How To Distribute Music/Movie in Nigeria

The influence of Youtube on the content being produced in Nigeria

Film Aggregators act as a filter for the audience, with the over-saturation of the market, these companies protect the public from poor quality content.

An aggregator has the “connections” to get film(s) distributed to the platforms desired, for a cost, the film is where the filmmaker want it to be.

Although, there are no guarantees.

The selection of films we see on platforms like Netflix and iTunes have been heavily filtered to meet the aggregator’s creative and technical standards and films that the aggregator believe an audience will want to see.

Before a film has been submitted to Netflix or iTunes it’s already been filtered once. By the time the audience sees the film, the film has been filtered generally no less than twice.

Every filmmaker has a reason for making a movie. Some want to get their movie to reach more people and to get recognition. Others just want their movie to make money. Getting a Nigerian movie on Netflix is an individual choice.

Netflix purchases a license for your film for 1 or 2 years and they can play your film as many times as they like during that period of time. Licensing fees vary on a film by film basis.

Netflix tries to avoid having too many filmmakers applying at the same time. So, they do not respond to filmmakers directly, they only use distribution aggregators who are licensed and can contact them directly.

The company only accepts submissions that are done through these agents. Your film will be marked as an “unsolicited submission” if submitted through any other means. Here’s what you should know:

  1. Your film should appeal to the Netflix audience and should be a passionate story. It’s important to Netflix that their audience has the films or series that interest them.
  2. How entertaining is your film? Are the first five minutes boring? entertain. Netflix is much more selective in what they will acquire, so the entertainment value must be higher now. They look for films that will attract new subscribers or help retain the subscribers they already have
  3. Your film could meet the first two criteria, but it must also meet the budgeting standard. Use good filmmaking tools and hire a professional cinematographer who knows lightning and effects well.
  4. Get IMDB verification and rotten tomatoes scores. Also, films that are less than a year old have better licensing potential.
  5. When you present your film to Netflix and it is accepted, it becomes exclusive to Netflix. You should think about this before moving in this direction. So, if you’ve already licensed it to another streaming platform, there is no need to waste time submitting it.
  6. Will your poster and trailer be able to compete on the platform? People usually have to scroll through hundreds of films on Netflix before settling for one. You don’t want your poster to be off. Spend money on making a poster and trailer. They are a primary marketing tool which Netflix also uses in their selection.

Other subscription video on demand (SVOD) services include:

iTunes splits sales 70/30. With 70%  going to the filmmaker and 30% going to iTunes. For example, when iTunes sells a films for $9.99. $7 of that goes to the filmmaker. With the new aggregator model, the filmmaker will generally see 100% of that $7. With the old aggregator model, the filmmaker would probably see around $3.50 of the $7.

Hulu streams films for free but 50% of the advertising revenue goes to the filmmaker.

Amazon VOD pays the filmmaker 50% of what they collect.

Each of these platforms will result in different outcomes for the filmmaker. Hulu seems to be the best choice for exposure, but ad revenue has generally not been the highest performer in terms of payouts to filmmakers.

It seems like iTunes may be better for payout, depending on your traffic and conversion rate but less effective with mass exposure.