Why Independent?

When you support an independent producer, you support real people. Just like you, they pay their rent from their work. We thank you for that support, and so do they.

Independent film and series are important.  Independent creators have a different approach to storytelling.  They break the formula mold.  They have different viewpoints.  They try different formats.  They bring you new ideas. You deserve to see these ideas, experience these shows.

indepenednt producers have different ideas
photo by Mark Glancy

Facet TV believes that you have the right to see more than the dozen or so "recognizable" cast members that mainstream sells you.  You have the right to see shows that were created by more than the small handful of Hollywood/Burbank producers whom mainstream chooses to work with. There are many thousands of very talented actors in America. You deserve to see them perform, and they deserve to be seen.

Facet TV brings your new and different voices.  We have a lot of new shows coming over the next year. We are sure you will find some you liked.  In fact, we are sure many will find a place among your favorite cast favorite shows of all time.

Facet TV Screen Gems and Facet TV Exclusive Series will premiere only on Facet TV. After their first season, they may stay exclusive, or they may expand out to other platforms.  So you may see them around the web.

But even if you see our shows on Amazon Prime or on other platforms, we encourage you to watch them here. Why?  Because one Facet TV, the creator takes a large share of what you pay to see his or her work.  But on Amazon and other platforms they often get little or nothing at all. In contrast, Amazon pays dearly and in cash to "mainstream" producers for their content.

For example:
Amazon has purchased the rights to stream to distribute Coming 2 America in March, 2021, in a deal worth $125,000,000 (that's correct, 6 zeros).  Amazon is not going to include Coming 2 America among their "included" Amazon prime service. You will pay to see it over and above your Prime membership, or you won't see it.  Amazon will charge the audience enough so that it recovers that $125,000,000, plus a tidy profit for itself, aiming to extract upweards of $220,000,000 from it's audience (in addition to the Amazon prime subscription prices).  On the other hand, Amazonm pays as little as 1¢ per stream to the independent films which are included in your Amazon prime account.

The disparity is even worse than that. Independent filmmakers list on Amazon for free - Amazon does not purchase their streaming rights and then sell the content - they just list the content on their site and use it to generate traffic. Amazon then diverts the traffic to properties which it actually has paid for and wants to sell you, like Coming 2 America. Amazon does not help to market any of the free content it lists. It merely lists the titles and the independent producer is left to bear the costs of marketing. This advertising brings more traffic to Amazon, which again, it diverts to other product whenever it can.

In other words, Amazon pays nothing to the independent filmmakers for the benefit of attracting an audience to Amazon. When it does pay them, it is so low the filmmaker can never recover the costs of the creating the content.

Consider that an independent film may cost, at the extreme low end, $100,000, and often goes as high as several million.  At 1 cent per stream, that $100,000 film must sell 10 million views before it recovers it's costs, not counting the marketing costs. Consider that a very successful $30 million opening weekend for a mainstream film only sells 2 million tickets. You see the disparity.

This is not sustainable.  Nor is it justified.  Independent creators often must use their own finances or those of family and small investors. They should not be coerced into subsidizing the marketing and sales effort of corporations like Amazon who make billions of dollars per year. There must be a better way.

At Facet TV, we are creating a structure that will pay the independent producer a large share of every transaction involving their product. That way, they can recover their costs, make a reasonable profit, and bring more content to you. We want a fair deal for ourselves and for our content creators. We want a sustainable business model that benefits the entire independent industry. We want others to emulate our model. It benefits everyone from producer to audience.

We hope that you will come back to Facet TV often, and see what new offerings we bring you.  And we hope that you will support the independent producers, cast and crew who work so hard to share their creations with you.