By Kevin D. Johnson, Jr.

There was a time when a production company’s (producer or director) only hope was to try and pitch an idea and or proof of concept to a television network.  The goal would be to try and get their original content seen or distributed.  If a person didn’t have a connection to a network, or the television stations wanted to take an idea in a direction that the producers or director didn’t want to go, the show never saw the light of day.

Types of Online Options

In today’s time there are other options to have a show seen. The online space has platforms that allow content to be seen at a fee set by the content creators. Other stipulations are as follows 90/ 10 split between the account holder and the company.  The owner of the content gets 90 percent.  The creators can also make the choice of having their project available to be rented, bought, (this is known as TVOD Transactional Video On Demand) or subscribed to (this is called SVOD Subscription Video on Demand).  However, before this can happen one must purchase the required subscription.  Once this is done, the content can be streamed on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.

Other streaming online companies don’t require the mandatory subscription however, the split is higher it’s 80/20.  Their goal is to make money from revenue shares.  There isn’t a limit on how much content you put in the cloud. The content can stream with Amazon and Hulu for example.

Another example of a platform option that allows content creators to monetize off of their productions, is similar to the Netflix model without any revenue split.  However, there is a monthly fee. In turn the projects can be rented, bought, or subscribed to.  The shows can be shown on various devices, AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, SmartTVs, etc.  These pages also come with themes that can be selected by the content provider.

Marketing Ideas for Your Content

You can have all the great content in the world but if one fails to tap into their target market, then the executive producers will never see a return on their investment. The best answer for this obstacle is an effective marketing plan. However; an integral part to having any success is to first build the audience.  Waiting a week before the show is released to try and get Instagram followers for example is most likely not the best way to go about this.  Try and build the audience as soon as you can provide content that will keep people interested. This can be behind the scene pictures, quotes from a character in the story etc.   Pay attention to the ways in which TV shows are rolled out. These days’ companies can create a buzz using similar tactics.  Such as crafty post on social media that can be designed as posters or introductions to characters.  These serves as online billboards. The more out of box marketing ideas the better, creative thinking has been rewarded greatly in various fields. People are more accepting as ever to progressive marketing tactics. Don’t only think online, speaking engagements or whatever can be done to get the attention of your target market should be taking into consideration.  The goal should be to get your viewers to a central location, even if it’s merely the social media page for the show. At least you have the opportunity to provide them more content that could engage them and possibly get some conversions.  One of the biggest challenges that people face with a new show is getting the target market to understand what the show is about and to buy into the concepts without ever seeing the program. Perhaps one or two episodes are free, this way people can form a connection with the cast and the show as a whole. From that point they could be more likely to pay for the remaining episodes in order to see the outcome.

The reality is that in today’s technology driven world producers of original content have more options than ever. Whether it’s traditional television options, theatrical releases SVOD or TVOD they are all means to getting productions to the viewing audience. However, it’s emphatic that a solid marketing campaign is put into play so that the projects has the best chance to reach the targeted market. For more information about SVOD and TVOD PBS has a web page devoted to DIY Digital Distribution Platforms.

Kevin D. Johnson, Jr. is the founder and CEO of NorthStarr Media Group; he is an educator, as well as the creator of NorthStarr Classic Apparel. Follow at @northstarrmedia.