Launching a Roku Channel for Indie Producers...Thoughts?

I'm strongly kicking around the idea of launching a linear-programmed Roku channel. Was hoping to get some thoughts about the idea from everyone here.

I was going to open the channel up to indie producers. Preferably I'd be looking for indie producers of TV shows...you know, episodic stuff. But I'd be open to indie movies and short films, too.

We'd pay a lot of attention to branding and social media marketing.

The idea is the content would be linear as opposed to on demand...like the way TV is delivered on a cable network like Bravo or USA.

It wouldn't make any money at first, of course. It would lose money. But the idea is to create a platform for indie producers who produce good stuff but are having a hard time finding a venue for it.

I'm thinking of developing a direct response monetization model...you know, companies can run advertising on the channel for free and only pay something if a sale is made.

Thoughts? Do you think producers would be interested in providing content? That's what the whole thing would hinge on -- content.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I like the idea.

Have you found that lots of people want to watch independent movies?
Is there a need for this? Do people pay for independent movies?

What has your research shown?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
Admin
Not exactly. Pluto has mulitple themed channels. The idea I'm describing would be just one. Moreover, Pluto still gets a lot of its content from the big box Hollywood/network sources. What I'm describing would all be independent content.
Yes but Pluto is linear and gives you the experience of flipping channels (within a channel, like sub-forums on this forum). If you had one channel only, no flipping. Also I've seen some great indie docs on there, like A Band Called Death. You can also stream on demand, but I happened to catch it flipping, so the "older" TV experience worked out on a newer platform (Roku).
 
I like the idea.

Have you found that lots of people want to watch independent movies?
Is there a need for this? Do people pay for independent movies?

What has your research shown?
>> Have you found that lots of people want to watch independent movies?

In my experience, definitely not. Or very little, that is. I'd be interested to read others' experiences in this regard; however, that said, one can speculate on why people don't want to watch independent movies or TV shows. In my mind the reason why audiences don't "want" to watch independent productions is because of marketing...or a lack thereof. Plus lack of exposure. You can put a good movie on YouTube or Vimeo but then it gets lost in the slushpile of the rest of the thousands of hours of junk.


>> Do people pay for independent movies?

Again, typically no. But again, that might be tied to my point above about marketing and exposure. Keep in mind, my idea is that the stuff would be given away free.

Yes but Pluto is linear and gives you the experience of flipping channels (within a channel, like sub-forums on this forum). If you had one channel only, no flipping. Also I've seen some great indie docs on there, like A Band Called Death. You can also stream on demand, but I happened to catch it flipping, so the "older" TV experience worked out on a newer platform (Roku).
True. The "flipping" experience, I think, is largely what keeps small, independent productions for getting discovered, in many cases. With the on demand model, you have to know something exists in order to go demand it.
 
I hear people suggest this idea from time to time. I see two problems:

1) Most indie movies aren't very good. People don't like to watch bad movies. But everybody likes to be the person to turn on their crowd to the latest good movie. What are you offering an audience? A curated selection of indie movies that are good?

2) Why would creators give you their movies to help build your service? Creators want to build their own audiences. What do you offer them that they can't get on their own? Your new channel has no viewers; I can put my movie on my own YouTube channel and get no viewers.

In these days of fractured, targetted audiences, you might consider a focussed and curated channel. General-interest venues are on the way out. Viewers might go to "The channel for good, indie rom-coms" or something. It's certainly a marketable hook.

-- Damian
 

molsmith

Member
I often think of doing similar for equal reasons. In my experience so far, if you really want to set up a site for Indie film maker distribution, you need a pricing structure based on shares out according to films watch for amount of time to the inputting film maker. The successful working model is more about holding lots of peer reviewed indie films going onto the platform - increasing in numbers and the audience paying a subscription monthly to dive in and out of this film or that. No one wants a TV type linear film presentation channel, as far as I can see. People have different moods and tend to chill out by picking this or that movie to watch. Amazon and Netflix have the best models for the masses to come and see. Amazon annually purges titles from off their platform often when they are performing well, or have too much non-mass appeal content (nudity, oddness, or politically incorrect - but only when the film maker has made the film on a nominal budget.

A lot of Roku channels are just out-of-date very old horror or SF movies which are quaint but low grade and boring.

Yes. Independent film makers need a streaming channel which enables their films to get out there, but the quality of production of such films needs to hit a certain bar and that means peer reviewing a film. Time consuming.

I hope this helps. i'm open to collaboration if you are serious interested in moving your ideas forward.

my regards,

mol





I'm strongly kicking around the idea of launching a linear-programmed Roku channel. Was hoping to get some thoughts about the idea from everyone here.

I was going to open the channel up to indie producers. Preferably I'd be looking for indie producers of TV shows...you know, episodic stuff. But I'd be open to indie movies and short films, too.

We'd pay a lot of attention to branding and social media marketing.

The idea is the content would be linear as opposed to on demand...like the way TV is delivered on a cable network like Bravo or USA.

It wouldn't make any money at first, of course. It would lose money. But the idea is to create a platform for indie producers who produce good stuff but are having a hard time finding a venue for it.

I'm thinking of developing a direct response monetization model...you know, companies can run advertising on the channel for free and only pay something if a sale is made.

Thoughts? Do you think producers would be interested in providing content? That's what the whole thing would hinge on -- content.
 

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