Starz May Release Some Indie Movies Exclusively on VOD
Independent film companies are really starting to embrace the idea of VOD services. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the companies are turning to VOD to help make up for getting a smaller share of theatrical revenue and less DVD sales.
Digital Entertainment Group, a trade organization, reports that consumer spending on VOD totaled $1.8 billion in 2010, which was up 21% from 2009. Meanwhile sales of movies on download services like Apple’s iTunes and Amazon.com grew 16% last year to $683 million.
Numbers like that have prompted Indie films to increasingly count on VOD revenue as a key financial contributor. For instance, Weinstein Co. COO David Glasser, has said that last week’s deal (the one that sees his company take a 25% stake in Liberty Media’s Starz Media, which also distributes content on VOD and online) will give the studio flexibility in the changing industry.
Considering how well indie films have done with VOD, it’s no surprise that Starz is exploring releasing independent movies exclusively on VOD and not in theaters or on DVD.
The Other Woman premiered on IFC’s VOD platform at the beginning of this year, but won’t hit theaters until February. However, IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring said that the film is already on track to be its most successful VOD release ever.
“People in the business used to look at us like pariahs. Now they’re envious. The video-on-demand platform is a great place for American indie movies that had fallen off the map.”
Magnolia Picture president Eamonn Bowles has also reported that his studio’s biggest VOD success was last year’s All Good Things, which earned $4 million from VOD, while making only $367,000 in theaters.
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