IFFR Unleashed looks to the future
by Vassilis Economou
- It’s been seven months since the Dutch film festival launched its streaming platform, and its future sounds promising
Since its inception (see the news) in January this year, during the 47th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), IFFR Unleashed has managed to become one of the most valuable VoD players on the market. It has been reported that almost all of the films available on the platform (98.8%) have been viewed, proving the existence of an audience for this content. Also, the demographic data show that the viewers come from 39 different countries, while the total view count has exceeded 7,500.
Since it became operational, and in order to enhance its flexibility, IFFR Unleashed has been collaborating with filmmakers and rightsholders to determine the territories where their content will be available and for exactly how long. Among its partners are well-known international sales agents, such as Les Films du Losange, FiGa Films, The Match Factory, Fortissimo Films and New Europe Film Sales.
Melissa van der Schoor, digital content manager for IFFR Unleashed, stated: “One particularly pleasant experience has been the way in which filmmakers are embracing our platform. They share our ambition to make their previous films easily available online, resulting in a steadily increasing film library. At the same time, they are eager to help with the promotion of their films through recorded video messages and the like, thereby underlining our aspiration to be a streaming platform where the filmmakers take centre stage.”
In order to celebrate the first year since the launch of IFFR Unleashed, in January 2019, the platform has set a goal of including 400 films in its library. Also, the subscription option (SVoD), which so far has only been available in Benelux, will be rolled out worldwide, offering viewers the possibility of either paying a monthly fee or continuing to watch on a pay-per-view (TVoD) basis, as is the case today (the USA will not be included in this offer). Finally, a retouching of the website, presented in the last few weeks, has made the navigation experience more user-friendly, and further improvements are in the pipeline.
Bero Beyer, director of the IFFR, commented on the initial results: “It is heartening to see that our new distribution model is gaining traction. The fact that nearly all films have found an audience despite limited marketing shows that the content speaks for itself. We rely on our unique curatorial capacity, and the strong connection between filmmakers and IFFR. This has proven fruitful so far. Our online streaming is a valuable and important addition to the contemporary distribution landscape, and lends a year-round presence to both IFFR and filmmakers by championing their films during the entire year.”
The 48th edition of IFFR will take place from 23 January-3 February 2019.
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