Self distribution platform

Top VOD Platforms To Self-Distribute Your Indie Film And Earn From It! 

Gone are the days when you needed a third party to distribute your films. Filmmakers nowadays can self-distribute their films using various VOD platforms. Putting your film on these platforms attracts a global audience and lets you earn through monetization.

Such a journey of sharing your film by yourself saves you unnecessary charges. Getting your creation nominated by platforms like Netflix and Prime might only sometimes happen. However, there are platforms where you can put your film on display and be ready for broad exposure and financial returns.

Let’s dig deeper and learn more about self-distribution and the best online video platforms to distribute your movies on-demand.

What Is Self-Distribution And Types Of Film Distribution?

Before knowing how to self distribute your film, let’s have an idea about film distribution.

Film distribution avails your film to the public. Previously, this distribution was handed over to the distributors, who were responsible for taking the film to the theaters.

Such distributions happened in two ways: leasing and profit-sharing.

(i) In leasing, the distributor used to pay the filmmaker a certain amount of money and took the rights to the film’s distribution.

(ii) The second way used to be profit sharing, where the distributor took a percentage of the profit made by the film. 

However, nowadays, people are more inclined toward streaming platforms which has changed things drastically.

Today filmmakers and especially indie filmmakers, want to get their films published on streaming platforms as this is where most of their viewers are.

These streaming platforms eliminate the need to involve a third party, and creators can self-distribute their films. They can sign up on any streaming platform and add their film or short film to their channel.

Here are different ways to self-distribute your film online:

  • Sign up on VOD platforms like GUDSHO
  • Share on aggregator platforms like Quiver or Filmhub
  • Share on hybrid platforms like Seed&Spark and IndieFlix
  • Submit it to online film festivals
  • Create your own streaming platform if you have a large collection of self-made films
 
Looking for Alternative Platform to Distribute Short Films? Join GUDSHO

Ways To Self-Distribute A Film

Self-distribution of a film removes the need for a distributor and lets the filmmaker do the distribution. However, self-distribution comes with its fair share of difficulties, and new filmmakers may often find themselves questioning how to self-distribute their films the right way.

To resolve the same, we bring you some steps that will reduce the hassle of distributing your film, and you will be able to publish it easily.

1) Narrow Down Your Audiences’ Demographics

The first thing you should know is your audience or the people for whom you made the film.

Hence, you first need to define your audience’s demographics, such as their age group, geographical location, any specific community they belong to, their sexuality, and other required factors.

Once you have narrowed down your list of audiences, you will be able to utilize online video on demand services more efficiently.

2) Keep Yourself Financially Prepared

It’s not just theatrical release that requires money; self-distribution of a film, even on streaming platforms, also needs some amount of money. So the next step is to arrange your sources of money that you will be using in the online promotion of your film and the people assisting you.

Creators can start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money; they can also ask their friends and family. Some creators also opt for loans.

3) Use The Power Of Social Media

Promoting your film online using various mediums includes social media channels. Since most people are active on social media, it can be a big help to spread the word about your film.

Plus, it will be a cheap and effective way that will get you a good amount of attention from your audience. You can start a Facebook page about your film and connect to similar pages. 

The same can be done on Instagram and Reddit. Don’t forget to design eye-catching posters and flyers. Always have a teaser and a trailer and make them available on your social channels.

4) Create Your Channel On A Streaming Platform

Streaming platforms do not only let you publish your film online, they also provide you an opportunity to monetize the content. 

Catching up with top platforms like Netflix and HULU might not be possible for every creator. However, there are many other well-known platforms you can give a try.

These streaming platforms bring you various monetization options where you can earn via subscriptions, rentals, advertisements, and donations. You can decide which kind of monetization you want to opt for and keep uploading your content on the channel.

Top VOD Platforms To Self Distribute Your Films

Now that you know what self-distribution of a film is and how you should start with it, let’s get to know some effective online streaming platforms to publish your film. 

Creators can explore this list of VOD platforms and choose based on their pricing, features, and other aspects.

1) GUDSHO

GUDSHO brings worldwide creators and business professionals to upload on-demand and live-stream content on their channels. Unlike other platforms, the cost-effective and feature-rich platform allows you to keep 100% of your earnings and earn via subscriptions, ads, donations, and rentals.

