All I find out about Hulu is that’s an on the web TV site that Alec Baldwin did a commercial for I saw. The only real reason I kept watching was because his short role in Glengarry Glen Ross was one hell of an acting performance. What sparked this post was a write-up I read in The Los Angeles Times business section with the headline – How many individuals are very watching Hulu?
Small headline about measuring online audiences remains uncertain is what really caught my attention the most. I am an independent content producer that continues to rely more on video on demand (VOD) and online digital distribution to computers and mobile phones for sales to viewers.
Like many independent entertainment producers that aren’t backed by studios and corporations I turn to the Internet to self-promote Slice Of Americana Films releases. I took notice when Keith Richman, CEO of Break.com, expressed frustration that his video site, “was dramatically underrepresented and misrepresented” by online audience measuring systems.
After reading this excellent article by Times reporter Dawn C. Chmielewski I began consider how what’s happening with media giants with regards to distributing entertainment on online to viewers pertains to the indie world. I immediately tossed out the advertisement dollars at stake because at the true independent level there is not advertising revenue being distributed to producers, unless you consider Google AdSense.
Where my focus went was to the debate on how many viewers that have been really being reached online. Because underneath that argument that’s important to companies that stream content for free solely to make money from advertisers there is an independent production side to the story.
Being an indie producer I cannot afford to give away free content that takes hard work, time, and money to create. There are no advertising dollars being deposited in my bank account to stabilize the expenses, how many people can be on hulu pay people, and earn a living. What I do is create entertainment that viewers enjoy and are willing to pay for on VOD or digital download.
Back again to the debate on how many real online viewers for a website, are companies influenced by advertising revenue and not sales of content over stating the paying demand for online content? Or is their take on things not making a difference between online viewers that buy content or watch content for free?
I wish to think that viewers are willing to pay for quality entertainment from indie producers online. Today Slice Of Americana Films has mobile videos like Club Universe with Supermodel Joanna Krupa that sell for $1.50 a download which are succeeding, especially in Japan and Poland.
There’s also a fruitful VOD run with the America’s Wildest Bachelor Parties reality series and Fantasy Striptease Private Shows via a company I won’t mention. The feature films Consignment and In With Thieves that I wrote, coproduced, and directed are with distributors. Honestly, I do not get any information on what digital sales online are going. The filmmaker is definitely last to know.
Personally, i do not think DVD is really a dead format. It reminds of The Sky Is Falling with Chicken Little, but with websites hungry for advertising money sending the message. Fantasy Striptease Private Shows on DVD does solid sales numbers every month. Units can sell at a constant pace that tells me people still appreciate production value and not merely viral videos.