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Do Film Aggregators Make Sense Anymore? + Distribber Downfall Update

In this episode, I ask the question do film aggregators make sense anymore? Does it make sense for every indie film? I also discuss the larger problem that the Distribber meltdown has shown us about the entire film aggregation business. This is an eye-opening show.

I also give you updates on the Distribber debacle and bring you the latest information from the frontline. Below is the Facebook LIVE version of this show.

This is last week’s Facebook LIVE broadcast discussing Distribber.

Take a listen. I hope this helps!

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Alex Ferrari 2:02
So today, guys, I wanted to bring you the live broadcasts I did yesterday on Facebook in regards to not only updates on the distributor debacle, but also on film aggregators, and when you should use them when you shouldn't use them, how to be aware of certain situations that you have to be careful of. And I talk a little bit about some overall issues in the entire system of film aggregation that needs to be addressed. I think moving forward if not, we might be in for for something problems much, much larger than what we are dealing with today with distributor but I know a lot of you out there are struggling and are hurting because of this, this horrible situation with distributor in this film aggregator and what it's doing to many filmmakers lives and members of my own indie film hustle tribe, so I understand it, I feel it, I'm going through it with you, they owe me close to $4,000 still plus back pay on Meg so I get it, I understand completely where you're coming from. And I know a lot of you are in much, much worse shape, with money that's owed, not getting control of your movie and so on. So we will talk about if it's a good idea to pull your movie off what are the pluses and the minuses and other things like that. But we will get through this guy's it's something that is unfortunate is unprecedent has never happened before. That's why I'm focusing as much attention as I am to it because it is hurting 1000s and 1000s of filmmakers. And, you know, this could easily be an issue of millions of dollars lost depending on how distributor finishes out and deals with this situation. So I hope it does come to a close in a beneficial way for everybody involved. But I'm doubtful unfortunately, I don't want to be Debbie Downer, but I am doubtful, but all we could do is keep trucking and keep moving forward. That's all we could do. So here's my live broadcast that I did on Facebook yesterday. Okay, guys, so last week I, as many of you know I last week I did a podcast and a Facebook Live about what's going on with the stripper, the company distributor, the film aggregator who is, is having problems to say the least. And a lot of the information that I talked about last week as they're they're possibly going bankrupt. They are not in a good financial place. They're not calling or talking to people as it's taking forever to get anything done. All of those things I talked about last week, so I'm going to have a few confirmations that I have gotten from the community from the tribe. Since our talk last week. It has now been confirmed that both distributor anko Digital's offices have been closed go digital is the company that owns distributor, both of their offices are closed. So there is no physical address because I had multiple people out there in the tribe that went and went to their offices and saw that the offices had been shut down. One, one specific guy rich, he actually went and spoke to the business, the building manager, and the building manager had no idea that they had left their bro that, you know, going, going under or whatever. And they asked if they'd seen anybody with any moving boxes, or anything like that coming out of there, because everybody's hard drives are there. And I know a lot of filmmakers are concerned that their movies are sitting there in a room somewhere, and they're afraid of piracy. Therefore, if someone gets a hold of it, and all this kind of stuff, I'm from what I understand from what rich reported back was that a few weeks ago, that a group of people, a group of Bach, people with boxes came in and emptied out the place. So those hard drives of all of our movies are no longer there. To my knowledge, again, I cannot confirm specifically what's in those boxes. But, you know, deduction says that they probably pulled out a lot of all the all the things that were worth any sort of value, hard drives, and so on. So if anyone from distributors listening, and I'm sure a couple of you might because i've i've been reached out to a couple times from from some people over a distributor. You know, I'm doing this because I want people to feel some sort of conference, some sort of information to come back to them, because I know you guys are going through your reorganization. And people are really nervous about what's going on. One other thing I had a friend of mine do, she actually went to Amazon, and and basically did a search for just the word distributor. And almost 1000 films have been uploaded to through from distributor to Amazon Prime as of right now, they might have been under other names, other other situations, but a minimum, there's almost 1000 Films up there right now. So that's 1000 films, 1000 filmmakers that don't have access to their films. And that's also 1000 filmmakers that have money coming in from Amazon, going directly to a distributor. And that money is not finding their way back to the filmmaker. So that is probably a problem. And I'm assuming money is still coming in. I cannot confirm that. But someone's making money on it that if they're still up and they're still being rented and watched on prime someone's generating revenue off of that. And where's that revenue going is something you know, we'll talk about a little bit more moving in a minute or so. Next thing is I want you to be really very well aware is that the agreement that and I've had a couple people call me from or reach out to me from a stripper. Kind of that the agreement you signed with them is a non exclusive agreement. It is does not lock you into anything with them, other than whatever deal as far as payment and so on. But as far as getting your movie down, there should be absolutely no reason why those films are not being pulled