March 23rd, 2011

Indie Film Distributor Screen Media Starts Streaming Ad-Supported Releases

Theatrical film distributor of Screen Media Ventures is getting into the streaming video business with, betting on the idea that viewers will be willing to watch full-length films on-demand while sitting through a commercial interruption every 10 minutes or so.

The site is getting its full launch tomorrow with a few hundred indie films and expects to have 1,500 movies available for streaming by the end of the year, said Gary Delfiner, Screen Media’s SVP of digital distribution.

While the movies are all-indie, they do feature a number of stars, such as Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart, and others. Given that the films, which span all the usual genres of comedy, romance and horror as well as foreign releases, Screen Media believes it can buttress its main business of sending movies to art houses and cinemas by building an ad-supported VOD service that’s aimed at college-educated, upscale viewers.

The ads for each film include pre-roll, spot ads and banner ads. As Delfiner explained in an interview, the mid-roll ads will run about every 10 minutes, meaning that users watching a 90-minute film will see about nine ads.

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