Thank you for downloading the Digital Distribution Strategy for Indie Filmmakers.

DVD’s are dead, life is a Stream.  On Demand is ubiquitous, on your phone, handheld device, computer screens, you name it. Video on-demand streaming is the fastest growing segment of video viewing, forever changing how content is viewed and delivered.  Download this resource which offers comparisons and suggestions to help indie filmmakers navigate this rapidly shifting landscape.

Even with services such as Without a Box, film festival entry requires time and expense with no guarantees of official selection.  Film festival offerings are typically limited in terms of content, people often need to travel, pay for admission and lodging to attend.

Likewise, people are often disappointed that a particular film they’ve seen promoted online has no theatrical release in their region and they might not have the time, resources or community interest to organize a community screening.  Theatrical releases, festivals and screenings have been known to generate audience participation that results in social impact or cultural momentum around an idea or cause –and those success stories can definitely be as exciting as the film itself.

VOD opens up new opportunities for both viewing and audience engagement.  The individual is exposed to massive quantities of information daily and rarely has the capacity as one person to not only deal with the complexities presented in that information but to act in an informed and productive way.  We may have become more knowledgeable on a topic but how has the world really changed?  If a film has ignited the desire to act where does one start?  Joining with like-minded groups of individuals who decide to take collection action not only breaks up the necessary tasks at hand per each person’s strengths and interests, it also adds a sense of purpose and direction to each person’s life while opening up resources, strengthening ties and building community.

Curated online video experiences offer a unique opportunity for social immersion. Coupled with video or audio conferencing audiences can view a film on-demand within a specified time frame, later joining an online or offline discussion that can lead to contemplation, discussion, networked learning and collective action. For us it’s always been about Pathos – the story that evokes emotion and moves the viewer to compassion and to action. It’s been about the stories that awaken, stories that affect deep personal and cultural shift, stories that create impact, and stories that give back.


Vimeo on Demand

Our current library offers titles from Vimeo -a trusted name in online video content for both the filmmaker and the viewer which enables creators to sell original films and series worldwide through Vimeo On Demand, its open self-distribution platform.  Vimeo on Demand allows viewers to rent or buy titles directly on a publisher’s site through Vimeo’s transactional video player. Videos can then be watched on any connected device. We have created a full standalone VOD storefront – an ad-free viewing environment enabling visitors to buy (and watch later on other devises), rent or watch videos without leaving the site.  We carefully select quality content from over 50,000 videos on the Vimeo’s platform for educators, cultural creatives and conscious consumers. Topics include personal health and spiritual transformation, sustainable lifestyles, travel and global citizenry, climate change, visionary culture, planetary thinking and cosmology, and social, environmental and economic justice, to name a few.

Most importantly, as filmmakers also having worked with other filmmaker campaigns, we are well acquainted with the spectrum of challenges associated with filmmaking, distribution, engagement and systemic change. Vimeo helps creators earn a return for their passion driven, often sacrificial work with 90% of the sale price going to the producer.  If you’re not yet using Vimeo On Demand, start here:

Pro account features include:

  • 50 Gb storage
  • 250,000 plays
  • High definition videos (1080p)
  • Compatible with all devises
  • Worldwide audience or targeted region through Vimeo geo-targeting
  • Set your own price and how long the content will be available
  • Add new files such as additional episodes for your series, trailers, behind-the-scenes, and special messages.
  • Non-exclusive rights to sell on multiple platforms and the option to cancel at any time.


Films for the Planet

In terms of VOD distribution, your film may be listed on multiple platforms, but these platforms do not promote your content or drive traffic to your film.  We help you locate virtual audiences that want to engage with your film or series through online conversations.  In addition, we can also help direct the audience to your partner organizations or orchestrate crowdfunding activities for your cause as a verified non-profit through Indiegogo and Razoo.  Compathos also offers a Fiscal Sponsorship program for artists and filmmakers.

If your film is part of a Films for the Planet program, we suggest offering a limited number of free viewings for promotional purposes on a first come first serve basis. Those who respond receive a free viewing code and are encouraged to share the event with friends. This would require uploads to Vimeo on Demand with a private viewing option and transferable code, as well as to the Publisher Platform for actual ticket sales.  (Viewers do not need a Vimeo account for free private viewings, however they need to sign up for a Vimeo account to rent or purchase through the Publisher Platform which may or may not present a barrier for some.)

If you have joined Vimeo On Demand / Publisher Platform and would like to be featured in Films for the Planet or are interested in being featured in a program – please contact us at:


More Perks

Comparably, last we checked, Amazon is U.S. only, the cost is $200, the split is 50/50 and pricing is fixed. Youtube Rentals split is 50/50 but there is a $100 payment threshold.  VHX  has no setup costs or fees with a 80/20 split minus bandwidth fees.  Distrify Pro plan is $20/month with revenue share at 70/30 or higher- you can earn an extra 5% as an affiliate.  PBS has a good comparison chart –  Do-It-Yourself Digital Distribution Platforms

When compared against average YouTube creator advertising terms (a $5 CPM), High Maintenance, for example, made more money selling directly to fans in  two days on Vimeo On Demand than it would have in over two years based on a traditional advertising revenue model.  Use this calculator to compare video views on YouTube to trailer views on Vimeo On Demand.  

Vimeo further supports filmmakers by committing to an ongoing creator fund for select Indiegogo funded film campaigns, in exchange for exclusive distribution on Vimeo On Demand.

  • Matching funds: Vimeo’s new Creator Fund will commit up to a million dollars in matching funds for select Indiegogo funded film campaigns.
  • Vimeo marketing dollars: Vimeo will contribute digital marketing spend and social promotion for campaigns in the matching funds program and other selected Indiegogo funded film campaigns.
  • Free unlimited fulfillment: Participating campaigns will have access to free fulfillment on all digital download perks via Vimeo VOD.
  • Discounted Vimeo PRO: Indiegogo film campaigners will be eligible for a substantial discount on Vimeo PRO membership.
  • Featured collection on Vimeo: An “Indiegogo Funded Films” collection will be featured on Vimeo, which reaches over 170 million global users a month.
  • Check out more ways to monetize- Affiliate Program


More Resources:

Film Distribution

5 Digital Distribution Tips for Filmmakers

Do-It-Yourself Digital Distribution Platforms

More DIY Options

B2B Marketers How to Pick the Right Digital Distribution Channels

TFC’s Director of Digital Marketing Strategy Sheri Candler talks about Vimeo On Demand.

How to market your video with a video

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