Keeping Up with the Digital Distribution Joneses

By By Sreedevi Sripathy
Posted on August 25, 2011
This month, ITVS will be re-launching our popular IndiesLab monthly blog post with Sreedevi Sripathy, Director of Broadcast and Distribution, discussing research, news, and trends that come out of ITVS’s IndiesLab.



For those of you unaware of the mission of IndiesLab, it is a joint initiative of ITVS and PBS and our goal is to devise and test strategies for filmmaker success on emerging online distribution platforms. Our distribution partners include iTunes, Amazon Video-On-Demand, Hulu, YouTube, SnagFilms, PBS Video, and other services. Each month, we will bring industry trends and case studies to help filmmakers navigate the online marketplace to increase both their films’ revenue and reach. One of the most challenging things about the massive amount of information online is finding exactly what you’re looking for. 

As the Lab tracks the industry, we keep an eye on some key players in the field, a practice that would benefit independent filmmakers as they explore this still-new world of online distribution – understanding who the influencers are, what deals are going down, and how that affects a film and the indie film community as a whole. We’ll begin to break that down for you on our monthly blog posts, but to start off, we thought it best to give you an overview of what we read every day to make sure we're on the same page!  

Here are a couple of great feeds you can subscribe to: 


Nielsen Wire You should be reading Nielsen research. One of the most significant providers of audience use research, Nielsen is a must to understand how audiences are engaging with media today. Which age groups are watching the most television? Who is the natural audience for mobile video? What is cord-cutting and who is doing it? If you know what audience you are going after, you should follow Nielsen to find out what they’re watching and how you can make sure your content reaches them. They have some great research papers in their archive, and each quarter they publish reports on the latest viewing information across screens (television, desktop, mobile, tablets, and so on). 

GigaOm Business meets technology – GigaOm in a nutshell. Okay, I’ll admit, there are a lot of articles they publish (one week there were 216 new posts), and some of them are very tech heavy, but it is a great source of information on the constant innovation in technology. Why is a tech feed important for you?  Simple -- distribution strategy in an online environment is dependent upon the best way for you content to make its way to your audience – and the go-between is technology, and you need to know what latest gadget/applications/software will support or reshape your strategy. 

Hacking Netflix Everything you want to know about Netflix. New releases, best movies, worst movies, when the server is down – it’s a bit specific, but given that Netflix is one of the premier online competitors, forcing other online distributors (AmazonPrime and HuluPlus) to up their game, it’s a great resource to check in on from time to time. That's a taste of what's out there. There are several blogs, mags, and feeds to choose from – take an afternoon, grab a latte, and start perusing. If you see anything interesting that you'd like us to talk about, let us know. We'd love to hear from you! Coming up next month – Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus – the subscription streaming wars!

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