off. Now there has been a lot of chatter in the Facebook group that I started protect yourself from a stripper, and I'll put a link to it. If someone can actually copy and paste it while I'm talking and put it in the comment. That'd be great. But I'm sure most of you have already heard about it. There's a lot of been a lot of chatter a lot of talk about not asking to pull down your movie because it might negate, you know, any kind of revenue or settlement that might come down the pike later on. And that's what attorneys are saying. filmmakers attorneys are saying, by the way, anything I say here, please run through an attorney. I am not an attorney, I am not legal counsel, this is just my advice, my personal opinion. But I would definitely reach out to an attorney to talk about what your options are. I'm gonna lay out basically two scenarios for you. And then you've got to make the decision as far as pulling your movie off or not, because that is a big, it's a big problem right now. It's a big conversation a lot of filmmakers are having and a lot of concerns about what I can't control my movie anymore. So Scenario number one is that you leave your movie up there, and you wait to see what happens. What happens with it either as a bankruptcy, or an influx of cash comes in and the company comes back up and starts paying everybody off, which is a magical place, but sure it might happen. Why not? And and then if you've pulled your movie off, you're not going to get your money back. Well. Scenario One is if there's a huge amount of money going to come into this company. What are the chances of that happening? I mean, nelta know that the brand of distributors pretty much been cockeyed over this entire scenario, I don't think that the name, go digital or distributor will be able to come out as an ag film aggregator anymore. I, you know, I don't even know if they'll have their, their licenses to be able to upload to the, to the platforms, the platforms that the you know, the gave them those licenses, I don't think they're gonna even have those anymore after this debacle. So chances of distributor coming back out of this, in my personal opinion is going to be very difficult. It's not possible, just very difficult, very challenging to say the least. So if you wait for all of this happens, and and you leave your movie up there. So that's plan one, that you left your movie up there and hope that you're going to get all that money that's owed to you back. The situation is if you don't get your money back, and that company does go bankrupt, you've not only lost the money that you owe, because chances are you will never see that done $1 from that if they go bankrupt because you're not in first in line by any stretch. But secondly, you will lose your movie in the bankruptcy, meaning that it will be locked up in bankruptcy for however long that period takes, it could be six months could be a year could be two or three years. Who knows. And now you as a filmmaker, have no access to the movie that you have, you know, made. And you have no way of generating revenues on these platforms. Because you can't upload two of the same movie to Amazon. So Amazon cannot, will not take down your movie from from their platform. Unless the person the company or the aggregator that put it up, takes it down for you. And that's just the way it is, to my knowledge. If someone out there know something different. Please comment, if anything, I'm saying if someone knows better, or has a better take on it, I'm all ears. I am not the expert in this by any stretch of the imagination. This is the information that's been provided to me. By the way, after last week's podcast and live broadcast, I was inundated with calls from film distributing executives, people from the inside people inside the business. I mean, I was getting information left and right. So thank you for everybody who's come forward and shine some light on this situation, because that's a lot of what I'm going to be talking about. And what I am talking about has come from those, those sources. So I do truly appreciate that. I didn't plan on being the tip of the spear when it came to this. But I'm here and I have no problem doing it. It is part of what I do with indie film, hustle, and helping filmmakers and making sure they're protected as much as humanly possible. Now, I wanted to talk about a bigger, a little bit bigger issue here. And I wanted to kind of go over because it's it's a little bit of miscommunication and misunderstanding what a film aggregator really is. When the film's when the film platforms launched years ago, they set up basically five big companies to be aggregators, okay, and those and everybody, including the studios had to use these companies to aggregate their films to the platforms. And understandably, I completely understand, except for Amazon, which we'll talk about in a minute. Because as let's say, your Netflix, you don't want 10,000 filmmakers pitching your movie dealing with technical issues, upload, download, didn't pass QC don't have this file that can't put that in there, the closed caption doesn't work all it's a thick, thick, they don't have the time to deal with that. So they would they forced everybody to be funnel up. Um, they, they forced everybody to kind of funnel into these companies for for just optimization. And it makes perfect sense, you know, and these companies would take a fee for this for all this kind of work that they're doing with the encoding and making sure everything is right, and all this kind of stuff. Then a lot of times at some of these companies opened up little filmmaker labels, where they were able to go out and pitch directly to filmmakers. And there's a handful of those, those companies as well. And there's nothing wrong with that. They're they're just marketing their services to an audience, which are filmmakers, independent filmmakers? And what that marketing is like, Oh, yeah, for a certain price, I can get you up on the platforms. And we can and you can make money with it. We won't take any you know, we will take any percentage or we'll take a small percentage, or whatever their business models are, but they were able to do something like that. Now, the question is that you need to ask yourself, and then I'm We'll go into something a little bit more, a little bit more interesting in a minute. But the question you have to ask yourself, if as an independent