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Old 04-18-2012, 05:12 AM   #1
win edson
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Hulu - Indie friend or foe?

Forgive me if this has already been 'threaded', but a quick search didn't pull up anything...

The indie film 'Strictly Sexual', was the number one watched film on Hulu for a while. (it still appears prominently on the website)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=123499181

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-23/e...?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ

(google - hulu and strictly sexual and you'll get a lot more info)

The title makes it sound racy, but it's more of a 'romantic comedy/drama'. It was made for 100,000 and apparently has made a fortune on Hulu. (10 times the budget claims the producer)

My understanding of Hulu is the website gives you 50% of the ad revenues your content generates. This sounds good, but doesn't really give us an idea of how many hits you need to make, say $1000?

Has anyone here distributed their film via Hulu? Thinking about it? Does anyone know more about the ad revenue breakdowns?

Unfortunately for us people living in Britain, we can't access Hulu, but I know a lot of my friends stateside use it daily, especially Hulu+. Does anyone know how many commercials they implement into your film?

I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, when Hulu first launched, it was more aimed at non commercial content, but now it has a lot of network/main stream entertainment.

At this point, I'm seriously looking at Hulu as a possibility. I like the idea of people able to view the film for free, but I can still make a profit.

Your guys' thoughts?

Win

www.thedinnerdatemovie.com

Last edited by win edson; 04-18-2012 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
finderskeepers
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Hey Win,

Great question! I emailed Hulu for submission requirements. However, I'm guessing you have to be distributed by an established company to get on Hulu. Strictly Sexual was represented by Shoreline and distributed by Arts Alliance as noted on imdbpro.

I'm curious to see what response Hulu gives me.
best of luck

Strictly Sexual (2008)
USA / R / 100 min
Production Companies
DKZ Films
Santa Monica, CA:
641 Kingman Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90402
Strictly Xmd Productions
*
Sales Representatives / ISA
*
Shoreline Entertainment (2006) (worldwide) (all media)
*
Los Angeles, CA:
1875 Century Park East
Ste. 600
Los Angeles, CA 90067
USA
Phn: +1 310 551 2060
Fax: +1 310 201 0729
http://www.shorelineentertainment.com/
info@shorelineentertainment.com

Distributors
*
Arts Alliance (2008) (USA) (all media)
*
New York, NY:
304 Hudson St
7th Floor
New York, NY 10013
USA
Phn: 212-475-2888
http://www.artsalliancemedia.com/
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
mlesemann
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I'm pretty sure that you can get on Hulu via Distribber, without having distribution:
http://www.distribber.com/faqs
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #4
finderskeepers
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Thanks, that's good to know. The $750 fee means you have to generate $1,500 in ad revenue on Hulu to break even at 50% rev share. It's possible. Of course you'll never know what Hulu is really making off the ads. However, it's a decent option for Indie Movies. No fee would be swell though
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Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post
I'm pretty sure that you can get on Hulu via Distribber, without having distribution:
http://www.distribber.com/faqs
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
rayw
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50% of ad revenue with Hulu is correct - however... that 50% goes to your distributor and they give you your content producer cut after they take their distributor's cut.

http://www.indietalk.com/showthread....429#post261429

http://www.indietalk.com/showthread....171#post256171
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
rayw
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http://www.lightsfilmschool.com/blog...-netflix/1817/

"Is it Even Worth the Hassle?
How Much Does iTunes & Netflix Pay Filmmakers?

Thankfully companies started emerging that realized that a filmmaker’s interests and a distributor’s or aggregator’s interests were not mutually exclusive.

Finally, companies have emerged that are now giving filmmakers the possibility of reaching these larger retail platforms and are taking fees that seem to better align to the work that each partner is contributing.

