All I know about Hulu is that is an on line TV site that Alec Baldwin did a commercial for I saw. The only 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 an article I read in The Los Angeles Times business section with the headline – How lots of people are really watching Hulu?
The smaller 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 devices for sales to viewers.
Like many independent entertainment producers that are not 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 phenomenal article by Times reporter Dawn C. Chmielewski I began consider how what is happening with media giants in terms of 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, if you don’t consider Google AdSense.
Where my focus went was to the debate on how many viewers that were really being reached online. Because underneath that argument that is vital that you firms that stream content for free solely to generate income from advertisers there is an independent production side to the story.
Being an indie producer I cannot afford to provide away free content that takes work, time, and money to create. There are no advertising dollars being deposited in my own bank account to balance the expenses, pay people, and earn a living how many people can be on hulu. What I actually do is create entertainment that viewers enjoy and are willing to fund on VOD or digital download.
Back again to the debate on how many real online viewers for a site, 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 creating a difference between online viewers that buy content or watch content for free?
I wish to genuinely believe that viewers are willing to fund quality entertainment from indie producers online. At this time Slice Of Americana Films has mobile videos like Club Universe with Supermodel Joanna Krupa that sell for $1.50 a download which can be successful, especially in Japan and Poland.
There’s also a successful VOD run with the America’s Wildest Bachelor Parties reality series and Fantasy Striptease Private Shows via a company I will not 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 how digital sales online are going. The filmmaker is always last to know.
I know 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 are selling at a regular pace that informs me people still appreciate production value and not just viral videos.