Is Digital Distribution Useless?

The recent South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, TX saw quite the gathering of filmmakers discuss the contentious issue of making money by way of digital distribution. Although the common belief is that DVDs will be obsolete sooner rather than later and that online video sharing sites are the future the truth is that the Digital Distribution doesnt provide the same reliable numbers as film and television does.

According to panelist Morgan Spurlock ( “Super Size Me” and “Where In The World Is Osama bin Laden?,”) “The reason numbers aren’t released (for digital distribution revenues) is because the numbers are pathetic,” he said. “The numbers are sadly low in comparison to what we expect from film and television. If you’re looking to pay your rent, not so much, if you’re looking to pay your phone bill, you have a great chance. It’s getting to a point where it’s down the road from being profitable, but we’re just not at that point yet.”

The panelists had many different ideas concerning what the best method to digital distribution is. Whether or not filmmakers should try to get the content out everywhere, or be much more selective was the main question that the panel couldn’t come to terms on. According to president of distributor New Video, Steve Savage, “It’s good to be agnostic, and I think it’s a good way to put everything out there and see what sticks but there’s also other ways to do it,” he asserted, “to be really strategic, to find where the money is.”

Discovering where that money lies may be the biggest challenge, what do you guys think? Let us know.

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