The problem with the old aggregator model is that there are too many middle men and the filmmaker ends up receiving the smallest share of the film’s profits. Under the new model, there are fewer middle men and the filmmaker is compensated based on the payout rates of the retail platform (Often getting 100% of the payout). So how much does this amount to? How much do filmmakers make from these deals? Let’s take a look at the revenue payout of a few of the most popular retail platforms.
  • iTunes splits sales 70/30. With 70% going to the filmmaker and 30% going to iTunes. For example, when iTunes sells a films for $9.99. $7 of that goes to the filmmaker. With the new aggregator model, the filmmaker will generally see 100% of that $7. With the old aggregator model, the filmmaker would probably see around $3.50 of the $7.
  • Hulu streams films for free but 50% of the advertising revenue goes to the filmmaker.
  • Amazon VOD pays the filmmaker 50% of what they collect.
  • Netflix purchases a licence for your film for 1 or 2 years and they can play your film as many times as they like during that period of time. Licensing fees vary on a film by film basis.
Each of these platforms will result in different outcomes for the filmmaker. Hulu seems to be the best choice for exposure, but ad revenue has generally not been the highest performer in terms of payouts to filmmakers. It seems like iTunes may be better for payout (depending on your traffic and conversion rate) but less effective with mass exposure."


I'm not exactly sure how this author's statements or "interpretation" of how the display venues (Hulu et al) ---> aggregator ---> filmmaker cash flow shuck & jives with what all the other sources are reporting.
However, I'm pretty sure the percentages being sent to the aggregators are indeed correct.
Somehow, the author believes Hulu et al will cut a check straight to the filmmaker... which... I'm pretty sure ain't right.

BOL!


EDIT:
Okay, maybe (I hope I am) I'm wrong.
Maybe the OTHER aggregators, such as Gravitas and NewVideo, operate under the traditional "take a percentage" model while the two NEW aggregators, Distribber and TuneCore, take a flat fee up front - and then anything the display venues, Hulu et al, do payout actually DOES go 100% to you.
In which case that's a pretty good deal.

"We would now like to recommend two companies that can help get your film or documentary into these retail platforms. These companies charge an upfront fee but 100% of the money the filmmaker makes goes to the filmmaker.
  • Distribber: Upfront cost: $1295 (SD) $1595 (HD). Distribber was purchased by indiegogo and is one of the most popular aggregators for filmmakers.
  • TuneCore: Upfront cost: $999 (SD) $1249 (HD). TuneCore started off helping musicians get access to larger retail platforms but has now branched out to help filmmakers as well."

Last edited by rayw; 04-18-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
win edson
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Thanks for everyone's replies! I've been doing some research, and this is what I've got so far, but take it with a grain of salt as I'll illustrate, my sources and deductions are guesswork.

Okay, I've emailed Hulu and Distribber (thought since they dealt with Hulu they may know how the ad revenues actually pan out in dollars) but I've either got automated responses, or been redirected. I've sent emails to the suggested departments, but it's been a while now, so I'm not holding on to any hope I'll hear back from them.

But, I found on 'Yahoo Answers' (yes, I know it's just someone claiming to know what he/she is talking about) that Hulu charges advertisers $60 per 1000 views.

So, that factors down to $6 per 100, or 6 per view.

I looked at a few Hulu films today, and most have around 7 advert breaks. 1 at the beginning, and 6 single ad breaks throughout. There were also banner ads at the top that changed every minute or so.

So, if we take 7 as an average, and Hulu is charging them out at 6 each, then each full play of your film earns 42.

Let's take a guess that with the banner ads, you'll get another 8, so that gets us up to an even 50 .

Hulu will split the revenues with you at 50%. So with each view, you earn 25 .

So, if your film got 10,000 hits, you'll have earned yourself $2500.

Again, this is guesswork, and I hope to have a more definitive answer to my question, but it may be in the right ballpark?

Assuming that this is close to reality, than I personally wouldn't be excited about the prospect of putting my film on Hulu. Afterall, if you got 10,000 views on Itunes, you'd have some serious money. But, the allure of free viewing on Hulu naturally attracts a lot more viewers. So it's hard to say...

