Distribution, in film terms, refers to the process in making the film available to watch by the public. In modern times, distribution is no longer restricted to the typical theatrical release and home entertainment release through DVD sales. Several distribution options include:
- Theatrical Release: is where the motion picture will be distributed nationwide (and abroad) to all the major and minor theaters.
- Electronic Sell-Through: EST vendors include iTunes, Amazon, Microsoft Zune Store, and Xbox.
- SVOD: SVOD is a Subscription Video-On-Demand, the major example being the Netflix streaming content model.
- AVOD: AVOD is Advertising supported Video-On-Demand, such as seen on YouTube and Hulu.
- Carrier-based TVOD: This includes Video-On-Demand through cable or satellite with carriers such as DirecTV and Comcast.
- Digital TVOD: With emerging technologies in home entertainment, Smart TVs are using Google TV, Apple TV, and Roku to utilize TVOD platforms.
- Broadcast: Broadcast refers to the television networks distribution of TV series and movies.
Technology has made distributing a film much easier in recent years. Although a non-theatrical release can limit the exposure of the film, it can be cost effective to avoid theatrical distribution. The method of distribution should depend on the budget and nature of the film.
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