“Show me the money”
FIND AND BALANCE NEW BUYERS:
In earlier stages of VOD, rights holders generally made limited or no money from sales to the digital sector, for a variety of reasons. In the recent past, the tables have turned and there are now opportunities to reach wider audiences and increase revenues. This can be particularly enhanced when one does not stop after doing deals with the ‘’Big 5” mainstream players like Netflix and i-Tunes, but also systematically looks towards local and thematic sites across the globe.
By now, there are several thousand VOD platforms out there internationally. Many of them are potential buyers for your content, and most are non-exclusive. However, the art is in finding the right 30-70 to start with for selling your programs. Targeting the right platforms requires understanding their (frequently shifting) appetites and tastes, their windows and their deal terms, as well as their competitive positioning and performance. As the author of a comprehensive digital sales database (see for e.g. via the Canadian Media Production Association in Canada), we at Rights Stuff offer our clients the advantage of deep-reaching and up-to-the-minute intel on reaching and engaging with these international VOD buyers.
Another key angle is hybrid distribution: Rights Stuff helps rights holders with a tailored distribution strategy that balances their traditional buyers alongside digital and hybrid platforms and windows, one of the major challenges these days. Sometimes this may mean playing off one buyer against another, but usually it is better to walk both paths, using careful timing, windowing and complementary deal-making in successive non-exclusive windows alongside the traditional windows.
DO THE DEALS AND HANDOVER
We carry deals through, from deal structuring and commercial negotiations, to contracting. Unlike most other distributors, Rights Stuff does not take your IP as rights holder, but works as an agent alongside you or if desired, in collaboration with your other representatives. You thus retain direct dealings, intel and relationships with your clients.
We apply an innovative and systematic approach to VOD, whether transactional, subscription based, ad supported, and since 2018, also blockchain VOD. As of 2020, Premium VOD and other innovations require tailored dealmaking, including festivals morphing online (limited 'festival streaming rights') and virtual cinema.
There is also an art in not stopping after distribution deals are done – revenue is enhanced by helping audiences find the programs on the various services. For example, we can advise you on angles to apply social media tactics, to enhance audience recognition and revenue potential for digital deals before and once they are done.
To get a sense of where we’re coming from when providing services on the selling side of the table, check out Wendy Bernfeld’s earlier article, "An Update on International VOD Opportunities Outside the U.S. in The Indie Film Sector" published during the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016. The article further updates the digital landscape since her earlier 2014 opening chapter in her co-authored Film Collaborative e-book Selling Your Film Outside the U.S.: Digital Distribution in Europe. As of 2020 a COVID-19 seismic evolution occurred in VOD/digital and my recent article, Practical Guide: Who else is out there in international digital? Beyond the "Big Guns" is published via Film Collaborative.