By the way, I watched 'Strictly Sexual' and while I don't want to come across as one of these frustrated and overly critical filmmakers, I will say that the acting wasn't great, the sound wasn't great, and the story wasn't great. It did have good looking people in it, a lot of sex scenes, and some funny lines. When you watch it, knowing how much the film made, it does inspire you to think, if THAT film made a fortune, then I certainly can too!!

By the way, the filmmaker who made Strictly Sexual claims the film made 10 times the budget by being on Hulu.

The Budget was $100,000. So times that by 10 and you get $1,000,000.

So using the .25 per view scenario, the film would have had to have 4,000,000 hits. CNN Entertainment reported that the film had 'been watched by millions'. So millions could mean 4 million? Who knows!!!!
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
NickSoares
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Win, Look at Hulu as another way of marketing, but you will be making money while doing it.

Though you have to remember *as many people forget* that each film has to approved and accepted to get on these networks. I know some people that planned on there film being in all networks and making lots of money, but the films were turned down.

Hulu is also a great place to start out in order to get "legs" for your film, and possibly get DVD rights sold at a number more suitable to you and your investors....

Nick
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:56 PM   #9
finderskeepers
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It seems like your chances of getting 10,000 views on Hulu are like 100 times more than getting 10,000 PAID downloads on iTunes. How many Indie films with NO stars have you paid to download from iTunes in the last 6 months? How many films have you watched for free on something like Hulu? For me it's ZERO/A few at least. But that's just me. So who knows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by win edson View Post
Thanks for everyone's replies! I've been doing some research, and this is what I've got so far, but take it with a grain of salt as I'll illustrate, my sources and deductions are guesswork.

Okay, I've emailed Hulu and Distribber (thought since they dealt with Hulu they may know how the ad revenues actually pan out in dollars) but I've either got automated responses, or been redirected. I've sent emails to the suggested departments, but it's been a while now, so I'm not holding on to any hope I'll hear back from them.

But, I found on 'Yahoo Answers' (yes, I know it's just someone claiming to know what he/she is talking about) that Hulu charges advertisers $60 per 1000 views.

So, that factors down to $6 per 100, or 6 per view.

I looked at a few Hulu films today, and most have around 7 advert breaks. 1 at the beginning, and 6 single ad breaks throughout. There were also banner ads at the top that changed every minute or so.

So, if we take 7 as an average, and Hulu is charging them out at 6 each, then each full play of your film earns 42.

Let's take a guess that with the banner ads, you'll get another 8, so that gets us up to an even 50 .

Hulu will split the revenues with you at 50%. So with each view, you earn 25 .

So, if your film got 10,000 hits, you'll have earned yourself $2500.

Again, this is guesswork, and I hope to have a more definitive answer to my question, but it may be in the right ballpark?

Assuming that this is close to reality, than I personally wouldn't be excited about the prospect of putting my film on Hulu. Afterall, if you got 10,000 views on Itunes, you'd have some serious money. But, the allure of free viewing on Hulu naturally attracts a lot more viewers. So it's hard to say...

By the way, I watched 'Strictly Sexual' and while I don't want to come across as one of these frustrated and overly critical filmmakers, I will say that the acting wasn't great, the sound wasn't great, and the story wasn't great. It did have good looking people in it, a lot of sex scenes, and some funny lines. When you watch it, knowing how much the film made, it does inspire you to think, if THAT film made a fortune, then I certainly can too!!

By the way, the filmmaker who made Strictly Sexual claims the film made 10 times the budget by being on Hulu.

The Budget was $100,000. So times that by 10 and you get $1,000,000.

So using the .25 per view scenario, the film would have had to have 4,000,000 hits. CNN Entertainment reported that the film had 'been watched by millions'. So millions could mean 4 million? Who knows!!!!
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