer. ;)

February 6, 2014 at 3:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gregor Schmidinger

Glad to hear you're an Indiegogo fan, Gregor. The VHS option is pretty awesome, but I can attest first-hand how Indiegogo strives to do for filmmakers what few, if any, other crowdfunding platforms do.

February 7, 2014 at 12:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Distribution... Right distribution

February 7, 2014 at 5:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

The title of the article is pretty misleading. Crowdfunding was never just about "money," and anyone who thinks that is missing a huge component of this fundraising model which is right in the name, "crowd."

When you take the crowd into consideration, it's really hard for me to go the Indiegogo route. Yes, a more seamless and cost-effective transition from crowdfunding to distribution is appealing, but when you look at where the crowd (and money) is, it's on Kickstarter. Film campaigns also have a higher rate of success on Kickstarter, and I'm much more inclined to go with an all-or-nothing approach since it creates a much greater sense or urgency for yourself and your potential backers.

February 9, 2014 at 11:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Hallo,

but in case i have a finished movie and i'm looking for distribution and funds, would these options work for me?
Many thanks

February 14, 2014 at 3:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Steve