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CEO and Founder of Indiereign.com

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Digital sales Jargon by David White, a glossary of digital sales terms for VOD

Welcome to Digital Sales Jargon 101: VOD, WTF?

Right now we are on the cusp of a dramatic shift from physical to digital for film and television content. With the fast-paced changes in this environment, it’s crucial for indie filmmakers to understand exactly what we’re getting into when we give away our rights. Have you ever heard all the terms around VOD and thought ‘WTF’?

As an indie filmmaker, you need to be able to navigate this new space well to ensure your own success. This article aims to provide a basic outline and a glossary of terms so you’re not talking TVOD when you should be talking SVOD.

VOD: Video on Demand

Firstly, ‘VOD’ is an abbreviation for Video on Demand, but this is very broad. Believe it or not, VOD has been around for over 20 years, originally starting out in Hong Kong in the early 1990′s, but back then the service was too costly for many people so it did not take off immediately. Along the way other services popped up, but it wasn’t until the early 2000′s that television providers started thinking outside the (television) box and began to offer their content through streaming or downloading online. Now the times they are a changin’ and we’re seeing many new variables of VOD…

SVOD: Subscriptional Video on Demand

An example of SVOD is Netflix, where users pay a set amount per week, month, or per year, to watch as much content as they like. In the past three years SVOD platforms have grown in popularity. Last quarter, Netflix had a total of 37.6 million people streaming content, that’s about one in every eight people in the US using this service. When they started, catalogues on services such as Netflix and Hulu.com mainly featured older films and television series, but now they’re stepping up the game and even producing original content. When it comes to these services, indie artists need to keep in mind that if you have your film uploaded to the site, your content will need to be seen thousands of times to make a dollar.

TVOD: Transactional Video on Demand

Not to be confused with SVOD, TVOD is where users pay for each individual movie, season, or series. This can be for streaming content online, and is sometimes downloadable, meaning the user then has a license to use or own the content. IndieReign works this way where users can either rent the content for a limited time, or purchase the content to stream online or download.

EVOD: Exclusive Video on Demand

EVOD is when a particular VOD content provider offers something that no other platform has, Netflix has just brought out House of Cards which is a prime example, as the competition intensify’s in the digital space it’s likely EVOD content will increase in popularity. Some might say it is the future of television.

FVOD: Free Video on Demand

FVOD is when a network operator or VOD platform makes free content available, which is usually paid for by advertising. Hulu is predominantly a free video on demand platform that makes money through advertising, but they also offer SVOD plans to minimize this advertising for subscription-paying viewers.

Now that’s all the VOD’s out of the way, here’s a look into some other common terms you might hear in regards to digital sales jargon:

EST: Electronic Sell Through

EST is where users pay a one time fee to download digital media content which can apply to videos, music, gaming, and mobile device apps. EST is also sometimes referred to as DTO, but now Disney is making an attempt at creating a new term for these transactions, EVHL.

DTO: Download to Own

Download to Own works the same way as EST, users pay a one time fee to legally download digital content and gain ownership for personal use.

EVHL: Electronic Video Home License

This is a new term emerging into the digital sales jargon, one that Disney is introducing as an attempt to make it seem more like a license than ownership – I’m not sure how this should be pronounced, but “evil” comes to mind…

PPV: Pay Per View

Pay Per View, literally as simple as it sounds. Pay for what you watch online, when you watch it. Currently IndieReign follows this model, where the filmmakers set a rental and a purchase price, which users only pay if they want to watch or buy the content, with no extra costs, and filmmakers get 70% of the profit instantly in their bank account.


I hope this glossary has made navigating the digital sales space just that much easier for you. If you come across any other tricky terms let us know in the comments below and we’ll keep this updated, we’re always here to help.


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We are just in the process of a massive site upgrade for IndieReign. We are pushing new and improved film upload tools along with shiny new analytics and reporting for films/filmmakers.

The site would be under upgrade process for around 30 minutes. We apologies for any disruptions.

