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Jan 17, 2012

“A New Golden Age of Content”: the rising tide of online-exclusive distribution

In a GIGAOM article out recently, VODO and its distribution partnership with BitTorrent Inc. is mentioned in a list of key players shaping the growing phenomenon of original content commissions for online platforms, as Hulu and Netflix each prepare to launch their own original series in the coming months. News of these commercial releases indicates growing recognition of online-exclusive distribution, bringing new approaches to funding, development and production. As the article puts it:

a larger movement toward a new Hollywood, where content is produced for online-only properties, money is raised differently and networks aren’t the only game in town anymore. It’s a new golden age of content.

The success of VODO’s P2P-exclusive series Pioneer One is referenced along with Kickstarter to illustrate the importance of crowd-funding as a resource in this emerging sphere, and YouTube and Amazon Studios are cited as examples where online-exclusive commissions form a growing trend as both beneficiaries and relays of online advertising success.

While budgets involved in alternative development and distribution methods might not compare to the heady figures ploughed into conventional film and TV production, the piece highlights how the move towards developing on-line exclusive content demonstrates a power-shift in which web-based distribution is increasingly recognised on its own terms and not as a step toward theatrical or network success. With viewing figures hitting the million and a half mark for our main serialised and feature releases before their wider dispersal through the torrent-sphere, as well as reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers for our short-film compilations, we at VODO are inclined to agree!

In addition to supporting creators and the distribution of new work through our platform, we’ll also from now on be allocating five percent of all VODO income to the Free Film Fund – a new online fundraising forum for the development of free-to-share productions. With a continuing schedule of high-quality releases lined up to feed into this resource, we hope it won’t be long before we can follow our pioneering P2P-exclusive commission success with distribution for the first Free Film Fund offering.

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