By Evan DeSimone
Digital movie hub IndieFlix has announced the launch of their new dedicated kids channel, curating content aimed at viewers 12 and under.
Launched in 2005, IndieFlix began life as a subscription DVD service before pivoting to transactional VOD in 2010. In 2013, it launched in its current form as a subscription VOD service offering subscribers a selection of independent shorts, features, documentaries and web-series from film festivals and film schools around the world. The service is available on Roku, Xbox, Sony, FireTV, iOS and all internet connected devices.
The launch of IndieFlix Kids channel comes at a time when a number of digital content platforms are digging in on kid-friendly content. Both Netflix and Amazon have expanded their slate of original children’s programming over the last twelve months. Meanwhile, both YouTube and RTL Group have have launched their own dedicated kids content hubs.
CEO Scilla Andreen launched IndieFlix after realizing that traditional distribution deals were shortchanging independent filmmakers like herself
The process has not been an entirely smooth one, even for leading platforms like YouTube. The video giant was recently dinged with a pair of FCC complaints from parent groups for allegedly violating of children’s advertising standards and curating inappropriate content on its Kids app. While she’s conscious of the increased scrutiny directed at kids content, IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen isn’t intimidated by watchdog groups.
“Watchdogs scare people away,” Andreen told VideoInk. “We’re interested in creating a safe space with rich stories… but we’re not making a claim of 100% safety. Parents still have to be involved in choosing content they want their kids to see”
To make that process easier for users, IndieFlix is building curation tools around kid-appropriate themes and feelings to help parents make an informed selection by filtering around themes like sharing, bullying, or friendship.
IndieFlix’s approach to children’s programming is a byproduct of its global approach. “Our content is global and other cultures are different,” said Andreen, who visited film festivals and film schools around the world to curate content for the kids channel.
A career filmmaker herself, Andreen has baked sustainability for artists into the DNA of IndieFlix, right down to the company’s unique payment model. Dubbed Royalty Pool Minutes (RPM), it pays filmmakers for every minute watched. IndieFlix pools 30% of its gross monthly revenue to be portioned out to content providers based on the total number of minutes viewed. The service also provides filmmakers with backend analytics on their film’s audience for added value. The RPM model will also extend to filmmakers providing content for the Kids Channel.