filmmaker, if you have a film, and you're going to spend 1500 2000 3000 4000 $5,000, on uploading your films to different platforms, is that going to be a good ROI? Is that going to be a good return on investment? What are the chances of you just recouping your expenses to upload your films to the platforms? Does it make sense, it makes sense for a lot of films, but it doesn't make sense for a lot of others. And they'll spend their money. And by the way, aggregators will never tell you ad, this film's never going to make a dime on iTunes, they'll never tell you that. Why, because they're been in business for you for them to do a service for you, regardless of they're not going to tell you if your movie is good or not, it's not their business, your business to understand that. So don't expect them to guide you on this process. They're not going to it's not their business, their business is to provide a service and get your films up to that those platforms. So you need to be very truthful and ask yourself the question, do I is my film going to make this money back? And I know a lot of filmmakers who spent a lot of money putting their films up there, and because they don't understand marketing, or because they don't, you know, they don't understand how this whole system works. The movie just sits there. And they make no money with it. none, none whatsoever. And they're just like, Oh, my God, you know, we we've made no money. And I've already spent 3000, let alone the 50 100 200 $300,000 I spent on the movie. Because a lot of there's, there's a preconceived notions that if you just throw your movie up on iTunes, or on Amazon on everything, magically, people will find you and it doesn't work that way. You've got to market your film intensely, to an audience to a niche audience, specifically, if you can to get people to either buy rent, or watch your film on a on a streaming platform or on a subscription service where you get paid something. So that's a deeper question about aggregators, you need to ask yourself, because all the aggregators are going to do is sell their services, and they're going to sell their services, as the end all be all, because we're going to protect you from the evil predatory film distributors. And you know what, I did a podcast episode a few weeks ago, in regards to predatory film, film distributors, because it's a problem. It's a huge problem. And aggregators came along as kind of like the savior of the independent filmmaker, but Oh, you don't need to go through them. You can go through us and you keep all the money. But the thing they don't tell you is like, if you don't have the marketing muscle behind it, or understand any of that, you're not going to make any money, and they're just going to take your money. So it's just another way of doing it. Does the model work? Possibly for a lot of filmmakers, I have multiple people on my show that have had very, very big success of self distributing your films through these aggregators. But those people have huge audiences and understood marketing, understood how to attack niche audiences, how to create product, there's a longer conversation, it's what I do at film intrapreneur.com. It's exactly what it says that business model, understanding your niche audience selling to that niche audience and so on. Now, the big problem, which no one's really talking about, about this whole system, is the money. It's always about the money, isn't it? The way the system was set up is that you as a company, a distributor, by the way, all distributors have this very few distributors have direct access to these platforms, very few. Amazon is the exception. Everybody has access to those to upload to a film on Amazon. But not everyone's going to have 68 territories accessible to them. If you upload it to yourself, you're only going to get I think two or three at this point. And that's it. If you go through a distributor that has a direct responsibility, a direct connection with Amazon, you'll be able to get onto 6070 platforms and more if you choose if you do subtitling to other categories and excuse me other languages. But every distributor has to go through them. The studio system goes through them Disney Warner's Paramount, universal, all of them go through aggregators, it's the way the system is set up Netflix, everybody does it. Okay, Amazon is the only exception to my knowledge that allows individuals to do it. But there are some distributors some larger distributors that have direct access, but nobody has direct access to my understanding to iTunes other than these five aggregating aggregation companies. So the system is set up that you have to go through these these companies, right. And those companies are, that's their the doorway to these platforms for a lot of filmmakers, and for a lot of distributors and distribution companies. The problem is that then the Money comes, where does the money go? So if I make a deal with Netflix or with Hulu, the money doesn't come to me from Hulu or Netflix, it goes to the aggregator. And then the aggregator is responsible to pay you. This is where we're at with the distributor situation, right. But the problem is that with all of the insane technical requirements that the platform's placed on the the the aggregators, they put no requirement requirements in regards to financial. No fiduciary responsibility. No, I have to put it in a separate account, no, nothing, nothing. Nothing, there is no requirements from the platforms to regulate or set up, set up some sort of, you know, just requirements for making sure that the filmmakers get paid. Now, Mo, the system has been running smoothly, very nicely for a while. Obviously, there's a hiccup now with distributor, something happened. We'll I don't know if we'll ever know exactly what happened behind the scenes, but something happened, filmmakers aren't being paid right now. So money is not there. Or else money or people would get paid. You know, so that system, there's a problem, because the platforms got paid. Someone rented it on iTunes, they got their 30%. You know, people are watching on Netflix, you know, they got that guy paid. Netflix is being paid by the subscriptions, right? But the filmmaker or the distribution companies have to wait for this, basically this, this aggregator this company to pay them. Again, the system has been working fine. And it wouldn't be in the company's best interest not