‘Indie Netflix’ Snagfilms Raises $7M With Plans To Balance Ad Revenues And Pay-Per-View

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January 30, 2012 – 12:40 pm

A little more than a year after raising $10 million from Comcast Interactive Capital among others, independent-focused movie streaming provider SnagFilms has raised an addition $7 million, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka reported.

Unlike Netflix, which continues to resist the notion of ad support to its monthly subscription-based model, SnagFilms has spent the last several months exploring ways of expanding its plans to build revenue beyond the limited sponsorships it has done with backers like Goldman Sachs.

As ATD’s Kafka noted, SnagFilms began its money-making efforts by relying on embeds of its independent documentaries from bloggers and other outside websites. Those outside partners were able to run SnagFilms’ videos for free in return for letting the company sell ads against them.

For the most part, advertising is designed to remain a key part of SnagFilms operations. As it continues to broaden its ad strategy, SnagFilms is primarily betting on driving more dollars from users via more pay-per-view options related to the expanded availability of apps and recently signed  distribution partnerships with Comcast, FiOS, DirecTV. In addition to cable and satellite on-demand channels, SnagFilms is also accessible on Roku, Boxee, Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE for the Xbox 360, Vudu and the Samsung Media Hub.

Last fall, SnagFilms secured deals to put its app on connected TV sets built by Sony (NYSE: SNE), Samsung and Vizio, where it also hopes to find a healthy mix of paid viewers and advertisers.

In an email, SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen told TVExchanger that "free-streamed, ad-supported distribution will always be a central focus for us.  It's the best avenue for most independent films given the constraints of the transactional marketplace (not every title can work there."

He added that the new financing will make it easier for the company add more films and make them available on more devices and platforms. "That's a key driver for our advertising strategy," Allen said. "We then create deeply integrated marketing programs for our sponsorship partners that advance their objectives, and provide revenue to filmmakers."


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January 30, 2012 – 12:40 pm

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