The Internet may have killed the music industry, but a handful of companies are stepping in to guarantee that the same fate doesn't befall the film industry. It's a simple formula: offer top quality streaming for free or low cost with minimal advertising and the experience is much more pleasurable than pirating.
Theatrical film distribution has never been tougher, as witnessed by the shutdown of a number of independent studios last year: New Line folded into Warner Brothers while Paramount Vantage folded into big Paramount; meanwhile Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures completely shut down.
And as more and more indy film distributions companies close, it looks like the Internet is becoming more and more the source for Indy distribution.
"For an independent filmmaker, this can mean an effective way of keeping distribution costs low, which have traditionally been one of the unspoken hurdles in getting to your audience. Plus, you have the ability to get your work in front of more eyeballs than any limited theatrical release could ever accomplish," says Matt Dentler, head of programming at Cinetic Rights Management, a company founded to represent film sales for digital media.