to pay. But I'll throw a scenario at you. If the studios, the big accounts, the Disney's The Warner Brothers, the Paramount's the universals, Lionsgate, all these kind of guys, right? If they decided to set up their own direct access to the platforms, which they could easily do in house, this happened with post production years ago, before all the studios would go outside, to big post production houses to do all their post production. And now they do it all internal, because they said, Well, why are we spending all this money out there, when we could just do it internally, this makes no sense. But a company like Disney, or like, like Warner Brothers could easily just go to all the platforms and go, we're gonna do this internally. And we're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna set that we're going to dictate the terms, if you want our content on your platforms. And they could do that. Now, if they pulled all of those accounts away from these five, you know, the big big aggregators? How would that affect everybody else? How would that affect you, me? Smaller distribution companies? How would they be affected by all of this? Would they survive? I don't know. How does that affect us? The whole system seems to be a little bit uncertain. You know, it just seems like I don't know. So it's just a question I'm proposing to everybody listening out there. You know, the system is been set up this way. But as this the situation that we're in is shown us, there's a crack in the system. And if this crack is not fixed properly, it could be a much larger situation, going down the line, we're still in a place where, you know, we have the ship has not hit the iceberg. But we see the iceberg coming. You know, we are the Titanic. And we do see the iceberg coming, we could still turn away. But it's this system, I'm not sure if it's going to work or not, if it's going to continue to work or not. So I want you as independent filmmakers, as people part of my tribe, as far as the part of indie film, hustle and part of film intrapreneur, and everybody else was listening. To ask yourself the question, what makes sense? Now I know a lot of you out there are going to ask me, well, Alex, well, then what the hell do we do with our movies? What Like, who do we trust? I'm like, all we can do is try to find companies have direct relationships with these, with these with these platforms. And then when you were talking to distributors and talking to traditional distributors, ask them straight up, do Is there an account and escrow account that all the money comes into where the money is split off? Or is it all in one big pot that everyone just you know uses? These are questions that need to be asked us because right now there is no requirement for it. There is no fiduciary responsibility from these platforms. And unlike a distributor who you there's 1000s of distributors you can choose from. There's basically The five big aggregators and that's it. So we're being forced by the platforms to use these aggregators to get their film our films up on their platforms. But there's requirements technically, but there are no requirements to make sure that we get paid, and make sure that we're taking care of, and I'm not talking about just the little independent filmmaker, I'm talking about studios. I'm talking about distributors that have 500 800 Films up on through these these aggregation systems. It's a bigger, larger question that needs to be answered. So I'm just proposing that out there as a just a question that people really need to ask, moving forward, because it's something that I kind of hinted to last week, but after multiple conversations, and really just sitting down and thinking about it, what does this What does this mean, for all of us moving forward? You know, is this a one off as far as the strippers concerned? Or is this a systemic problem, that is something that we really, as an industry need to look at, before it's too late. Because if it filmmakers can't get their films up on these platforms, if distributors can't get their ups and the ups and these platforms, the platforms are going to hurt, we're going to hurt everyone's going to hurt, we got to figure out something that makes sense for us. But I think this is a serious conversation to be had moving forward in this scenario. So I'm going to open up to questions. I know everyone's been quiet listening to me. Thank you so much. Let me see here. I got a couple questions here. Let me see. Mine. Two days ago, okay. So as far as getting your movies pulled off, if you want to get your movies pulled off of distributor, you've need to reach out to them. Just based on your contract alone, you should be able to just ask them to pull it off. And if they're smart, who knows, they'll pull it off. And I have been getting reports back again, that movies have been being pulled off. I've had I've had my movie pulled off from some platforms still waiting on others. So that are being pulled off little by little. I know they're short handed, I know they don't have the cup, they don't have the 40 people that they used to have. So it might take a little longer to do. But if distributor if you're listening, just communicate with people, man, just drop an email saying, look, we're working on it as fast as we can, you will be pulled off by x date. We are actively you know, from this date on, we have terminated that agreement with that company for that your film expected to be out like you just kind of communicate that, because people are freaking out out here. So you just got to communicate. Let me see. Thank you, Linda. So the if anybody is not part of the group of the protect yourself from distributor Facebook group, where everyone's talking and sharing information, stuff, just go to facebook.com forward slash group for slash groups, Ford slash distributor, and I'll take you straight there and the link is in the comments. Let's see. So Linda's saying besides if there is a bankruptcy, the receiver will want all the revenue they've collected from Amazon and other platforms. It's very true. If Amazon's listening or if any of the platforms are listening, this is this is something that you all have to figure out. Because if you're collecting money for, for filmmakers, and for companies, and that money is being you're just sending it off blindly, to distributor at this point. And distributor hasn't told you no, no, no, stop, where's