Distrify Blog

The future of online film distribution and marketing


Distrify is a suite of online tools that empowers all stakeholders in the film production & distribution value chain, enabling more effective sharing and easier monetisation of content.

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We track a lot of data about films sales and and make it all instantly available to filmmakers who use our player.

Filmmakers need to understand their audience. Data is currency, it’s actual money, and the value of your audience. Take your time to really analyze the data that your film creates.

The first measure of success is based on successful conversion rate from trailer views to video on demand sales. That means how many people watched a trailer and went on to purchase the film.

So take for example an online ad model, a successful campaign would be probably converting 1 - 1.5% of banner ads to purchase. We actually are witnessing filmmakers who convert between 5% - 20%, it actually means that people who went on to a film page and saw a trailer, between 5 to 20 people out of 100 would buy the film. 

A filmmaker who is really analyzing a film’s data, could say “Well we see a lot of trailer views in Bedford Williamsburg in NY, we know that there are a lot of artists and students in that area, let’s focus our work in Bedford and get 20% of those who showed interest (by watching our trailer) to buy our film. Let’s also put a high price point on it, and do all the work to get those people, it’s almost like picking up a phone and say ‘Hey guys, we know you want to watch the film, buy it’ Data is a direct communication. 

Ask yourself this - Do I really think that what I am doing is an act of communication or an act of self expression? If it’s an act of communication, you’re actively interested serving audience. Why are you doing a film? What is the effect that you want to achieve? Who is the audience you want to speak to? The answers you’ll find within your data.

We offer layers upon layers of data and statistics. In the Player Statistics, you can see the numbers of clicks and actions for most things that users do with your player. Some of the columns can be a little confusing on first glance, but generally speaking, the column name is the button that the user clicked. So if you are using our default setup, the columns that say Preview or RENT MOVIE or BUY MOVIE are telling you how many times people clicked the big red, green and blue buttons (these are not the number of rentals or purchases, they are just people “looking”).

Player load is the number of times the player has loaded on a page. If the player is far down a page it’s possible the user may not have scrolled down to actually look at it, so this does not necessarily mean they’ve seen the player.

The columns called Share or Embed or Subscribe show you how many times people have clicked to those sections. 

You can see how many times people looked at products, by finding the product name in the Player Statistics.
A purchase shows up in the player statistics by showing the product name preceded by Purchase in the column header. 

All of these actions are broken down by Embed Source and Country so you can see where clicks, actions and sales originated.

Please note: Our reports are based on Sampled Data

Sampling in any web analytics software refers to the practice of selecting a subset of data from your website traffic. Sampling is widely used in statistical analysis because analyzing a subset of data gives similar results to analyzing all of the data. In addition, sampling speeds up processing for reports when the volume of data is so large as to slow down report queries. For more information see Sampling on Wikipedia.

If you want to see more accurate data, choose a shorter time-span, like a couple of days.

Sign up for Distrify today. 


Pawan Kumar is probably the most innovative independent filmmaker out there. His latest film,Lucia, was entirely crowd-funded - a first for a Kannada-language film and a first for Distrify. He has made more money than a decent theatrical run for a small indie film can ever ensure. He did it through innovative use of online distribution. We have been assisting with his crowd-funding in the form of selling pre-orders through the Distrify player. 

In an interview for Dear Cinema Pawan Kumar gives some heartening and useful advice to filmmakers: “With my film Lucia, I tried this alternative model and my film found Nirvana along with other things. Yes, Lucia did have a theatrical release and did a good 100 days run at the multiplexes in Bangalore. I would say, we were LUCKY for that to happen. I was banking on my alternative distribution plans and that is what I worked towards from the start of the project. Theatrical release just came by our way.”

Read the full interview

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Your audiences are already talking online about the content they watch. They are discussing it on Facebook and twitter, sharing trailers, blogging about it and reviewing it. Providing video content via a sharable player (with the point of sale within it) enables you to sell content directly to the people engaging with it, in the places where they are talking about it. By selling directly to them, you are able to build global awareness of your brand. 