Video Monetization:

  • SVOD
  • TVOD
  • AVOD
  • Donations

Features:

  • Advanced analytics
  • Strong CDN network
  • Video gifting concept
  • Special screening
  • Super fast upload
  • Instant social sharing

2) YouTube

YouTube was the first one that got popular for streaming content online and also earning from it. The platform is popular because of its immense amount of audience and the grasp it has in the market.

Another reason is the pocket-friendliness that YouTube serves its creators with. To upload videos on YouTube, you don’t need to spend money; your creations are enough. Anyone with just a smartphone can become a creator on YouTube; it is that simple!

Video Monetization:

  • Ad-based monetization
  • Creators can also earn through merchandising, tips, affiliate marketing, and more.

Features:

Upload Specs:

  • Maximum dimension: 4K
  • Max file size: Max video length: 12 hours
  • Unlimited storage
  • Multiple video formats

Pricing:

  • YouTube doesn’t charge any amount.

3) Vimeo

Vimeo was first started as a platform for anyone, but it is now more focused on professionals who want a clean, high-end streaming platform. Businesses, for example, utilize Vimeo’s finest web seminar and live-streaming features.

Vimeo is also used for effective employee communication and all virtual activities related to presentations. Vimeo is the right choice if you want a sophisticated platform with advanced features where the features you receive depend on the plan you choose.

Video Monetization:

  • Subscriptions
  • Advertising
  • Pay-per-view

Features:

  • Focused on scalability and premium streaming
  • Advanced video analytics
  • Migration without any downtime
  • API Access
  • Video Monetization
  • Fast technical support
  • Utmost privacy and security

Upload Specs:

  • Recommended dimension: 720p
  • Max file size: 3GB
  • Compatible video formats: MP4 (recommended)

Pricing:

  • Basic: 30-day free trial
  • Plus: $7/month for 5GB/week
  • Pro: $20/month for 20GB/week 
  • Premium: $75/month for 7TB of storage
  • Enterprise: Customized plan for even more advanced needs than the Premium plan

4) Dacast

Dacast can be the best streaming solution for individual creators as the platform offers a range of advanced features while being competitive in price. Creators can upload their videos, and they can also live stream themselves.

The platform is best suited for individuals and business professionals, as it ensures utmost security, global delivery, high-quality streaming, and much more.

Video Monetization:

  • Pay-per-view (TVOD) support
  • Subscriptions (SVOD) support
  • Advertising (AVOD) support

Features:

  • Video Encoding
  • Multi-bitrate streaming
  • Zoom live streaming integration
  • China video hosting
  • Bulk upload
  • API Access 

Upload Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: Should be 240p
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K
  • Max file size: none
  • Max video length: none
  • Total file storage: 10-1000GB 
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, etc.

Pricing:

5) Uscreen

  • Starter Plan: $39/month for 1,000 GB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage
  • Event Plan: $63/month for 6 TB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage
  • Scale Plan: $188/month for 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage
  • Custom plan: Dacast provides a custom plan as well

Uscreen can be the best self publishing and distribution platform with professional-grade tools and features. The platform is not only useful for streaming, but they also offer website building, application development, and TV apps.

Uscreen lets you have a library with a Netflix-like catalog; you can use the platform for VOD content, live streaming, merchandising, courses, and more.

Video Monetization:

  • Pay-per-view monetization
  • Subscription-based monetization

Features:

  • Professional hosting tools
  • Video scheduling
  • Video Encoding
  • Dropbox upload
  • API Access

Upload Specs:

  • Recommended dimensions: 1080p or less
  • Maximum file size: 13 GB
  • Total file storage: 3000, 7500, 7500+ minutes
  • Accepted video formats: MP4 (Recommended)

Pricing:

  • Basic:  $79/month + $0.50/subscriber
  • Growth: $159/month + $0.50/subscriber
  • Uscreenplus: It provides you with customizable plans as per your enterprise’s needs

6) Muvi

Muvi lets you launch your audio and video streaming channel and monetize the same. They also provide mobile and TV apps along with a fully-managed platform. If you, as a filmmaker, have no limitations for budget, Muvi can be one of the best VOD distribution platforms for your digital content.

