This post was originally written for The Jungle, a weekly newsletter about the business of YouTube. Subscribe here.
By Sarah Ullman
“Camp Takota” (starring Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, and Hannah Hart) and Expelled (starring Cameron Dallas) are two successful case studies in windowed distribution strategy for features starring digital native talent. It’s difficult to independently verify or determine exactly how successful, because digital sales figures are not publicly available, unlike box office numbers.
A few notes:
- In general, the first window has the largest revenue share for the producers. Rev share decreases as the content cycles through other platforms. For example, VHX is a 90/10 split in the creator’s favor, while iTunes is generally 70/30.
- AwesomenessTV stated that “Expelled”’s theatrical release was intended as a PR strategy to kickstart TVOD sales on the movie’s owned and operated website.
- Apparently “Camp Takota” was profitable from day one due to $50K in presales and “care packages” sold in a “reverse Kickstarter” strategy.
- VHX, a TVOD service that integrates with a creator’s owned and operated website, seems to be the dominant player in the first/second window. VHX offers a 90% revenue share and consumer-friendly UX.
Sarah Ullman (@thesillysully) is a writer and creative consultant focusing on the YouTube ecosystem. She writes a weekly newsletter about the business of YouTube called “The Jungle” (subscribe here) and specializes in helping “traditional media” clients transition to the digital landscape.