The skeptical, business side of me says how do you make money on products that are entering an oversaturated market in which the going price is $2.99 or even free per download?
The hopeful side of me says this is the Wild Wild West all over again. Even the big guys haven't figured out a strong solution of monetizing so that gives hope to the little guys of having a chance of figuring out a system that could work.
Traditionally, the only hope an indie film had of making any return was to be picked up by a distributor and paid a large enough advance to cover costs - or - going on a self-distributed release consisting of paying for venues and DVDs and praying there would be enough interest to cover the costs of the release and the making of the film. This system rarely worked for the majority of independent films being made each year.
Now there seems to be a race to figure out how to monetize film releases on the Internet as DVD sales and rentals are slowing and audiences are getting more of their entertainment online. The problem is that audiences are used to getting their entertainment for free or at very low cost on the Internet. How do you change that mentality or do you create a system of advertising that covers the costs of Internet sites actually paying decent advances to filmmakers for the download release of the films they feature?
And how do our smaller films compete with the studio films for air time -- even on the Internet? All these questions to ponder -- something I do on a daily basis. And, unfortunately, no real answers yet. If any of you have any ideas on how to monetize our films on the Internet, bring 'em!