that money gonna go? How is that money going to be distributed? These are questions that need to be answered. He says it is very scary, especially if you're involved, you know, like I told you, I'm owed a lot of money from distributor as well. And we're all hoping to see something happened, man, we really are. But I think personally, my big thing was to get my movie back. Because that makes more sense to me, then that way, I could at least put it on another platform, go with it, go with another, you know, partner with another traditional distributor, or something along those lines to get the film out there. So I can start generating money with it again, if not, it can be locked up for two, two years, a year, two years, three years. And you're done. And you can't make money on those major platforms anymore. So something to think about. Let me see here. These platforms should be prepared. Yeah, the platforms really should have some sort of system in place. Like this. Like Amazon is a perfect example of this. Amazon pays you directly. You know, they don't, even if you go through an aggregator or if you go through a distribution company, obviously they're gonna pay those companies. But if you go directly to them, they they pay you directly. There is no middleman at that point. I By the way, I don't know how long that's gonna last. You know, Amazon tomorrow can just say we're done. We're not going to accept movies like this anymore. We're going to do we're not going to accept this independent films from independent filmmakers, you got to go through this, this or this channel to make it happen. So it is and by the way, getting up on Amazon technically is a pain in the butt. And they do that purposely to kind of weed out as many lower quality projects as humanly possible. But it is a pain in the butt to to get everything up exactly the way that Amazon wants to do, by the way. This is see any other quiet, just ask questions, guys. I'm just going through these real quick, I'll try to answer as many as I can. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Yeah, I know if anyone from distributor is here, please say something, say something or, you know, make a statement, man go on your website and just like close it completely, and put a big sign up says we're going through a reorganization, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. If you need help to get your movies pulled off, here it is. If you want to talk about how we're going to get paid back, here's what you do like something guys, but right now, this is why I'm out here talking because you guys aren't. So if you guys could stick take the conversation over, I'll be more than happy to stop talking because I trust me I'd much rather be doing something else. But this is a value to my audience. So I have to do it too early this year, but email support at distributors email is the best email that I know of you could try [email protected] I know that rich, if you go to the if you go to the Facebook group rich laid out a lot of contact information there. I don't sure how good or bad those are. But if you want to go there, it's in the it's in the posts on the on the platform. So if you want to go there, if you want to see other people's emails, you can try there. There are a number of distributors that have direct, direct deals with with these companies. I'm not sure what those deals are. And I'm not sure which companies there are. But there are a handful. There's not a lot. But there are a handful. The only one that everybody has to go through these is iTunes, of course, Apple. And you know, iTunes, in general has not been a very has not performed very, very well for for filmmakers, especially in the independent space. For a while it's been it's been, let's say, several, several years at this point. They're just not performing because T VOD, in general is not. You know, a transactional video on demand is not doing as well as it used to wear subscriptions doing better. And a VOD advertising video on demand. Or ad supported video on demand is doing much better than T VOD is concerned. So iTunes, in a lot of ways is a vanity platform. Everybody just wants to be up there. Because it's iTunes and trust me, I get it. My films up there, I would let you know you want to be up on that one as a major platform. But not many people are renting it. A lot of people are renting or buying movies, let alone independent movies. Think about that, you know, they might buy the big studio stuff, but they're not buying or renting as much as they used to. And I think that is a trend that will probably continue to go is that it will be less and less trend transactional buying of movies and selling and movies. I think it will always be around in one way shape or form. Why wouldn't it be? But I don't think it's going to be a major moneymaker for filmmakers. I think the future will probably be ad based films, ad based video on demand and subscription based video on demand. Because I know a lot of filmmakers making a ton more money on Amazon Prime than they did renting or selling their film. So there's this a larger conversation but that's generally what I think about that. There's so Chris, I know, Chris and a lot of people are in the same boat as you are they they've been trying to get some sort of response from distributors since July. And it's been dead silent. So all I could do all I could suggest you do guys just keep pounding them as much as you can look at look at the other emails that Rick has up on the on the in the group and see if you can reach anybody through those emails, see if they those work at all. There are no offices to go to. There is no phone number to call. It's a scary scenario. It is a it's an unprecedented scenario that nobody has done before. And it is that this has not happened before in this business, to my knowledge with an aggregator it hasn't happened with distributors, small distributors a little Larger distributors that a company just completely blacked out people that are owed 10s of 1000s or hundreds of 1000s of dollars and, and have their films locked up through their company is something unheard of. It's just not nothing that's happened before. And I truly hope it doesn't happen. Moving forward. Best aggregator alternatives right now, I don't want to publicly say any company, there are some really good companies out there, those people are out there, right now. You