The white-label streaming allows you to launch your videos fully customized and helps with branding. 

Video Monetization:

  • Pay-per-view (TVOD) support
  • Subscriptions (SVOD) support
  • Advertising (AVOD) support

Features:

  • Multi-bitrate streaming
  • Cloud encoding
  • VOD hosting and live streaming
  • Clean organization of the library
  • Playlists creating ability
  • 24/7 support 
  • Dropbox upload
  • API Access

Upload Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 144p 
  • Maximum dimension: 4K
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Total file storage: 1TB, 2TB, 5TB
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MKV, FLV, VOB, M4V, AVI, 3GP, MPG

Pricing:

  • Standard: $399/month for 2000 concurrent viewers, 1TB of bandwidth, 1 TB of storage, and API access.
  • Professional: $1,499 per month for more features than Standard and premium support.
  • Enterprise: $3,900 per month for a dedicated server with auto-scaling.
  • Ultimate: $8,900/month for even more bandwidth and unlimited API calls.
  • Black: For custom solutions

7) Kaltura

Another large VOD hosting platform is Kaltura which is mainly known for its LMS (Learning Management System).

Video Monetization:

  • Doesn’t support SVOD, TVOD, or AVOD; can only monetize through external integrations

Features:

  • Adaptive video streaming to adapt to Internet quality
  • Categories and subcategories for better content management
  • Uploading / Migration
  • Bulk upload tool 
  • API Access
  • Password-protected videos
  • IP restrictions

Upload Guidelines and Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: 180p
  • Maximum dimension: 1080p
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 2GB
  • Total file storage: 10GB to Unlimited
  • Compatible video formats: MOV, MP4

Pricing:

  • Creators need to contact Kaltura for plans and pricing

8) Brightcove

The streaming platform provides the best VOD services that mostly suit businesses as the plans are high-priced. Brightcove is a powerful platform that comprises advanced features making it suitable for uploading large files yet simplified management.

Video Monetization:

  • Brightcove allows monetization only with custom-priced plans.

Features:

  • Global video content delivery
  • CRM integration
  • API and migration tools
  • Adaptive streaming
  • DRM and AES encryption
  • Geo and IP restrictions

Upload Specs:

  • Minimum dimension: User determined
  • Maximum dimension: User determined
  • Total file storage: Depends on the plan
  • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, MKV, 3GPP

Pricing:

  • High-priced custom plans that best suit business professionals. Interested professionals can utilize their 30 days free trial.

9) Wistia

Wistia lets the creators upload videos to be streamed on demand. With their VOD streaming services, they help both individuals and businesses to publish their videos as well as podcasts. They also provide in-depth analytics, which greatly helps with designing an effective marketing strategy.

Video Monetization:

  • Wistia offers no monetization; creators can earn by integrating external tools.

Features:

  • VOD streaming
  • Advanced analytics
  • Bulk upload option
  • Cloud encoding
  • Dropbox upload
  • API Access
  • Password-protected videos
  • Domain restrictions
  • HTTPS delivery
  • Wistia Limitations

Upload Specs:

  • Minimum dimensions: None
  • Maximum dimensions: 4K
  • Multiple ratios supported
  • Maximum file size: 8 GB
  • Maximum video length: 2 hours
  • Total file storage: Depends on the plan
  • Video formats: MP4 (recommended format), .MOV, .AVI, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, 3GPP

Pricing:

  • Free: Free to use, with up to 250 subscribers and 3 videos. The videos also have a watermark that can’t be removed.
  • Plus: $19/month billed annually provides 20 videos, 3 users, and lead capture forms.
  • Advanced: $319/month billed annually provides 250 videos, 20 users, and marketing integrations.
  • Custom: 1000 videos and more advanced features and support.

10) Vidyard

While providing a hosting solution, Vidyard also brings you marketing assistance and lead generation. Advanced video analytics is another factor that makes Vidyard worth exploring.

