[Editor’s Note: This is the introduction to a multi-part series on international distribution and financing of online video from Jeremiah McMillan of Global Content Group. We’ll be releasing one part of the series each week. Stay tuned or subscribe to read the next installment.]

Foreign Money

This is an introduction to a series of articles meant to paint a picture and inform web video producers and content creators about the deals, partnerships, and opportunities available to them abroad. From pre-sale to distribution to foreign partnerships, we’ll explore and examine what international deals look like and how they can work for you.

We’re all aware we’re part of a rapidly changing media landscape. Creative entertainment opportunities are constantly evolving. The traditional business models that finance original TV and digital content have—and are—changing. In most cases, that change is for the better.

Web video is no longer a novelty. The industry has advanced to a point where it’s regarded as an incubator for next-generation creative talent. It’s a barometer for good content, and is evolving to a point where it could breed the world’s next Spielberg, Scorsese, Michael Jackson or Johnny Carson (it already discovered Justin Bieber and Fede Alvarez—the Uruguayan Director of YouTube sensation Panic Attack who inked a seven figure movie deal with Sam Raimi based on his YouTube Video).

The business models supporting that next-generation talent and their productions, however, have not always kept up.

It’s true that independent content creators have experienced a greater amount of financial success each business quarter. Many in the industry feel web video has turned a corner. Certainly, more consistent, stable revenue is an indicator that good times are upon us.

Yet despite all of the good news, more fundamental questions remain.

Is there another way for content creators to make money than ad revenue splits and branded content, while retaining more control and ownership? Is there a financing structure or revenue model that provides a form of consistent development and production for original web video and trans-media entertainment? Is international the answer to all of our problems?

The answers are at best, yes, maybe, and no.

In the following series of articles we’ll focus on emerging web video business models and explain and explore opportunities in international pre-sales and distribution. We’ll look at some success stories, how the foreign film finance model works, how it can be used by indie web producers, and – most important of all – how you can make it all work to your advantage.

2011 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in digital content. Let’s make sure we take full advantage.


Mr. Jeremiah McMillan formed Global Content Group to focus on international content licensing, with emphasis on advising on global digital content and distribution. Before GCG, Mr. McMillan led Soda Entertainment Inc. At Soda Mr. McMillan produced original multi-platform content for global markets that included groundbreaking digital lifestyle, comedy, and travel series with brands and partners that include PALM, Audi, Air Canada and Red Bull.

Mr. McMillan has pursued his passion for international content and digital distribution with GCG pursuing innovative and ground breaking co-production and content partnerships on TV & Digital content that test emerging markets and push new financing and revenue models.

(Pretty foreign currency photo by: Philip Brewer)

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