Kickstarter is a viable launching pad for films; Veronica Mars, Indie Game, and plenty of other movies have proven that point. But distributing those movies has resulted in some very specialized (and non-repeatable) approaches to getting copies into backers’ hands. Making sure that these films reached audiences beyond the people who directly contributed to their creation has required each individual filmmaker to negotiate distribution deals.
A few weeks ago, however, Kickstarter announce a deal with iTunes: a new collection within the media store that hosts hundreds of movies launched through Kickstarter. It’s a little unclear how these movies are getting to iTunes, for the record; many filmmakers had already negotiated their own deals with iTunes. But it’s a sign that not only are crowdfunding platforms thinking about how to help creatives get the startup capital necessary to launch a new project, but also to continue selling their products long after ‘graduating’ from the platform.
That long-term look is going to prove incredibly valuable, especially in light of the brand that Kickstarter and some other crowdfunding platforms are building. With ongoing successes to point to, rather than just temporary wins, Kickstarter can strengthen the value of launching on project on its platform, rather than the many competitors that have popped up. The only way that a crowdfunding platform could do better would be to build its own distribution platforms internally — which would be a step away from its core offering and therefore not something I would expect to see.