Ken Ed Burns is trying to break the current theatrical business model. He’s distributing his latest film, Purple Violets, exclusively through iTunes, reports The New York Times. The move comes on the heels of Fox Searchlight’s distribution of Hotel Chevalier for free through iTunes.
While iTunes has been shunned by almost all the major studios it’s become popular with independent film makers. Selling a movie for $9.99 to $14.99 brings their films to an audience they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
Burns and his partners are hoping the “we were there first” publicity brings even more people to the movie. The quote he gives at the end of this piece, though, echoes something I’ve been saying for a while now.
“I felt there’s got to be a better way to get these films to people who want to see them at their moment of highest awareness.”
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. As I’ve said before, marketing campaigns reach, say, 100 percent of the potential audience for a film. But then the theatrical distribution only allows 40 percent of the potential audience to see the movie. If you added in digital distribution that goes up to maybe 75 percent. Figure in day-and-date DVD and that hits 95 to 100 percent.