Encourage Sharing > Create Affiliates

There is a passionate audience for your content, the 1% who will carry your film to a global exposure, you need to work with that one percent and get them to be your distribution partner. Distrify is the first service that connects your film to that audience with an inbuilt affiliate revenue system to incentivise sharing and maximize profits for the rights holder. The minimum commission for fans who share and sell the film is 10%. Affiliate revenue share can be conveyed as a “share this and make $$” or as a “here’s a little thanks from us for helping get the film out there”. Distrify makes it easy for people to embed your content on their site, blog or Facebook page, or email it to their contacts. 

How to become an affiliate and earn 10% from VOD?

Click embed, and enter your email address.

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Fill in details > Cut-n-paste the code into your source html code.

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Do you see the video? Congratulations!

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How to collect your income:
Go to www.distrify.com and log in with the email and password you entered in step 1

On your dashboard home page please click “My income” 

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Review your full income affiliate report. We recognize that transparency and trust are of the utmost importance. Our reporting is fully transparent. You have full access  to your customer data and sales are presented on a live line-by-line basis - you see exactly the split you, Distrify and any affiliate receive on every purchase as soon as its made.

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Access customer data

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Withdraw your income

We welcome you to come up with your suggestion and comments.

Please sign up here for free, start using Distrify and make your film go viral.


The power of the Internet has had an immense impact on communications. Where previously a communications PR could be controlled via a few key journalists, now the Web and Social Media mean that in a matter of minutes your trailer can reach millions of people with internet connections and search engines. 

An effective way to get your trailer and subsequently your film to millions of people is by connecting with bloggers. We are talking a lot about the power of affiliates to sell your film, 38% of VOD sales are generated by affiliates. Bloggers are your best affiliates, but you need to know how to work with Bloggers. A few months ago, we told you about InkyBee, a clever service that helps you find bloggers and websites that could be interested in sharing your film. They have finally launched the service, and you can sign up today to kick-start a blogger outreach campaign for your film.

Now you can download a free e-book "A best practice for effective blogger outreach" It’s a great resource for any filmmaker who wants to work with bloggers.

You can then start reaching out to the influential bloggers that might want to embed your film and earn cash rewards for helping you promote it. It’s a great opportunity for both you and the bloggers.


MJFF is launching its own new VOD website mjff.muvies.com. The platform is powered by Distrify, and it’s another addition to our growing list of renowned film festivals To offer festival content to audiences year-round. The list includes IDFA, UK Jewish Film Festival,  Sheffield Doc / Fest, and Raindance Film Festival.

"We are thrilled to offer film fans yet another way to experience the best international films year-round," says MJFF festival director Igor Shteyrenberg. And that’s exactly what he, the festival, and the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education are doing: bringing the movies directly to you.

"The launch of our VOD platform is a defining moment in the Miami Jewish Film Festival’s 18 year history, as it will unlock the past, present, and future of Jewish film, and most importantly, offers an unprecedented opportunity to connect with a passionate online audience of film lovers," he explains. Even though the website is brand new, there’s already a solid selection available for anyone interested. On the front page alone, a flurry of works are shown, many of which have been included in the festival in the past.

If you’re not interested in looking through pages of films, the site conveniently offers multiple categories to choose from in a sidebar; comedies, documentaries, short works, and queer films among others. Just to list a few of the varied choices available for interested parties, there’s This Must Be the Place, Let’s Dance, Eyes Wide Open, Thérèse Desqueyroux, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Berlin ‘36, and Paris Manhattan.

While the selection isn’t nearly as vast as what some of those huge services might offer, the prices are reasonable: Average rental price is between $3.50-$5, and to buy the film it’s around $8-$12. (Discounts will be available for MJFF members.) Compare that to dropping $20 on tickets for a night out (and that’s not even including the parking, food, and drinks).

But what’s best of all about this project, outside of the convenience of it all, is that it’s another excellent reminder of just how dedicated the Miami Jewish Film Festival is to providing audiences with diverse films. We can only hope to see what else they bring us this year.


We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Respekt a weekly newsmagazine in the Czech Republic, and Aerofilm VOD arm Aerovod. We are enabling streaming rentals of top films direct from Respekt’s website so readers can watch the films from their connected devices.