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Need funding for your film? Started a crowd-funding campaign? Or not sure where to start, or how to get the best results? This is for you!

Before launching into your crowd-funding campaign, it pays to do your research. Identifying your influence’s is key! Find people on Twitter and Facebook that influence you, and who could potentially be great promoters and/or backers of your film, but before you directly ask them about promoting or backing your project, it pays to engage with them prior…

You’re guaranteed to achieve a greater success rate of people helping you out if you engage with their posts or forums before hand, and prove to be a genuine friend. This works by following, liking, re-tweeting, sharing their links etc.

After you have friend-ed, followed, and genuinely engaged with your influence’s, then and only then is it appropriate to ask for a little help.

We ALL deserve a bit of love, and a little ‘you scratch my back, we’ll scratch yours’ never goes amiss.

After all, how would you react if a stranger walked up to you at a party and without even introducing herself asked you for $50 to back her film? The same rules apply online – Don’t be “that girl or guy”.


The revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now

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Let’s be honest, it’s nearly impossible to make money from short films. Short films really are just a calling card for your career as a whole, be it a path into feature filmmaking or the world of commercials and music videos. But the short films themselves will very rarely make any money let alone a profit.

You’ve spent all those weeks, months, and even years, making the project, done the festival circuit, shown all your friends and family, and then the reality sets in. What now?

Well, that’s where Indie Reign comes in!
With your film fresh off the festival circuit, with some hype behind it, and maybe some awards, why not upload it onto IndieReign and give it as much chance as possible to actually make you some cash! And what’s even better, is you set your own price point! $5, $3, $1? It’s up to you!

This stage in your short films life span is the best time to utilize its money making potential, because if you let a few months pass, or even weeks, you’ll find your film can get lost amongst the crowd of new freshly hyped short films hitting the market place. And by starting your very own page on Indie Reign, you’re on your way to building and promoting your own brand and catalogue of films. By putting up, and keeping up, all your short films, you can not only make passive income over time, but you’ll always have that online presence promoting you and your work to the world.

Then once you’ve finally stepped up to the plate and turned that half a dozen short film experience into your first feature, you’ve already got your own following and fan base on the site, so upload your feature as well for a punchy combo promotion! They buy your feature and get two of your short films for free maybe!

Remember, Indie Cinema is coming of age, and with the tools at your disposal, and with Indie Reign’s help, there’s no reason you can’t find your niche in the market place, and have a long and fruitful career!

So get uploading!

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Bruce Wayne’s home theater brought to life, with epic Dark Knight theme.

Elite Home Theater Seating has designed this Dark Knight Theater. Their goal was to fuse together the cozy elements of Wayne Manor, with the Art Deco styling of Gotham City. Did they pull it off? Hell yes!

Bat Cave Theater

Bat Cave Theater

Bookcases open, revealing the Batmobile in a hidden secret room, complete with its own tunnel exit.

Bat Cave Theater

Rear view shows the home theater equipment displayed out in the open beside the elevator, along with the “Batcomputer”.

Bat Cave Theater

I thought it was going to be hard to top this floating theater in Thailand. But I think Batman’s own home theater is the current reigning champ. What are your thoughts?

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Quentin Tarantino’s Western Django Unchained, is set for a Dec. 25 release. Yahoo Movies has just posted 6 new production stills. Rumor has it that the first trailer will run in front of Prometheus, when it opens on the 8th of June.

Starring: Jaime Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio. Along with Don Johnson, Tom Savini, M.C. Gainey, Anthony LaPaglia, Walton Goggins and Tom Wopat.

Have a free film on us! http://www.indiereign.com/free-films

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I have just stumbled across the poster for the Sin City sequel. This is a sequel I am really looking forward to seeing.

