How can you sell a movie to Netflix? As of January 2019, CNN stated that Netflix has 139 million subscribers! Out of that audience, there will be some who would like to see your movie …
..but how can you sell a movie to Netflix?
- Aggregators work with all the SVOD / digital platforms – Netflix, Amazon, Apple etc.
- They have ongoing relationships and know what content at what price works.
- A good partner will help you focus the project in order to appeal to the SVODs .
- They will PASS if it isn’t for them.
- Expect a long list of deliverables if they want the film i.e. the digital files, materials (marketing / photos / behind the scenes) in order for the movie to be accepted for the platform.
- The files have to be encoded (in various formats).
- Include subtitles (with closed captioning).
- The aggregator takes other content, as well as yours, and has standardised contracts for the platforms.
- They understand licensing terms & contracting paperwork required.
FESTIVALS / MARKETS – GO DIRECT
- The Netflix acquisitions team attend markets – find out who and get a meeting.
- Their time will be limited so be prepared to pitch fast.
- Explain why your movie is perfect for their platform / subscribers.
- Use the festivals / markets to meet aggregators, distributors & sales agents – get a feel for who may be right for your movie.
BEFORE YOU DO THAT
- How can you sell a movie to Netflix?
- Look at their line-up – where does your movie sit among their titles.
- Everyone is pushing content to them – does your project stand out ?
- Who is IN your movie – do you have an actor with reach to the Netflix user?
- What is the ideal audience for your movie – do they subscribe?
- How do you reach your audience – find out about the subscriber demographic & us that to back up your pitch.
- What kind of deal will you be offered :
- For Netflix, likely a buy out – they will pay a fee to licence on a local or global basis with a term of 1-2 (or more) years.
- After this, there’s no $ upside – if 10 people or 10 million watch, you’ll be paid the same fee.
- Amazon Prime allow you to earn each time your movie is streamed i.e. a share of revenue – via Amazon Video Direct.
- For SVODs, it may be quicker / easier to work with an aggregator who is used to the types of deal and specification required by the platforms.
- (The aggregator will of course take a fee for negotiating the deals).
- The SVODs don’t necessarily have time to create separate deals with every filmmaker – and may push you back via an aggregator with whom they have a standardised deal.
- Be your own marketing machine!
- Create a website – build YOU as a brand and create channels for each project.
- Connect direct with your audience – share your forthcoming news / work.
- Build that brand and the audience awareness of YOU.