Sundance Marks Dawn of Pay per Stream Era < Streaming

Sundance Film Festival welcomes 2010 by embracing digital distribution of independent films and making it easier to digitally access the Festival this year.

For years now, the Sundance Film Festival has stood behind the idea that shorts filmmakers who post their work online are not only okay to screen to an audience in Park City, but are in many ways encouraged to utilize both forms due to the limited opportunities that routinely exist for short films. Sometimes, perhaps often, online audiences are different than the crowds that attend film festivals, and at other times, the screening experience simply works differently in a packed audience than it does in the solitude of one’s apartment, home or office, etc. While not everybody is hip to films being exhibited in both mediums (at least simultaneously), more and more festivals are in support of letting the films live and thrive in both worlds.

via The Digital Distribution of Short Films (An Art in Itself) | Sundance Festival 2010.

And there is no better example than Bass Ackwards

The film, which will premiere at the festival, will be available for purchase and download digitally Feb. 1 through New Video and Zipline Entertainment at digital retailers and via cable video-on-demand and DVD-on-demand. The regular DVD release, complete with bonus material, will follow in the spring.

via Bass Ackwards gets unusual release pattern – 1/5/2010 – Video Business.

On the VOD, Sundance is also providing its cable offering with some entries from this year’s film festival on the same day they premier in Utah:

Sundance Selects reaches about 40 million homes on major cable systems including Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, Time Warner, plus satellite provider Direct TV. It’s owned by Rainbow Media. An offshoot of Rainbow’s Sundance Channel, which was created with Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, and run by IFC Films, the platform debuted in August 2009 with Spike Lee’s Passing Strange The Movie.

via Sundance Selects Gets 3 Films From 2010 Festival For VOD Platform – 2010-01-08 17:00:47 | Multichannel News

Not only is Sundance spreading the word about independent filmmakers, they are also sharing the wealth.  You have no doubt heard about Youtube announcing its partnership with Sundance.

The Google-owned video site debuted online movie rentals today on a very limited basis, allowing users to rent five different flicks from the Sundance Film Festival using their Google Checkout accounts

via YouTube Debuts Movie Rentals

But that was only one of many announcement, stories, and rumors concerning the monetization of online video last week.  After the Transition rounds out the top five with these other links, in no particular order:

Boxee puts it best, paraphrasing: everyone want to more over-the-top (OTT) content, Content owners want to be paid and these shouldn’t be conflicting interests.  Mike Berkley like the idea.  So should you.

Fret not, there is still some free online video, it is still primarily used as a marketing tool and Sundance is making some non-film premiere events available to live streaming courtesy of Ustream.  NewTeeVee put out a schedule on where to watch, last week. And you have options, including

Of course, if you prefer you are still paying for cable, and prefer your coverage over that media Sundance Channel will offer plenty.  Check your local cable listing to find where you may watch.  Otherwise, there is plenty OTT available.  For free.  For now.  Happy viewing

via YouTube – 2010 Sundance Film Festival FILM GUIDE

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