When I first blogged about film distribution site Jaman, I noted that the company had carved out a niche for itself in a crowded market by focusing on independent and international films. Jaman’s deal with Paramount means the site will host mainstream content–and that it will now have to compete heavyweights like Apple, Wal-Mart, Netflix, and Amazon.
As Chris Albrecht points out in his analysis of the deal at NewTeeVee, it’s possible that there wasn’t much money in the indie film distribution market. But Jaman’s content is what differentiated it from the other film distributors already out there. Jaman almsot certainly hopes the Paramount deal will bring them a larger audience and more revenue, but we’re not so sure viewers will go to Jaman to watch Mean Girls when they can watch it on iTunes.
Jaman CEO Gaurav Dhillon told Andy in an interview at OnHollywood,
which I’ve republished, that he thinks ad-supported content will be a
more popular business model than online rentals and purchases in the
future. Jaman already offers a number of free, ad-supported movies, and
if it made its Paramount flicks free–even if it’s not yet profitable
to do it that way–it might stand a real chance at building a
mainstream audience. So far it looks like Jaman has instead opted to
make these films more expensive, charging a $3.99 rental fee instead of
the usual $1.99.
—Kelsey Blodget, Associate Producer