know, I can tell you what I'm doing. I have my films with indie rights with Linda. And Michael, they're excellent. They've been around for a long, long time. And I'm very, you know, they're, I've heard nothing, but praises from them from every filmmaker that's ever worked with them. And I've spoken to a lot of filmmakers will work with them. So they're not right for every movie. But I, if it means anything, I using them for my movie, but my both my films are going to be with her. Now, and if I'm saying that, and my, you know, I could easily self distribute my film my films directly to my audience, but I chose her and chose Michael to do it with nd right. So that's just one alternative, there are a handful filmhub out there is another alternative that has, they've heard very good things up as well. And there's a few others out there as well, you've got to do your research, to call your call, you know, just do your due diligence and try to find other filmmakers have had a good successful relationships with traditional distributors. There are good ones out there. But they're rare, like, like unicorns, I mean, they're not even majority of them are, you know, good. They're predatory. You know, a lot of them are, but a lot of them are pretty good. Depending on who you talk to, and just do your research. And you'll you'll find, you'll find out and it also just look at their deals, you know, look at the deals, look at the expenses, look at the what the cut is, what are they promising, you know, things like that, you just have to kind of look into it, that's a much longer conversation. And I have podcasts about that aspect of the business. And my and not to plug in my new book. But my new book talks a lot about that as well, the rise of the film shoprunner and, and and on that podcast as well. I talked a lot about distribution about all that all the kind of fine, fine print that you have to look out for. Let me see, teach it, it isn't it isn't easy to get up on Sunday, it isn't easy to get up on Amazon. I mean, technically, if you've got your stuff tight, you can put it up there. But you're only available in two to three territories, where if you go within a traditional distributor, depending on that distributor, they can reach, arguably in English alone 60 to 70 platforms. So it's something that you should maybe look into. But if you just want to put it up and drive traffic and do prime on your own, God bless you Godspeed do it, it makes a lot more sense to do it, do it that way, at least it's somewhere and you can at least focus all your energies on Amazon. So you know, as long as you have the technical specs covered, then you should be good. So, um, I know a lot of people have been asking about Jason Jason Brubaker. And it he from you know, I have spoken to Jason a couple times. And, you know, he does feel pretty bad about all this. And, you know, I don't know what he's going to do as far as speaking in the future about this. But I know he feels extremely terrible about it. And, uh, you know, he left the company for five months ago at this point. So he was an employee, I'm not defending them. I don't know what happened. But I do know that he does feel ridiculously horrible about this whole situation. And that's it. That's all I'm gonna say about Jason. Hopefully, we'll hear from Jason in the future. And he can shed some light on what's going on from his perspective. But I did want to because I know a lot of people have been asking about this. And he is limited to what he can say and cannot say, being a former employee. That's pretty much all I can say about where he's at at this point. But you can reach out to him through his filmmaking stuff, website, or filmmaking stuff, Facebook page, and maybe he can get he'll get in contact with you, but he won't be but he will not be able to help you with anything dealing with the show because he is no longer there hasn't been there for four or five months. See? You know what, Chris, a lot of people have been asking about a class action lawsuit on behalf of the effective filmmakers. God's Godspeed. If you guys want to try to put something together, go for it. But at the end of the day, if there's no blood in the stone, there's no blood in the stone. You So even if you're awarded, you know, $100 million, they don't got the money to pay that. So I don't know, I don't know if it's worth the expense. It's worth the if, if there's a attorney out there who's gonna do something like this entertainment attorney or something like that? I don't know, that's a question for an attorney, not for me. But I don't know how effective a class action lawsuit would be against a company like this, who's in financial hard times, you know, really in a bad place. If it was a large, large, large corporation that had you know, hundreds of billions of dollars, that's a different conversation. But this is not that situation. So I'm not sure how effective it will be. But again, that's just my opinion, you should definitely reach out to an entertainment attorney to ask their opinion on this. Okay. As far as making, and a lot of people are asking, you know, what about making money with your movie? And how can you do it if you're not working on these streaming platforms? You know, that's why I opened up for entrepreneur, I'm trying to teach filmmakers how to create multiple revenue streams from their films, and and not depend solely on distribution companies solely on the traditional legacy model of making money with your movies, there are other options. Is there a place for those companies? Absolutely. There's no question about it, if you can find a good company that you want to work with, absolutely. But it should be part of a much bigger business plan. And, you know, that's why I opened up film intrapreneur. And that's why I wrote I'm writing my book, Rise of the film shoprunner, because I really want to inform filmmakers as much as possible that there is another option. And I tried to lay out a full blueprint on how you could do that with tons and tons of case studies of people who have done it, it is possible. And it's not like lottery ticket examples. These are people that started off like you and me with nothing, and really was able to build something out of it. So there are other options out there. But it's a longer conversation as well. Um, let's see. Oh, and a lot of people have been asking about Thank you, Linda, a lot of