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Film, Television, & Content Creation

Digital Aggregator

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Digital Aggregator

What does an Aggregator do?

Looking for a way to get your movie on a streaming platform, but you want to skip the sales agent and distributor route? Are you trying to avoid sharing 10-15% with a sales agent, then another 25-30% with a distributor, plus another 40-50% to the exhibitor—leaving you with only 5-25% of the profit? There's a way to do that, but keep in mind that self-distribution is a whole other skillset you will need to acquire to get the job done effectively. You will need to understand marketing and advertising, accounting, royalty payments for union players, and you will also have to handle all of the deliverables of the film, such as the metadata, closed captioning, encoding, artwork— just to name a few.


If self-distribution is an option for your film, here is a very quick overview of what an aggregator does. A film aggregator is a third-party service that can help you get your movie, short, or series distributed on major digital streaming platforms such as OTT (over-the-top)/Cable/Satellite/Telco. These platforms include Comcast, AT&T, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Google Play, Sony, YouTube, iTunes, and hundreds of other media endpoints for video-on-demand (VOD) and broadcast.


Aggregators typically require a flat fee and/or a small-to-no profit share of the film for providing their services. In return for that fee, you can expect an aggregator to encode your movie, package your film assets for closed captioning and subtitles, help you pass a quality control check and, organize your artwork for each territory and platform. An aggregator will put together a pitch in some cases, especially for a platform that selectively curates films (like Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Originals.) All aggregators are not created equal, so be sure to check and see if their fees handle all of the services required.


Once your film has been delivered and released to each platform and territory you have selected, consumers can start buying or renting your movie. Cha-ching! Now, the money starts rolling in from all of the platforms that you have chosen. The digital platform will pay your aggregator, and then your aggregator will pay you! Note: The only way consumers know that your product is now ready for consumption is through paid advertising. You will quickly exhaust your own social media following, so you must have a marketing plan prepared before you even start the distribution process.


For some, self-distribution is not an option. Most creatives would like to get on to the next project. The idea of handling the business aspect is all-encompassing and bogs down their creative process— and that's okay. This route isn't for everyone, but we suggest looking into it a little more if you are intrigued. It may be worth it. Note: If you choose this route, it may be harder for you to get a sales agent/distributor to sign on to sell television, theatrical, DVD, and ancillary rights.

PS: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may get a commission for recommending the product to you.

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