Aerofilms, is a Czech film distribution company that extends the activities of the three largest art-house cinemas in Prague, Bio Oko,Aero and Svetozor. Aerofilms are a distributor with a focus on high quality and attractive films, including documentaries. The exploit theatrical, video (including Video on Demand) and TV rights in the territories of the Czech and Slovak Republics.

Our first offering is 'Ida', a film by polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski. The film follows Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, who is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation. The film won many awards including TIFF prize of the international critics. 

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Distrify lets filmmaker to set their own pricing for their films. Filmmakers can even set different prices for different territories by using our multiple currency options or combining these with our geo-location tools.

The question how to set your price for video on demand is a question we get quite a lot from filmmakers.  Our advice is to not set your prices too high to put you out of competition and more important, to not set your prices so low that it cheapens the product.

We recommend the following price ranges for new releases:

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Unfortunately we see a lot of cases where filmmakers are setting their price as low as $2.99 for rental, and $5.00 for download, that is a mistake we advise to avoid. One of our top selling films started with a price tag of $1.99 for rental and $5.99 for download , then gradually they updated to $4.99, and $19.99 their sales were the same. Our data suggests that your fans will be willing to pay up to $4.99 for rental and $19.99 for download as long as the film is worth watching. 

The internet market is fragmented and divided to those who prefer to download films illegally for free, and those who prefer to pay for content. Consumers who are willing to pay for your content will not make their buying decision according to a low price, if they actually had gone to your film page, and click through Distrify’s pay wall, that means that they are engaged and would be willing to pay the “iTunes” price, which is set at $4.99 and $19.99 accordingly. 

If the film is older you might consider a lower price. If you are offering extras, you can sell them separately or as part of a “Deluxe Package” or both.


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For years now film industry professionals have been discussing the changing face of distribution. Most of the conversation has to do with the way the internet is changing consumption habits and breaking down communication barriers. Now it’s time to get the numbers to the people and help indie filmmakers, and distributors to finally understand the numbers that internet VOD is actually offering to your films. 

Distrify.com, is a service designed to help filmmakers and distributors sell their films through online communities and social networks, we meet a lot of filmmakers working on fantastic films and trying to build strategies for digital distribution. In this article we’re going to run through some stats that we pulled from our data and offer some general advice on how to deal with your digital distribution.

38% of VOD sales are referred by affiliates.

Distrify makes it easy for people to start talking about your film online when they watch your trailer - our sharing tools ensure that when people talk about your film they are also sharing a link back to your trailer and online shop. The VOD affiliate program revenue system was made to incentivise sharing and maximize profits for the rights holders. The minimum commission for fans who share and sell the film is 10%. Affiliate revenue share can be conveyed as a “share this and make $$” or as a “here’s a little thanks from the filmmaker for helping get the film out there”. Distrify makes it easy for people to embed your content on their site, blog or Facebook page, or email it to their contacts. And everywhere the film is shared, so is the point of sale. Every time it sells, the person sharing it earns a commission and the rights holder increases profits.

This was a controversial move – but the stats prove that it makes sense to pay the ‘file sharing experts’ (those who have previously resorted to piracy) for spreading movies legally. 38% of our sales are generated by affiliates.

Social Media Great For Engagement - Not So Great for VOD

Gallup says 62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said it had some influence. 

Our data suggests that social media is doing very little converting impressions into sales. In fact only 15% of VOD sales are coming from social media. 

We encourage to connect with influencers on social media that might have direct interest in your film to “latch on” their followers and get them to discuss and share your films. (Read the post on social influencers here)

You should also identify organisations who might want to help promote the film. They usually have large mailing lists and extra influence within the community. Further associating yourself with a respected organisation is a great way to gain extra trust from potential buyers.

How When and Where People Are Watching VOD On The Internet?

According to our cross-platform report, over the last five years, people watch on average an hour and five minutes of full feature films on demand. Tablets and smartphones are driving 39% of trailers views converting 5.2% of views to purchases, and 2.2% sales are coming from impressions referred from your film’s website. 

The dominant device for VOD is Android! 44% of trailer views are generated from Android browsers and OS. Iphone and apple devices ared driving 24% of VOD traffic. 