people have been asking about Apple TV plus, moving forward when it opens up. And they're hoping that that will have a subscription based monetate. monetization, can't say the word sorry, monetization. Sorry, it's been a long, it's been a long weekend, you're not gonna be able to make money. They want to hopefully, there's a way that independent independent filmmakers can make money, like through an Apple TV subscription service, like you would do on amazon prime. Bad news is Apple TV plus will only be original content, it will not have a subscription model for independent producers of any sort. So no other big studios, no other Lionsgate or Paramount, they're not accepting that content. So we're not going to be accepted either. So if you were hoping for that, it's probably not going to happen. So don't hope you don't, don't hold on to that. See? Okay. And yeah, there are other aggregators out there, quiver, bitmax, giant, Premier, digital, all these guys. Like I said before, earlier in the day earlier in this broadcast, just ask yourself the questions about the entire system of aggregation in general. And if it makes sense for you financially, to make that, you know, don't be desperate, like, I have to get my film up on iTunes. You don't have to do anything, if you're going to make money doing it. Good. You know, that, do it, if it makes business sense to do it, do it, you know, but like I said earlier, the larger questions in regards to the entire system needs to be brought into into account. And hopefully, someone out there listening will reach out to me or write an article somewhere or, you know, post something about what we can do. And and if any of the platforms are listening, please let us let us know what you think is well, because I know there's a lot of scared filmmakers out here and this story doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. It's it seems to be picking up some steam every day that goes by like it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So it's something that someone out there has to kind of address and and hopefully, squash I really do hope not squash in a bad way. But like, you know, just put out some information for filmmakers. So yeah, I don't know there's there's so many questions in regards to people ya know, people are still renting your rights and the people are still renting but they're not renting as much. And that's just a fact. As far as independent filmmaking is concerned, they're not making as much money. I've seen the numbers I've seen I've looked I've spoken to distributors, I've seen their their their behind the scenes numbers of what the revenue sources are, and the revenue sources are not it. As a small, small, small percentage of it for independent filmmaking? Are people renting john wick and Avengers? Absolutely. Are people buying john wick and Avengers? Absolutely. But are they buying the $50,000? You know, independent film? Maybe besides the parents and the friends of that that filmmaker? I don't know. I don't know. You know, are there sure. I'm sure there's exceptions. I'm sure people are doing that I'm sure people are renting some independent films. But the numbers aren't there. And they haven't been for a long time. And this is coming straight from people who are in the business doing that all the time. Will you be providing additional coverage and updates about distributor as new developments, news develops? Jax, I plan to if you know, I'm sure after this broadcast, I'm going to get a lot of incoming people coming on to talk about you know, last week just from that one little podcast and one one broadcast I did I've been, I've been inundated with people calling me in sources wanting to be off the record to talk to me about stuff. And that's exactly what I'll do. If more information comes in, that is pertinent to helping filmmakers get their money and or their film back. It's something I want, you know, I don't want to I just anything I could do to help. I'm here. That's the bottom line, anything I could do to help, I'm here to help not only my tribe, but anybody, any filmmaker out there who's been affected by this. So I'll you know, that's why I opened up this, this, this group, so people can go talk, see the latest update, if you've not signed up for this group, guys sign up for the group. So you can see the latest of what everything is happening. A lot of information I talked about here came from that group, and from other places as well. So it's something that you should definitely do sign up for those and see what's coming. What's happening. This is an ever evolving story. And I have, by the way, reached out to multiple of the big, you know, big media, you know, the big the big trades, haven't heard anything back and nobody's writing about this guys. Nobody is writing about this, no one's talking about this outside of indie film hustle, which is a sad statement. I mean, this is going to affect 1000s of filmmakers. And it's we're talking about probably millions of dollars owed back to filmmakers, distribution companies and so on. There's a lot of stuff happening. And nobody's talking about it. And I don't know why. So I'm reaching out to them. Hopefully, somebody in the big trades will pick something of this up and shine some more light on the situation. I really hope it does. Because it's something that needs to be talked about. Let me see if I have time because I've been on the phone too. I mean, I've been on the podcast too long already. So I will ask a few more questions. And then I've got to go, I've got the I've got to handle all the emails that keep coming into me all the messages keep coming in to me as well. Um, let's see. Okay. Yeah, and then there's correct and that's kind of the basis of film shoprunner is that if you do have a strong niche audience, if you have a strong niche of a film, you can do very well on T VOD, absolutely. You can do very well, people will rent and buy on those platforms if you have a niche, but there has to be a much larger marketing push and strategy behind it for it to work, but it can work without question. You know, I go over a lot of that in my book regards to people who made money. I mean, you know, range 15 made over $3 million, specifically on Amazon, you know, for rent from t bought Amazon and iTunes only. And then eventually they put it out an S VOD. I don't even think they have it on that spot yet. I'm not even sure if