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Old January 9th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #1
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How does an indie producer get a movie or video on iTunes?

I'm curious, as they told me to try to get different internet distribution.

heath
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Old January 9th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #2
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After WEEKS of investigation and talking to Apple directly, I learned a few interesting things.

Like anyone else in the distribution business, they're looking for those opportunities to make money. When they look at you and don't see dollar signs, they really won't give you a second glance.

For me to get on iTunes, I set up my five films as a podcast. Even my online application to have a podcast distributed by them is investigated. Luckily, they accepted me. Whatever the criteria was, I don't know, but I'm happy I'm in.

While it's true that podcasts are free downloads, I give my videos away for free anyway, so it worked out. I give my short subjects away for free for brand recognition. As long as I can get the name out there, maybe there will be a following for a feature film. I _REALLY_ hate the analogy, but I view my 'free' movies like an illegal drug. "The first one is always free" and then you're hooked. Again, it's about brand recognition.

I've counted over 3,000 downloads of my movies. I think that's pretty good. I get email all the time asking for more. Even better. See where this is going?

I'm in the process to find funding for that feature film now: a 300+ page script for an epic vampire/love story. I want this film to make money. Maybe making my current movies free on iTunes was the foot-in-the-door(tm) to Apple. I'm taking a chance here to find out.

Also, if anyone would like a sample XML file that I had to use to get my films on iTunes, send me a private message and I'll send you the sample.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 11:54 PM   #3
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300+ pages?! YOW! I smell trilogy...

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Old January 10th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight
I'm curious, as they told me to try to get different internet distribution.

heath
Hey Heath,

I apologize; I know this response does not directly answer your question, but these links may be beneficial.

I do not have personal experience with either company, but I had hoped to explore these avenues in the future.

http://www.indplay.com/home

For the company's link below, you may want to bookmark it. Currently, the company only handles music distribution, but in the FAQ section, it indicates it has plans for digital distribution deals for movies/videos.

www.tunecore.com
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Old January 10th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #5
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Thanks Rob and Brian!

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Old January 17th, 2007, 11:50 PM   #6
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We're currently the #5 Video Podcast in the iTunes Automotive section (podcast/games and hobbies/automotive). And yeah, we "give them away" but charge for product placement in the videos and are also open to running normal ads. Additionally, they support our print magazines to an extent. So, the distro is free, but we don't exactly give them away.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...t?id=118677811

About 500,000 downloads in 2006 (from iTunes, Sony Connect and others all tallied up).

I haven't bothered to contact Apple about it, but I would be interested in what it takes for an Indy producer to get a paid video listing on iTunes. If anyone on here can share their own experiences there, that would be great.

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Ryan Douthit
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Old May 27th, 2007, 11:34 PM   #7
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it appears the movies seection of the iTMS isn't quite ready for indie films. Within the past few months they began offering some extreme sports films from 411, which while possibly considered 'independant', is nowhere near what you or I do.

The music section is another story, though- indy artists get posted every day. Hopefully we can see this as a sign of things to come. I for one think iTunes would be the most IDEAL outlet for indy films at a reasonable price.

Pros:
-No packaging costs
-easily searchable database
-ability to sell features and shorts alike
-direct link to the desired audience
-distribution tracking (demographics, etc.)


Cons:
-Set price
-Who knows what % iTunes takes
-Possibility of a billion home movies popping up (easily remedied by an application process)
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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:25 PM   #8
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Something to keep an eye on is http://www.filmbaby.com/, made by the same folks who made CD Baby.

CD Baby already acts as an intermediary between musicians and iTunes distribution (see http://cdbaby.net/dd-partners), so I would expect something similar to eventually develop for the film/video side of iTunes.

Andrew.
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