All I find out about Hulu is that is an on line TV site that Alec Baldwin did a professional for I saw. The sole 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 articles I read in The Los Angeles Times business section with the headline – How many people are very watching Hulu?
Small headline about measuring online audiences remains uncertain is what really caught my attention the most. I am an unbiased 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 brilliant article by Times reporter Dawn C. Chmielewski I began consider how what’s happening with media giants in terms of distributing entertainment on online to viewers relates to the indie world. I immediately tossed out the advertisement dollars at stake because at the real independent level there is not advertising revenue being shared with producers, if you consider Google AdSense.
Where my focus went was to the debate on the amount of viewers that have been really being reached online. Because underneath that argument that is very important to firms that stream content free of charge solely to generate income from advertisers there is an unbiased production side to the story.
Being an indie producer I cannot afford to give away free content that takes effort, time, and money to create. You will find no advertising dollars being deposited in my own banking account to balance out the costs, pay people, and earn a living how many people can be on hulu. What I really do is create entertainment that viewers enjoy and are willing to fund on VOD or digital download.
Back to the debate on the amount of real online viewers for a niche site, are companies dependent on advertising revenue and not sales of content over stating the paying demand for online content? Or is their take on things not building a difference between online viewers that buy content or watch content free of charge?
I would like to think 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 that are successful, especially in Japan and Poland.
There is also an effective VOD run with the America’s Wildest Bachelor Parties reality series and Fantasy Striptease Private Shows through a company I won’t 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 on what digital sales online are going. The filmmaker is definitely 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 online sites hungry for advertising money sending the message. Fantasy Striptease Private Shows on DVD is doing solid sales numbers every month. Units can sell at a regular pace that tells me people still appreciate production value and not just viral videos.