We making money selling your short film, feature film or web series just got a whole lot easier. Amazon.com has thrown its hat into the Independent creators VOD ring with the launch of Amazon Video Direct.
This move is designed to go head to head with Google’s YouTube for video-ad dollars. as well as going after other juggernauts like Facebook and Vimeo.
Amazon Video Direct has four distribution options for its creators.
- Filmmakers can make their films available to Prime Video subscribers and receive a per-hour royalty fee
- Films or Series can be sold as a subscription through the Streaming Partners Program
- Films can be made available for digital rental or purchase
- Films can be made available to ALL Amazon customers for free with ads, and filmmakers would receive a 55% share of the ad revenue (exactly as they do on YouTube).
Amazon Video Direct will pay the filmmaker 50% of the retail price for all rentals, digital purchases, and subscription fees. If filmmakers choose Prime Video distribution, creators will earn royalties of 15 cents per hour streamed in the U.S. and 6 cents in other territories under the standard terms.
What makes this a game-changer is indie filmmakers no longer have to deal with a middle man or distributor to gain access to one of the largest marketplaces in the world.
I already am making money with my past short films on Amazon Video Direct. I’m surprised at the number of views and cash these short films are brought in, with no advertising on my part yet. Check out what I uploaded to Amazon Video Direct here.
Take a listen to this podcast as I breakdown this amazing new distribution opportunity for indie filmmakers and I go over the technical requirements that are needed to upload to Amazon Video Direct.
Right-click here to download the MP3
Alex Ferrari 0:00
Well, my friends, making money with your film online has become much much easier after today. Amazon Video direct Amazon has announced that they are going to allow individual creators and filmmakers to upload their projects directly to Amazon and share in either revenue ad revenue or subscription based revenue. This is huge guys, I can't express to you how huge this is. It is knocked out the middleman for filmmakers. Now you can directly upload your short films, your web series, your your feature films, anything you want to upload you can you have to have some technical requirements, which I'm going to go over to you in a minute. But I was so excited when I heard this, I had to shout it from the top of the mountains because I was so so so excited about what Amazon's doing. Basically what Amazon's doing is trying to go after the YouTubes of the world. They're trying to become their own version of a YouTube slash Netflix. But allowing filmmakers to upload their projects directly just like YouTube without any sort of oversight or approval process, you're basically getting access to the entire Amazon Marketplace, which is arguably one of the largest marketplaces, if not the largest marketplace in the world. Now, currently, Amazon Video direct will be played in the UK, the US, Germany and Japan. And they will be growing to different regions of the world as they grow. But this is huge, I cannot express to you how huge this is to have a complete basically a distribution outlet without having to go to a middleman without having to pay obscene amounts of money to a distributor or to anything else, you have complete control of this. Now how this is going to affect other distribution deals, I don't know it would be a non exclusive and you know if you're going to go out to get another distributor through a traditional distribution deal. But if you've got short films, if you've got a feature film sitting on the shelf, doing nothing, why not upload it to Amazon Video direct. Now according to Amazon, you'll be able to rent sell or create a subscription based off of your work or all of your work and you get a split of 5050 with Amazon, which I think is extremely fair. And if you choose to upload it to the the amazon prime video distribution, you'll earn 15 cents per hour streamed in the US and six cents for other territories and that's capped up at around $75,000 per year. My God if you're getting that much streaming, you're doing really really well. And in addition to this, they've also launched the Amazon Video direct stars program, which is a bonus pool of a million dollars per month to be rewarded to the top performing video creators and gives them an incentive to add more of their content to prime video. They're really going after YouTube guys are going after YouTube and Netflix but YouTube specifically because you know now you'll be able to up Load your content and get paid for it and be able to sell it directly to a huge marketplace. I can't express to you enough, this isn't a smaller, you know, this is Amazon. everybody on the planet uses Amazon and to have direct access direct distribution access to Amazon without a middleman is crazy guys. So let's talk about the technical things that you're going to need to upload your film. Now, if you have a short film, feature film, web series, whatever, I think this all will count the exact same way. You go through the category catalog listing, you put in your information, synopsis genre rating, if you have one. And you have to create key art, you have to create a 16 by nine or 19 by 20 by 1080 piece of key art and also for a background image. And