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The Distribution Process for Films and TV Shows

The distribution process for films and TV shows is a complex system of moving parts and requires careful planning and coordination. Once a production is completed, it’s essential to navigate all of the steps from finding distribution agents to deciding the best platforms or channels to release it on. In this blog post, we’ll go through the distribution process for films and TV shows, why it’s essential, and the biggest challenges that come with it.




The Distribution Process

The distribution process for films and TV shows typically involves several steps that must be effectively managed by the production team.

Finding Distribution Agents

The first step is finding a distribution agent or agent that specializes in the film or TV show’s genre or niche. These agents are often tasked with securing distribution deals with streaming services or theater owners.

Evaluating Offers

Once an agent secures an offer, it becomes essential to evaluate the platforms or channels that the distribution team will have audiences view it on. The option to release it solely to a physical theater or on-demand through streaming services are both viable options and will affect revenue potential.

Choosing Release Dates

After an agreement is reached with a streaming service or theater owner, the production team must coordinate a release date that works with the platform and maximizes the potential for success. Some films and TV shows are released during peak entertainment seasons when there’s a greater likelihood to generate hype and ticket sales.




The Challenges

While the distribution process might seem straightforward, there are several significant challenges that can arise for both the production team and the distribution agents. Here are some of the most common:

Limited Opportunities

For independent filmmakers, access to good distribution agents can be scarce. Independent films or TV shows without a cast of well-known actors or very prominent creative talent attached can be forced to focus on direct-to-consumer online releases instead.

Tight Budgets

The cost of advertising and marketing can be very expensive, often cutting into the production team’s revenues that they hoped to make. Without the hefty budget of major studios, independent productions may rely heavily on word-of-mouth promotion.

Finding the Best Channels

Aside from gaining access to the desired distribution platforms, it’s just as essential to correctly match the production’s genre or niche with the right one. Misjudging this can lead to low ticket or streaming sales, which could harm future opportunities for the production team and talent involved.

Limited Audience Reach

The final challenge is ensuring the production’s awareness reaches a sizable audience. With limited tools to reach viewers, getting the movie or TV show in front of potential viewers can be a significant obstacle, particularly for smaller productions with less budget for marketing.

6 Months of Disney+ on us

The distribution process for films and TV shows is complex and challenging. Limited budgets and access to quality distribution agents can restrict the production team’s options when dealing with their distribution options. Purposefully selecting an experienced distribution agent, finding the right channels to release the production, and affording advertising and marketing all contribute to a successful release. Allocating the time and resources to these needs takes preparation and a lot of planning, but if done properly, distributions can make or break a production’s success. Distributing a film or TV show can be a challenge but it is a crucial component of bringing quality entertainment to audiences around the world.

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