From screenings to streaming: How IndieFlix leverages offline events to grow their online video business

Finding room to grow in the over-the-top (OTT) streaming space can seem daunting, especially when 91% of households subscribe to the dominating players: Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. Yet creators and businesses of all shapes and sizes are finding success with distributing niche content online. Take IndieFlix — a company focused on promoting and supporting social impact films and filmmakers. With tens of thousands of subscribers (and more joining every month), IndieFlix is a prime example of how with some creative thinking and marketing, niche content can find success in the OTT and live video space. We sat down with CEO and Co-Founder, Scilla Andreen, to learn more.

After pivoting from DVDs to streaming, Scilla was managing a team of developers to maintain their online films. She quickly found that the energy and resources it took to manage it on their own was at the expense of IndieFlix’s core mission: to create and distribute content for good.

“As we grew, it became a little too much,” Scilla says. “Am I going to focus on the technology piece, or am I going to focus on the marketing and content creation? The best way to grow the company would be to find a partner to support our back-end infrastructure.” By partnering with Vimeo OTT, IndieFlix has been able to refocus their efforts on creating films on social impact, and using them as conversation starters in communities around the world.

Learn more about their decision to work with Vimeo OTT in this highlight:

Marketing strategies for video businesses

Like many small and scrappy teams, IndieFlix has a limited marketing budget. They rely on social media, a weekly email newsletter, employee benefit programs, and Vimeo OTT’s promo codes to draw in new and maintain existing customers. But their greatest driver of marketing success stems not from a digital outlet, but rather in-person events. IndieFlix partners with schools and communities to screen their films. An open conversation follows, and attendees want to continue learning well after the event ends. Where do they go? Back to IndieFlix.com.

For example, Angst, an IndieFlix original documentary, focuses on the challenges many people face in coping with and managing anxiety; thousands of people have seen the film in screenings around the world. In an effort to further the conversation around normalizing anxiety, IndieFlix is launching a follow-up series to the film exclusively on their Vimeo OTT platform. Attendees who learn about IndieFlix at an offline event are driven back to their OTT platform, subsequently increasing their online subscriber base.

In addition to driving attendees back to their digital offerings, Scilla is planning to leverage live streaming as part of their next film, to bring their customers closer to the behind-the-scenes creation process.

Finally, some sound advice for those looking to dive into the OTT space:

Learn more about IndieFlix’s marketing tactics, as well as what advice Scilla has for those looking to jump into OTT and live streaming, in our full webinar below:

If you’re interested in exploring IndieFlix for yourself, they’re offering an exclusive discount just for our readers: use code angst to get 33% off your monthly subscription, for up to 12 months.

Vimeo provides an all-in-one OTT technology solution — from white-label apps to flexible monetization tools — for individuals and businesses to create branded video subscription services across all major platforms and connected devices. Learn more about starting your own OTT channel with our free resources today.

Marketing Best Practices: Why Not Just Stream To Facebook Live?

While Facebook Live should be a part of your overall livestreaming strategy, it’s important to diversify your distribution channels. A few things to consider as you build your live video strategy:

Variety is the Spice of Life: Go To Facebook (But Go Everywhere Else Too)

Most brands do not post updates to only one social media network. Similarly, why only stream your video to one platform? Facebook Live is an easy-to-use tool but should be considered but one tool in your diverse streaming distribution tool box. While there are one billion people in the world on Facebook, that means there are another seven billion NOT on Facebook. With Livestream you can also use tools like Livestream Audience Booster to reach people around the web with your stream on sites like ESPN and CNN. Build a strategy that reaches your audience in a number of different locations. Using syndication tools like those built into the Livestream platform, you don’t have to pick and choose. You can push content to all platforms at once and ensure you’re not missing key segments of your audience.

Convert Facebook Viewers Into Your Audience + Customers

While Facebook has the reach, your ultimate goal should be getting people back to your website. Turn viewers into traffic by hyping or sampling content on Facebook Live while encouraging them to head back to your page. Additionally, if you are using cookie tracking or retargeting in your marketing strategy, you can only track the people watching video on your site. By driving Facebook audiences back to your site you can collect much more information about your audience. And, of course, you can turn your audience into that most important outcome that you are hoping for – customers of your business!

Control The Message

With Facebook Live, you don’t have as much control over the viewing experience. Watching your video in a fully branded portal with custom calls to action is more likely to convert. Viewers are less likely to be distracted by notifications or other things happening on the platform. In fact, based on a recent survey we conducted, viewers prefer to engage content on a branded destination for just that reason. 40% of audiences want to watch live video NOT on social media, but at a dedicated web destination.

Shifting Sands

What Facebook undeniably has, and what won’t change in the near future, is reach. Streaming to Facebook Live immediately gives you access to millions of eyeballs where they already are, which is good marketing distribution 101.

In the past two years, Facebook’s algorithm has changed 24 times – an average of one update per month. Marketers and brands never know how Facebook’s feed algorithm will shift in the future, making it an unsteady place to build a brand or content strategy on its own. As all social media platforms change based on audience interests and behavior, it’s hard to build a reliable strategy when you don’t control the platform.

Support + Quality

A stream on Facebook is not optimized for large-screen or high-quality viewership. Video quality is the most important factor for 67% of viewers when watching a livestream broadcast.

If there are any issues with your stream – or your stream is taken down for any reason – there is no one to call at any large social media platform. Many large companies stream on multiple platforms to account for any outages caused by electricity, bandwidth, or the platform. When streaming to more than one player/platform, you have a back up to direct your audience to in case of emergency. Additionally, dedicated streaming platforms like Livestream offer round the clock support for Premium and Enterprise customers. If you have issues with your stream, we’re a phone call away.


Our free guide, “Live Streaming for Social Media,” is the perfect crash course for organizations of any size. Download the guide to learn:

  • How to connect with viewers on Facebook Live and other social media platforms.
  • Why Facebook Live should be part – but not all – of your live streaming strategy.
  • How to stream to Facebook Live.
  • How to analyze the success of your live video.

DOWNLOAD THE LIVE STREAMING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDE.