Where can i get video content.

Posted on 2004-09-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-27


I wish to start a video on demand system, and want to know if there is a standard
way of licensing movies for my site.
It seems there are many sites, now providing this service, so has the industry
provided some simple mechanism for webmasters to choose content, distribute
and split the earnings ?

ps, I would also like to know how much this process would cost, is there
a standardised rate card, for flicks ..
Question by:apakian
  • 2
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 12034667
This entirely depends on what sorts of movies you want to offer.  Do you want to offer studio movies or independent films?  Feature films or shorts?

Author Comment

ID: 12034797

LVL 33

Accepted Solution

humeniuk earned 1000 total points
ID: 12034981
You may find it very difficult.  A quick overview:

The studios have a real paranoia about film piracy because in addition to ongoing battles against conventional piracy, they have seen the effect of file-swapping (via Kazaa and others) on the music industry and want to be very careful to avoid that.  However, they recognize the need to embrace streaming video as the ultimate realization of the promises of 'video-on-demand'.  In fact, the contemporary Hollywood business model is built around exploiting ancillary revenue streams.  No studio could survive on the theatrical revenues of its films alone.  But again, their film libraries are the asset base that drive these companies, so they are very, very protective of them.  (For an example of why they are worried, see ).

With all of this in mind, the studios have been investigating and testing out options for quite a while.  There have been a few licensing arrangements made with big, established organizations, like www.ifilm.com (which streams mostly film clips, traliers, etc. anyway) and www.intertainer.tv.  The primary focus, though, has been on developing their own online distribution entity.  Movielink (www.movielink.com) is a joint venture formed a couple years ago between MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Brothers (see http://www.economist.com/science/tq/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1324695) and is available only in the U.S.  Universal also offers some streaming v.o.d. movies - limited titles, limited locations (see http://www.universalppv.net/about.html).  The other thing that complicates this is that licensing rights are typically sold for specific territories.  It's hard to limit streaming video distribution to specific territories.

In short, because of their protectiveness and their ability to do it themselves, you're going to have a very hard time trying to win them over.  If you look at who is screening films online (http://dir.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Movies_and_Film/Downloads), you'll se that it's almost exclusively independent, short, experimental, & student films.  That's not to say that you can't approach the studios (I'd go directly to the studios' distribution departments - as high up the ladder as can), but you better have your technology in order to be able to reassure them about piracy protection and you are going to have to have enough cash available and related experience to show them that you can adequately market and sell the films online.

(FYI - my basis for all of this comes from having worked in the film industry for several years.  I'm also involved in the early stages of developing an online distribution venture - including streaming video - for independent films)

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