People are watching movies mostly on the weekend 8:00pm EST - 3:00am EST. That’s when they have time to watch full movies. So if you’re working on your marketing and distribution campaigns, aim your efforts toward Saturday and Sunday. 

Overall English speaking countries are leading VOD consumption placing the US at the top, followed by the UK, Australia, and Canada. Czech Republic has a very strong VOD market followed by Germany, India, France and Italy. If you’re thinking about subtitles, spend your money on those countries. 

Distrify is designed to make it easier to market and sell your film through the web. To find out more about how Distrify’s tools work, visit http://distrify.com and feel free to get in touch via the Help section if you have any questions.


People want to see your movie, some just don’t know it yet.

Drive valuable traffic by getting top blogs, publications and Facebook pages recommending your movie. Reach audiece that are targeted, engaged, and interested to watch your movie.

Distrify player allows bloggers, publishers and social media users to easily discover and include high quality movies on their sites.

It is essential to maximize the use of the Distrify player to increase conversion and engagement. Presentation is key and we must attempt to replicate a consistency across blogs/sites/Social Media.  

The blogger may not understand the concept of affiliate sales - we need to help them.

The following is a step-by-step instruction guide on how to get best results from Distrify affiliate player.

Bloggers, Publications: Placement and Clear Message

Post the player at the top of the page - the first thing the audience should see at the header is:

WATCH “X MOVIE” NOW!

Right under the header add how to watch films on demand description:

The HD stream is available to watch on a pay-per-view basis for $4.99 The film will be available to watch immediately. The streaming version can be accessed five times within 30 days of purchase.

 See how the Distrify player is embedded on The Guardian:

The player should be embedded underneath this and at an optimum size of 640x392. The article should start directly Underneath the player.

Facebook - Placement and Clear Message
The goal on Facebook is to distract users from other tasks and entice potential visitors to click on your video. However it’s better to place a “movie ad” and a clever hook with a direct link to where the Distrify player is embedded, than simply copy paste a video on your wall. Distrify has developed a proven and successful way to engage potential fans to watch your trailer and buy your film. We call it FEMA “Facebook Engaging Movie Ad” A great way to increase your visibility in an organic way.

The following is a step-by-step instruction guide on how to get best results from the Distrify affiliate player on Facebook.

1. Choose a compelling image from your film, and add a catchy and creative slogan. A slogan is an advertising tag-line or phrase that advertisers create to visually expresses the importance and benefits of their product, it has the ability to loan people’s time and attention. The same idea applies to your film.
Here are a few samples of how FEMA would look like:

2. At the text box insert CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW > your movie link - http.muvi.com/1234/12334  Right underneath add your short log movie description

3. Define the content, and search where your movie fans are in the Facebook space. Typecast pages you’d want to get and connect them with your movie. Search for the page’s admin, and reach out with an offer to host your FEMA and cross promote. 

Facebook audience are on numerous community pages with large followers. 
We recommend offering 10% - 25% affiliate share to large Faebook community pages.  The suggested rental price is no more than $4.99 (iTunes rate)


Our friends at The Film Collaborative have published an excellent free e-book Selling Your Film Outside the U.S (Click here to download the book for free) It takes a deep dive into distribution in Europe.  It offer marketing and crowdfunding strategies, real distribution budgets, community building activities and detailed ancillary and digital distribution revenues for independently produced films. 

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Our chapters are two a case studies, one of them written by Jon Reiss on the Scottish film I Am Breathing and how the release was run by Ben Kempas, the Producer of Marketing and Distribution hired by The Scottish Documentary Institute for all of their films. The chapter not only discusses their outreach and release strategies, but also the Portable Fundraiser technology they developed with Distrify. Here’s an excerpt from the book: 

Through Distrify alone, between October 1 and February 5, the gross VOD income, including top-up donations was $5,303. Between November 1 and February 5, DVD sales (including top-up donations) hit $5,836. 46% of all DVD purchases got topped up. Those who donated gave an average of GBP £16,16, paying on average £28.66 for their DVDs instead of the regular £12.50. 

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Another chapter is an in depth case study dedicated to film director Pawan Kumar’s Lucia and his marketing and distribution strategy. image

Click here to get your free copy.