Coming Soon To Internet Television: More Indie Films

May 27th, 2008 | By | Category: Digital Movie Store, Digital Video Downloads, General, Internet TV, New Media Organizations, Video

The long tail of cinema is coming soon to Internet television, according to New York Times article.

It looks at Cinetic Media, a company that is working on distributing indie films via the Internet:

John Sloss is one of the top sales agents for independent films. Mr. Sloss, 52, has handled the sale of such diamonds in the rough as Little Miss Sunshine, the perky 2006 film about a family traveling to a children’s beauty pageant. He sold the $8 million project to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million, setting a festival price record that still holds.

Now Mr. Sloss and his New York company, Cinetic Media, are rolling out a new business called Cinetic Rights Management. The executive and his team — he just hired Matt Dentler, the highly regarded director of the South by Southwest film festival — will act as sales agents for filmmakers who have been left on the sidelines. And here is the twist: The goal is not exhibition in theaters but rather distribution via the Internet and other growing delivery routes like cable on-demand services.

The idea is to create value for that other 90 percent of independent movies, or at least for a good chunk of them.

“We’re going to make it our business to go to every portal, every mobile provider, every video-on-demand service and make the most aggressive deals we can,” Mr. Sloss said last week in a telephone interview from France, where he was working the Cannes International Film Festival.

The company will charge a commission that will vary depending on the type of film. (Mr. Sloss would not reveal his planned cut, but Cinetec takes between 7.5 percent and 15 percent on traditional deals.) While no single title is likely to deliver a windfall — unless it breaks through as an unexpected hit — the company is betting that the “long tail” of niche content on the Internet will, in aggregate, produce meaningful income.

This could prove to be an important tactic for indie films. There’s a lot of movies that never make it to the theater because they don’t have mass-market potential. The Internet, though, can reach niche audiences more effectively than theaters can, which should lead to an explosion of options for Internet movies.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply