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