Content creators, are you listening? Hulu steps up its game.

Hulu, for most people, is the content network people forget about.

But they have lots of outlets in many countries (more than Netflix I believe) and haven’t given up yet! One of their new cornerstones of strategy is acquiring more exclusive content.

Variety has a great article about this, plus its invaluable insight for us content creators into the inner workings of an exciting company and opportunity.

The battle is on for the very small screen

Exciting (for me) article over at Fortune magazine. Delving into the success of sites such as BuzzFeed that are fast-establishing dominance in the internet video world – over broadcast TV competitors.

It comes down – in part – to gathering metrics and paying attention to those metrics!

Some of this has been explored in books such as Contagious, by Jonah Berger, but it’s handy for those of us in this space to have an article specifically about online video.

Great reading for any content maker / filmmaker in these times.

BTW if you skip it because you think you’re a ‘creator’ and not a businessman, please proceed to your nearest government agency for a handout. Filmmakers have to be businessmen. Sorry.

NoBudge’s 2014 winning films

I’ll hold my hands up and say I’d never heard of ‘NoBudge’ until this posting on NoFilmSchool (as an aside, I now see that using a negative title for your site or domain is in vogue).

I am going to assume that NoBudge focusing on films made without a budget? Or a budgie? Or are immovable? Their ‘about’ page doesn’t give much away. All they say is

NoBudge is an online screening venue for new indie films.

Anyway, they’ve released their awards and it is a good showcase to see ultra indie films to get a feel for the ‘market’. I think it’s important to get an understanding of what people are doing. With the democratizing factor of low camera prices we see all kinds of people expressing all kinds of things on film.

Below is the link to the NoFilmSchool article, but you can also go to NoBudge’s ‘Awards Page’ here (NoFilmSchool has a better looking version of the page!)


Looking (Again) into the Netflix and VOD data abyss

Another article that talks about the lack of numbers coming out -or not- of VOD platforms like Netflix.

This lack of transparency means it is very difficult to know a) what you should be making and b) where things are going wrong. Both are pretty vital understandings that we need to take away.

More VOD goodies from KinoNation

(Obviously, yes, I am reading through the KinoNation blog)

I want to highlight four great postings that I think all filmmakers should read

Aw hell. Just read every entry on the blog!

Making Money on VOD – an light analysis from KinoNation

I stumbled across the Kinonation blog and this blog posting today. Both are worth discussing.

First, the blog post, as that’s what caught my attention. It’s an interesting take on doing things that make money. In this case, the golden (or at least bronze!) ticket seems to be documentary focused on all the horrible things we do to our bodies.

food, booze, drugs, cigarettes, fitness, sex, religion

Is the path.

This is not exactly news, but, with some examples and some inspirations, this posting should get those doc makers out there thinking. (personally I’m not a big fan of making documentaries as a) there as so many unknowns going in and b) you have to deal with real people)

Now onto Kinonation the company.

If I had to guess I’d say they are run by guys not too different than myself – a tech nerd with an interest in film. The site has something to do with GitHub, uses bootstrap (yeah!) and seems to be chock-full of programmer goodies.


Co-Founder Roger Jackson admits there are issues with unpredictable results from VOD. Kinonation itself is a kind of middle man, not an end user platform. It farms the content out to other VOD platforms like Hulu, Amazon and iTunes (hmmm… which major VOD service is not listed? cough cough Netflix cough cough). Personally I think that ‘man in the middle’ services have their days numbered. They are no longer needed for audio content, so why for video?

Kinonation have hired a filmmaker/researcher (with a Phd in Statistics from Oxford AND Harvard – which surely must be overkill) to try and come up with a way – one presumes – of figuring out what films are really worth promoting.

I still have issues with this idea of ‘territories’. Surely that is a concept that will go away, hopefully sooner rather than later. If I look at any VOD platform, my choices here in Japan are incredibly limited, but I know the company has the film on their server – they just won’t let me watch it!

I think there needs to be a shift towards thinking like a customer. We just want one place we can go and find everything. We’d gladly pay a little bit of money, but please god, make our lives easy!

Oh dear…this turned into a rant!

Back to KinoNation. Their blog is fascinating and educational reading, regardless as to whether you use their services or not. And I appreciate them for being so candid in their writing (and this actually would make me approach them!).