Video Monetization:

  • No video monetization is available with Vidyard

Features:

  • Marketing tools for SEO, email, and analytics
  • Library organization
  • Easy and fast upload widget
  • API Access
  • Password protection

Upload Specs:

  • Minimum dimension:  360p
  • Maximum dimension:  4k
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
  • Max file size: 5GB to 16GB 
  • Max video length: 1 hour (live stream)
  • Compatible video formats: WEBM, MP4, MKV, MOV

Pricing:

  • Free: Up to 25 videos. Video editing. Share by email, social media, and more
  • Pro: $19/month for unlimited videos, advanced analytics, and CTAs
  • Business: Customized plans as per the business’s needs

Conclusion

There are various ways to distribute your movie; however, in this digital age, VOD services make the easiest and most effective medium. Creators no longer have to rely on third-party distributors, and they can self-distribute through VODs.

Above, we have mentioned some of the best VODs that will assist you with publishing your short film and have financial gains.

 
Wanto to Distribute Indie Films? Start Selling with GUDSHO Today

FAQ

1. Which Are The Best VOD Platforms To Self-Distribute My Film?

To self-distribute your short or indie film, you can consider platforms like GUDSHO, Vimeo, Muvi, Dacast, and YouTube.

2. What Factors To Consider When Choosing A VOD Platform For Distributing My Film?

Those who aim for financial returns should look for the monetization options in a streaming platform. You should also consider security features like AES encryption and DRM other than video analytics, pricing, live streaming, customer support, and other such features.

3. What Are The Revenue Models Available On VOD Platforms?

The most common revenue models provided by streaming or VOD platforms are SVOD, TVOD, and AVOD. Such revenue models allow creators to earn through advertisements, subscriptions, and rentals.

4. How Do You Self Distribute A Movie?

Self-distribution is possible through streaming platforms as most viewers rely on these platforms to access video content. You need to create a channel on a VOD streaming platform, upload your creations, and start a marketing strategy.

5. How Do You Create Your Own VOD Channel For Self-Distribution?

Creators after finalizing one streaming platform can sign up and create their account. They should then fill up all the details and upload their logo, banner, and the introduction video. After filling the basic information, you can start uploading your indie films and market your channel to reach the right audience.

srinivasan

Srinivasan is a Digital Marketer who is passionate about video monetization based solutions and video on demand platform ideas. He believes in spreading the latest tech trends. He is an avid reader and Loves to share views on the latest technologies, tips, and tricks.

12 Comments

  1. Raymond Reply

    Well this is quite an interesting read. I presume that the market place is full of VOD platforms and picking the best one can be quite a daunting task for anyone who is a creator. I believe Indie Creators and Artists will find this article particularly useful.

  2. Lilly Reply

    Bravo! So concisely written with information pertaining to everything from the best VOD platforms to the features, pros cons, pricing and everything you need to know to pick the best streaming platform for your shortfilm. I love it! Keep writing!

  3. Nixon Reply

    These platforms are really good I admit it but I tried a lot of these platforms and I can say GudSho is a really good platform with tonnes of customized options. Easy to use and is considerably cost effective.

  4. Sherman Reply

    Finally, an article with a list of VOD Platforms that is properly compared. Love the information that is given about its Pros and Cons. It’s very useful for anyone looking to join the best Content management System to self-distribute Indie content and films.

  5. Stella Reply

    Its a really good Article. This list of VOD Platforms to feature and disturbutes short films is really good to start out for beginners. Well done. Brilliant.

  6. Gary Reply

    Thank you so much for the insight. I love this article. The list is exactly what indie film makers need to start their career. This is the best.

  7. Alvin Reply

    This is quite a well curated list. It has all the top VOD platforms that feature indie films. Definitely useful for those trying to release their work. Good Job!

  8. Martha Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing this information. I was actually looking for a list of vod platforms which accept indie films for my friend who is ready to launch his new movie.

  9. Madeline Reply

    Very clean and concise information. Thank you for writing it. A lot of people and amateur film makers will benefit from this.

  10. Heather Reply

    Looking for streaming platforms to sell my film online. As I’m completely new to the film distribution. How do price video on demand content and what exactly is vod streaming?

  11. Felipe Reply

    Very detailed list of the top vod distribution platforms, Pricing with monetization features. Awesome article! Thanks for sharing with us.

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