All I know about Hulu is that is an on line TV site that Alec Baldwin did a commercial for I saw. The only real 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 an article I read in The Los Angeles Times business section with the headline – How many people are actually watching Hulu?
Small headline about measuring online audiences remains uncertain is what really caught my attention the most. I’m an independent content producer that continues to rely more on video on demand (VOD) and online digital distribution to computers and mobile phones 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 original article by Times reporter Dawn C. Chmielewski I began think of how what’s happening with media giants when it comes to distributing entertainment on online to viewers relates to the indie world. I immediately tossed out the advertisement dollars at stake because at the true independent level there is not advertising revenue being shared with producers, if you don’t 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 crucial that you firms that stream content for free solely to generate income from advertisers there is an independent production side to the story.
Being an indie producer I cannot afford to offer away free content that takes work, time, and money to create. There are no advertising dollars being deposited within my bank account to stabilize the expense, how many people can be on hulu pay people, and earn a living. What I really do is create entertainment that viewers enjoy and are willing to pay for on VOD or digital download.
Back once again to the debate on the amount of real online viewers for a 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 for free?
I want to believe viewers are willing to pay for 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 doing well, 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 by way of 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 don’t get any information how digital sales online are going. The filmmaker is definitely last to know.
I personally don’t think DVD is a dead format. It reminds of The Sky Is Falling with Chicken Little, but with websites on the internet hungry for advertising money sending the message. Fantasy Striptease Private Shows on DVD is performing solid sales numbers every month. Units are selling at a regular pace that informs me people still appreciate production value and not merely viral videos.