they put it out in a spot. But their audience was so niche and so powerful that they were able to generate that kind of revenue with it. So is it possible? Absolutely. But it has to be extremely well done. And all the boxes have to be checked. And it you got to be more tactical with it. So it is possible, but it takes a lot more work to do. Oh, that's true. Okay, so so Linda saying the trades No, but they don't want to be the first to talk about it. Well, that's why I'm here. I guess I was the first to talk. No, I promise you Eduardo. That distributor will not be at AFM this year. So I will I will be at AFM. But they will not be I'll be walking around doing what I do at AFM as well. So yeah, Linda, they haven't registered. Oh, by the way, also they are there's another update. Thank you Linda for reminding me there. Twitter is now been is down and they're a Their website is no longer accepting films means it's open. It's live, it looks like it is. But when you try to accept it's no longer accepting films. Thank God because someone listened to me when I emailed them. And someone was like, I'm like, I kept telling him like, Guys, stop. Stop accepting movies. And they did. Thank God. So that's been that's been very helpful. Amy, I'm glad to be of service and help you and help start this conversation. It's, it's something that we needed to really do. Yeah, I know. And I know, a lot of people have said the same thing that they have not. They've had movies up there for since March since last year. And they have not received reports they have not received payments. And that's it. This has been an ongoing problem, but it's, I think, hit the head in recent weeks. So Alright, guys, uh, if there's any last question, I'll ask one. I'll answer one last question. You're welcome, Carlos. That's why I'm here. That's what I do. You know, I guess the brand, I gotta hustle, and help you guys out as much as I can. Thank you guys for listening. If there's any new developments, I'm not planning to do a daily distributor update. But I will update if anything major happens, I will update everybody about it. If not, please check out the Facebook group, protect yourself from distribuir, where all the information all the updates will be posted there. But if there's anything major, I'll be more than happy to come out. We'll be talking about like, again, we'll be releasing a podcast in regards to what we've been talking about. But, you know, I don't want to turn this into a you know, all about this. And this only. So I will be doing other things as well. And I have other things I'm going to be announcing later in the week, as well. So, but I'm here to help guys. I'm here and I'm here to help and help you as much as I possibly can. Yeah, Paul would love to interview somebody from distributor, but I don't know how many of them are willing to come on my show. So we'll see. Thank you. Yeah, please. Thank you, Linda. Of course. That's why I'm here if there's, if, if you can please share this with as many people as you can guys share it with as many people as you can get it out there to as many people as you can, because I really want because there's still people out there who have not heard about the stripper who are with the shipper and are hearing it and they're like, why am I not getting paid? I hope this is going to get out to as many people as humanly possible. So please share everything that we talked about in regards to distributor in regards to film aggregators, I want to get this information out to as many people as possible. And last week's podcast, indie film, hustle calm for slash 345. If you've not heard it, I'll put that it's in the in the group. Everything's in the group, guys, everything's in the group. So just go there. Thank you all for listening. I appreciate it. And I'll talk to you later, guys. Good luck. Talk to you soon. Bye, bye. I hope that helped you guys in some way, you know, especially for those tribe members who are dealing with this distributor debacle. I hope that information helped you. But on a larger, larger question that needs to be answered is for many filmmakers, does it make sense to go with the film aggregator? Do you need to? Are you going to get an ROI on your film? Are you going to be able to make the money back then it cost to put these films up there? Is there a problem in the system? Is there a flaw in the system that will eventually catch up to everybody? I don't know. But I wanted to pose the question to everybody because it is something that's serious and as this whole situation with the river have shown us there is a problem there is that something like this could happen with a film aggregator of distributors size is a sign that there is a problem in the system. Without question there is a problem with the way things are set up from the platforms to the aggregators to us, and two other distribution companies using these aggregators, it is a serious problem I feel that needs to be addressed. So hopefully the powers that be listened to this podcast or watch that Facebook Live broadcast and and see if there's anything that can be done to to help not only the filmmakers going through the distributor situation, but also future prevention of problems that could come down the line. Thank you guys. If you want links to anything discussed in this episode, please head over to indiefilmhustle.com/346 for the show notes and also if you have not done so already, and you are in this problem in this situation with the stripper, I did start a Facebook group and all you have to do is go to facebook.com/Groups/distribur and that will take you to the protect yourself from distributor Facebook group. It is growing daily unfortunately, and more and more people are signing up more and more informations coming in that is where all the latest information for what's happening with distribur with people's films with getting their money back, which I have heard, I've heard no one get their money back. But people have been getting the movies built off of those other platforms to give them the freedom to make money elsewhere. But that is a great place for you to go. I will put that link in the show notes as well. Thank you guys for listening. And as always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.



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  1. […] IFH 346: Do Film Aggregators Make Sense Anymore? + Distribber Downfall Update […]