Online distribution is infamous for its traps.
Getting your content on major sites like iTunes, Amazon, and Hulu is a complicated process. It’s very costly, time consuming, and you need to use their authorized labs to create specific delivery elements. Plus, between the iTunes store and mandatory iTunes aggregator fees, they take over 70% of your sales unless you have the power of a major studio backing you.
Think of it like filing your taxes. Sure, you might eventually figure it out, but there are tricks of the trade you need to know so you don’t over pay. A specialist will make the process smoother, decrease your chances of rejection, increase your success, and in many cases improve your profit margin.
Naively trusting a company that charges a flat fee to place your project on a major online site or on their own streaming site can result in lost profits. Companies that demand payment upfront have little incentive to generate revenue for your project. Why would they spend any time promoting your film when they already have your money?
Online distribution is only part of your distribution chain. You need all the components working together smoothly to generate not only international exposure, but to also generate profit. Look carefully to see ensure that the online platform your considering also promotes your project outside of their own website. If they don’t, look somewhere else. Make sure it’s a two way relationship designed to help the overall success of the film, and not a one way street where they expect you to do all the legwork and they get a big chunk of your revenue.