In 2005, after Sin City was released, Rodriguez announced plans for a follow-up film that would feature many of the same characters. Finally, shooting will begin this summer! Apparently the delays have been caused by the Weinstein brothers and the fact that Rodríguez really wanted Angelina Jolie in the role of Ava, so much so that he was delaying production to correspond with her pregnancy. Other rumored front runners for this role were; Salma Hayek and Rose McGowan. I am not 100% sure if this role has been filled, so let me know in the comments if you have any idea. I think Mickey Rourke will be great in this film.

The Creator of the crime thriller film neo-noir series, Frank Miller said, “The first Sin City knocked out audiences who had never seen anything like it before. Robert Rodriguez and I are going to shake things up and deliver a ferocious film experience that is going to go even further than the first.”

Sin City Sequel

Sin City Sequel

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This floating movie theater in Thailand, is made out of recycled materials.

Accessible only by boat, the theater seats around 60 people. It must be amazing to be sitting out over the water, in the Gulf of Thailand at night and watching a film here.

Floating Cinema, Thailand

Floating Cinema, Thailand

Floating Movie Theatre

Floating Movie Theatre

Floating Cinema, Thailand

Floating Cinema, Thailand

Floating Movie Theatre

Floating Movie Theatre

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It is looking like “The Avengers” will be the first movie ever to haul in US$200m in a single weekend. “Hulk, smash”.

The Avengers pulled in US$151.5m internationally over the weekend, to bring its total to US$441.5m since opening a week earlier than the North American market. This was a smart more, I am struggling to recall a film that opened internationally before the North American premier. I am sure having this global release strategy will see piracy numbers down, revenue up.

“Super Hero” films just aren’t my cup of tea. Though I probably will make an exception and go see what all the hype is about.

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Is Hollywood finally getting the fact that, piracy is a direct result of not having a global theatrical release?

Avengers is out now in New Zealand! We usually have to wait a year after the US premier, to see any major “Blockbuster”.

I am then reminded that Cabin in the Woods does not even have a release date for New Zealand yet. They do not have to go with a Theatrical release, I would be happy to be able to see it on a VOD platform. Not wait 6 months until it goes straight to DVD. Surely in that 6 month window the amount of illegal downloads will be huge. If the film was available now on a VOD platform for $9.00 it would sell very well here, instead it is 6 months of lost sales, increased illegal downloads and waning interest in the film – we have the technology it’s called geo-blocking. It’s not Rocket Surgery.

So, to answer my own question. “Kind of, but not yet”.

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With 4K being the big buzz word of the 2012 NAB Show – You would think a non-4K camera would really struggle to make an impact, right? Well think again.

Enter the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera – for $2,995. This price includes DaVinci Resolve and UltraScope – So you are getting around $1K worth of software with your purchase.

I would go as far to say this is my winner from the show. Blackmagic not only has positioned itself as extremely affordable, they have made a product that looks amazing. It looks to me like they have followed apples lead and created a very simple interface, along with not following the traditional form factor you would expect in a “hand held camera”.

Black Magic Cinema CameraBlack Magic Cinema Camera


Straight from Blackmagic’s marketing pitch: “Blackmagic Cinema Camera gives your work that timeless feature film look!”


  • Cool looking, machined aluminum chassis.
  • Compatibility with quality EF and ZE mount lenses – You can use the lenses you already own.
  • 2.5K image sensor with a wide 13 stops of dynamic range for a true digital film camera.
  • LCD touchscreen.
  • Built-in metadata entry so your files include information compatible with popular editing software.
  • Built-in SSD Recorder – 2.5K uncompressed CinemaDNG RAW 12-bit capture as well as Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD compressed video formats.

Included with the Camera
Sun shield, power supply, carry strap, UltraScope waveform monitoring software and a full version of DaVinci Resolve Software.

If I had a $3K budget to spend on a Camera – This is where my money would go…. I did have $3K to spend on a camera when I arrived in Vegas, but that was 2 days ago.

Thanks to Ben Woollen, from Chasing Time Productions for telling me to check out the Blackmagic booth.

Blackmagic Booth at NAB Show

Blackmagic Booth at NAB Show