then you have to create a three by four or a 1200 by 1600 key art which is basically a movie poster to upload there, you add in your cast and crew, any of that stuff. So if you have any stars or anything like that people searching for those stars will have these things come up. And then for as far as video assets are concerned, you'll be able to upload Apple pro res four to two MPEG two and h two six fours, I'm going to have a link in the description for the show notes at indie film hustle.com Ford slash 07 for direct links to their technical requirements, all sorts of links that discussing things about Amazon Video direct. As far as audio specifications, you need to either have a one channel mono, two channel stereo left and right six, channel five, one or an eight, channel five, one mix. And the big kicker and this is where a lot of people are gonna have issues but it's going to be worth it, especially if you have features shorts or other things is you have to close caption everything. Everything has to be uploaded with a closed caption file because that is part of the rules. Now I know Closed captioning is a pain in the butt. But you can now afford fairly easily online, you can get closed captioning for about a buck a minute, if not sometimes cheaper, depending on how much you do. So for $1 a minute, you can get it closed caption with the proper file formats. The most common of those file formats is a dot s cc file. And you could do an SMT TT file, an XML file, d f x p file or an iTunes ITT file, but I would suggest that SCC file is the most common used one in the industry, you should be fine. All frame rates as well 20 398 20 420-530-2997 and 29 979 drop all those kinds of texts back sorry if I'm getting too geeky guys. I'm just gonna lay laying it all out. And again, you get all this information on on the show notes. Now what they're accepting is standalone films, or standalone videos, which are features, shorts or documentaries are all considered standalone titles, and episodic. So you can have a television show a web series, things that have a bunch of different episodes on it, you can do that a series you can upload a full series you can full up upload full seasons, all sorts of different content that you can upload there. So it is pretty remarkable what you can do guys and it's autumn automatically you're able to start generating revenue streams if you have an audience and even if you don't have an audience people searching for your stuff even if you just put it up there you can see whether people find it on Amazon or not. But if you can drive some traffic to it even more so giving people options and on top of it all you can connect everything with create space, create space is Amazon's kind of like make your movie or print your DVD on demand kind of thing. So you can offer DVDs of your movies as well. Without any upfront costs now mind you're not going to make a whole lot of money you'll make more money selling it digitally but if somebody wants to buy a DVD it's better better some money than no money and it allows you to do that all instantly so for independent filmmakers This is a huge huge game changer this just was released last week and that's how quickly I wanted to get it out to you guys so again, head over to indie film hustle calm Ford slash zero 74 and you'll get all the information download links everything you need to get hooked up with Amazon Video direct it is a game changer for everybody guys. So definitely check it out. Please let us know what your experiences are. Hit us up on our Facebook group and you can talk about that I'm going to be talking about that in our Facebook group, which is indie film, hustle calm for slash Facebook. Go in there sign up and we can talk about your experiences with Amazon. And this is just one revenue stream guys we did another episode called How to create multiple revenue streams for your for your indie film that was Episode 44. And you can check that out. I'll put that in the show notes as well. But this adds to that multiple revenue stream. There's so many different places where you can start creating multiple revenue streams for your film digitally online. It is a brand new world and it is something that you have access to things that you never have had access to before. So definitely check this out if I haven't said it enough. I'm really a big fan of Amazon Video direct the concept of it at least Let's hope it pans out. But it's you got nothing to lose a little bit of time to upload some stuff. And you're rocking and rolling. It's fairly straightforward, guys. So as always head over to filmmaking podcast calm and give us an honest review of the show. It really helps us out a lot. And don't forget to go to our YouTube channel has a ton of free content, video tutorials, all sorts of great stuff and we upload new videos every week. So head over to indie film, hustle, calm forward slash YouTube. As always, guys, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive, and I'll talk to you soon.
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- Amazon Video Direct – Video Requirements
- Amazon Video Direct – File Formats
- IFH 044: How to Create Multiple Revenue Streams for Your Indie Film
- Bulletproof Script Coverage – Get Your Screenplay Read by Hollywood Professionals
- Audible – Get a Free Filmmaking or Screenwriting Audiobook
- Rev.com – $1.25 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)