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IndieFlix Trying to Make Filmmakers Money One App at a Time

IndieFlix starts streaming 1,000 titles on Microsoft's Xbox Live to expand digital audience.

Few independent films get seen, let alone make money. But IndieFlix is looking to change that — one app at a time — by putting its library of titles in front of more audiences online.

This week, that involves Microsoft’s Xbox Live, with an app on the videogame console launching today that will offer up 1,000 films to stream.

To watch the films, individuals will need both an IndieFlix and Xbox Live membership.

More viewers means more money for filmmakers putting their pics on the service.

IndieFlix shares revenues it receives through what it calls a “Royalty Pool Minutes” model in which filmmakers get paid for every minute watched by a subscriber.

“The sheer size of the Xbox market catapults indies into the limelight,” said filmmaker and IndieFlix CEO and co-founder Scilla Andreen.

There are now 46 million subscribers who pay $60 a year to access video and other content on Xbox Live. Xbox users watched and played 18 billion hours of entertainment last year, Microsoft said, with usage of apps on the console growing 57% in 2012.

That’s certainly a lot of digital coin should IndieFlix be able to entice Xbox Live’s users to steer away from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon — and their games, of course.

The Xbox Live deal will actually make IndieFlix’s short and full-length features, documentaries and web series available in six countries: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It also has a similar streaming deal with Roku.

“We think the Xbox audience ‘gets’ independent film,” Andreen said. “We believe they’ll love the original content and appreciate the raw creativity of these fiercely independent artists who work outside of the ‘system’ to make the movies they want to make – no need for permission or bowing to someone else’s editorial control.”

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