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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11 Oct 2014 with tags:

For film organisations or festivals

We’re currently working with several film festivals, distributors, film organisations and filmmakers curating ‘Muvies’, an online community around sharing, discussing and discovering film. This uses the same technology as the channels we build for film organisations and provides a twitter-like profile page in which participants can create an online channel, showcasing and starting conversations and the sharing and selling of content.

The Distrify way… > Distrify is revolutionising the way audiences consume and share content online. For example, when someone watches a film trailer in the Distrify video player they can also pay to watch the full movie immediately buy and download, or find out when they can see it in their local cinema. Whenever someone shares a movie, they are also sharing the online shop where you can buy it – and at all points we record this behavior feeding it back into our ‘audience capture’ analysis toolset. 

The player works securely on any platform - from smartphone to iPad, laptop to internet-connected TV. Distrify’s business model is to make great film content available everywhere and take a reasonable transactional cost from the sale price, ensuring that the majority share of the income is paid to the rights holder.

Worldwide audience engagement > 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. Distrify also provides a whole host of analysis tools through which you can see who’s watching what and where they are in the world. 

Creating a channel >

Distrify facilitates the sharing and spreading of content. Your content needs a starting point. Creating an online channel enables you to give your films a context, provide additional information and start conversations around them. 

For festivals and film organisations which have theatrical screenings, providing a channel online can be seen as creating an additional screen where you can curate additional titles. This space offers curatorial opportunity to add to in-cinema programmes, make back-catalogue or repertory content available to provide additional context for new work or simply to provide the opportunity to reach international audiences with films which also screen theatrically. Festivals can also curate year-round programmes online to keep audiences engaged.

Think of the online channel you create as the starting point for your content’s journey around the social web. Starting conversations, engaging audiences and selling to people interested in it, around the world.

Curate and sell content > Film organisations and festivals are the experts in the film industry. They are the ones curating and contextualising film and shaping the film industry. Creating an online channel of curated content enables them to increase their reach and audiences worldwide. As the world is changing and public funding is limited - selling films directly to your audiences enables you to commercialise your content. 

How to do it? > There are two ways to use the Distrify player to create your own channel. Both of these enable you to create a section within your existing website where you can provide VOD. 

1. Use our Muvies channel – let us do the work for you

We’ve created a modular channel which sits as a block within your site. This is fully customisable – fonts, backgrounds, colours etc can be adjusted so the channel sits seamlessly within your website. This has navigation and categories within it so you can organise your films and also offers the ability to feature specific films. We work with you to tailor this to suit your requirements. 

2. Create your own channel using the Distrify player

Distrify comes with a secure payment gateway within the player itself. This means you can use it to create your own online channel by simply embedding the players within your site. For it to work successfully as a channel you will need to consider how the films are navigated and displayed. 

Rome Film Festival is next week, and I will be participating in a marketing and distribution panel organized by Europa Distribution, the European network of independent distributors. The panel takes place on Saturday October 18 from 10 to 12am in the Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese. 

Our panelists are: Katie Ellen (Film Fund, BFI, UK) Daniela Elstner (Sales Agent, Doc & Film International, FR), Stefano Massenzi (Distributor, Lucky Red, IT) Charles Tremblay (Distributor, Metropole, CA) Bob Berney (Distributor, Picture House, US) Madeleine Probsts (Exhibitor, Watershed, UK) moderated by Jakub Duszinski (Distributor, Gutek, Poland)

Panel full description here

I will be more than happy to share a coffee or a drink with you on the Bernini Terrace, so let’s meet up. 


Andy Green, our transatlantic all star CEO, is among international media heavyweights to join St Petersburg International Media Forum (SPIMF). Andy will be discussing tomorrow the influence of scientific and technological innovation on cultural strategy. 

A packed programme of panels and roundtables will feature such leading international industry figures as Tribeca Film Festival’s art director Frederic Boyer, Dogwoof/PopUp Cinema’s COO Patrick Hurley, Trevor Albery, VP, EMEA Anti-Piracy Operations at Warner Bros. , MPA President (EMEA) Chris Marcich, Netflix’s Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Bennett and Endemol’s CEO Central & Eastern Europe and MENA Regions Marina Williams, along with Russian players ranging from Paul Heth (Karo Film Group), Sergei Selyanov (CTB), Sergei Kuzmin (Bazelevs Innovation), Dmitry Rudovsky (Art Pictures) to Eduard Pichugin (Lenfilm), and Konstantin Zemchenko, chief of Russian Anti-Piracy Organisation (RAPO).

Read the full press release on Screen Daily

Andy was also keynote speaker at the 8th Shanghai International Digital Media Technology and Industry Development Forum


Yes, you can offer short films for sale on Distrify. Short form content is popular for online viewing, especially on tablets and other portable devices. 

Shorts need the same qualities and “hooks” that interest people in longer films, and it’s best if they have not been available free before you start selling them. 

We’ve seen quite a lot of filmmakers and content creators uploading their shorts and choosing to sell them as oppose to offer them for free. We’ve seen shorts selling in the thousands. Take a look at a few shorts we are currently are selling. 

As with all films, you’ll need a trailer. For a short film this might be 30 seconds or so.

What price to set?
We recommend that you set a price around $3 - $4 for a short film. If you set it too low, people might not think it’s worth buying. If you set the price too high, people may feel it’s unfair to pay the same price for a short as they could pay for a feature.

Selling Short Series 

If you have a group of related short films you can create one “film” page for that group of films and use one trailer to offer the shorts. You can set pricing to rent or purchase each short individually, and you can group them together in a package to offer access to all the shorts for one price.

To do this, create one “film” on Distrify and upload the trailer and each of the shorts to that same “film” page.
Then set pricing, embed it, and start selling!


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


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.


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


Do you see the video? Congratulations!


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” 


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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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.