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Why Amazon is Only Paying .01¢ Per Streaming Hour to Filmmakers

The streaming wars have their first casualties and of course, it is indie filmmakers. Amazon announces that they would drop their already low per hour streaming rate from .06¢ to .01¢ in North America. When this news hit the indie film world went nuts. Why would Amazon punish creators like this?

Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is Amazon dropped their per hour streaming rate from .06¢ to .01¢ but the good news is they raise the maximum possible rate to .12¢ per hour. Check out the chart below

Amazon did this to weed out all the low-quality content that is uploaded tot he platform. The higher quality content will be rewarded while the lower is punished. This is the way Amazon wants to proceed. As I stated in my book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business

“If you play in someone elses sandbox you need to play by their rules.”

This is why it’s more important than ever to control your own revenue streams. In this episode I go into detail on why Amazon made this move, their main business model and how indie filmmakers can better position themselves in the Amazon marketplace. Below is information is taken directly from the Amazon Video Direct website.


Customer Engagement Ranking (CER)

The Customer Engagement Ranking (CER) is a percentile ranking of a title’s level of engagement with our Prime customers in relation to other Included with Prime (SVOD) titles published via Prime Video Direct within a single territory. It is calculated using a number of factors, including the relative popularity of your title in our catalog and measures of customer engagement such as streamed hours. CER is calculated at season level for episodic content and is calculated on an individual title level for standalone titles.

Impact on earnings

Earnings are only impacted for Included with Prime titles published into the United States. Royalties for titles distributed in the United States are calculated every month based on a title’s CER, which is provided in a monthly report available for download in your account.

When customers watch your title, the CER for that title may increase, which would increase the potential compensation for your title. Delivering Prime customers’ content that they want to watch helps to ensure you maximize potential earnings.

Factors that contribute to CER

CER takes into consideration multiple customer signals which could include:

  • Unique Customers   Current and new Prime members who view your title.
  • Streamed Hours   The time each customer spends engaging with your content.
  • Title Popularity   Notable talent, relevant genres, an IMDb presence and rating, and box office performance.
  • Title Caliber   Compelling and high-quality poster art, accurate and representative copy and metadata, localized subtitles and key art. For more information, review the publishing steps for standalone and episodic titles, art requirements, and caption (timed text) information.

Best practices for customer engagement

While there are many ways to increase customer engagement, our most successful providers increase engagement by using some of the following best practices:

  • Review Dashboard performance metrics to identify engagement trends, top-performing titles, and more. Use these insights to bring additional selection and quality content for customers on Prime Video.
  • Provide accurate, crisp, clear and compelling title metadata (e.g., synopsis). Make sure you review our Content Policy Guidelines.
  • Create an IMDb page for your title. If your title already has an IMDb page, make sure production and award details are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Align your programming with seasonal relevancy. (For key holidays, make sure that your relevant titles are published well in advance).
  • Consider customers’ regional localization preferences. For example, you might consider dubbing your content when publishing to a territory with a localized audio preference.
  • Engage with your existing audience to promote your content available on Prime Video (e.g., social media). It is critical that your posts and promotions use accurate Amazon branding and approved language. See our branding guidelines, Graphic Assets Guide, and Social Media Guide for more information and tips.
Source: Amazon Video Direct

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

  1. $1 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
  2. Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business
  3. Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: FREE AUDIOBOOK
  4. Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
  5. Alex Ferrari’s Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story)

REAL-WORLD STREAMING FILM EDUCATION

  1. Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
  2. Hollywood Film School: Filmmaking & TV Directing Masterclass
  3. Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons 
  4. Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
  5. The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters

FILMMAKING RESOURCES

  1. Filmtrepreneur® Podcast
  2. Bulletproof Screenwriting® Podcast
  3. Six Secrets to getting into Film Festivals for FREE!
  4. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

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