ADVERTISEMENT to distribute Little Johnny the Movie via online platforms

Online agency is set to distribute its first feature film across several online platforms next month: Little Johnny the Movie.

The animated comedy, which premiered at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April, will be distributed on platforms such as iTunes, Hulu, Google TV, Amazon and YouTube Video on Demand.

The Melbourne-based was established three months ago by producer Steve Kearney and music industry veterans Mark Rochelle and Justin Stanford. The company also handles online distribution of soundtracks and concert footage.

“We’re trying to drag the film business into the 21st century,” Kearney said. “Music guys think the film industry’s distribution methods are archaic – film is five to 10 years behind the music industry.”

Little Johnny the Movie has been distributed via an unconventional strategy designed to return a greater proportion of profit to investors. The producers – Instinct Entertainment – also worked with's sister company on the social media campaign.

“The film is a perfect fit for us: they’ve taken a very non-traditional path and they’re happy to take a longer tail on it.”

Platforms such as iTunes – the most popular online platform in Australia – acquire content via intermediary companies and generally take a 25 per cent cut of the retail price. charges no up-front fees for its service but takes a 25 per cent cut of the remainder. Filmmakers receive returns from sales each quarter.  

The approximate 50 per cent cut of the retail price is well above the level private investors or producers can expect via traditional theatrical distribution. However, marketing of the film rests in the hands of the filmmaker.

"It puts the power back in the hands of the filmmakers," Kearney said.

He also said is talking to smaller distributors about bringing their slate to online platforms and to filmmakers who may have old 35mm or 16mm prints that are no longer widely available (the company has a deal with Complete Post to digitise content).

Kearney will be a presenter at the SPAA Conference 360 Market next month in Sydney.

Contact this reporter at or on Twitter at @bcswift.  

  1. This is an obviously naive question – but are their claims actually accurate?

    OK – they have a deal with iTunes, and they are adamant that they will accept anything for ‘distribution’ (well – content aggregation really).

    But that isn’t iTune’s business model right now (although it may be in the future). Has iTunes seriously said “Here’s a way that will get your film onto iTunes even if the film is rubbish”?

    That is the total opposite of iTunes strategy – so it makes me worried if ‘Distribeautiful’ truly do have the deal they think they do.

    They can resolve this concern with a simple answer – list 3 films that they have put onto iTunes.

    They say that “We will have your content up on the platforms within 6 to 8 weeks” – and the site has been active since early August. So there must be plenty of success stories.

    Or – in fact – they haven’t done it yet. Which is fine – but they need to be upfront about it rather than imply that it is something they already do.


  2. .. This is just a followup from my earlier comment.

    It will be great when this turns out to be real.

    But I have seen so many distributors who promise exactly the same thing. But the moment you ask for examples where they have achieved what they are promising you there is just silence.

    Sometimes they stutter and mumble about ‘confidentiality’ – and how every film ever made has a big logo at the end (or the beginning) announcing who the distributor is .. but somehow his new distributor is alone in insisting on complete confidentiality of their successes. So they’d love to tell you about their success stories – but can’t.

    Sadly content aggregation is probably the big growth industry right now – and I’m sure this company will succeed.

    But I guess I’m getting old and cynical .. I’ve heard it all before.

    When it ends up on iTunes I’ll be singing a different .. err .. tune.

    Good luck,


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *