The Business of Media Distribution: Monetizing Film, TV, and Video Content in an Online World, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Business of Media Distribution

Monetizing Film, TV, and Video Content in an Online World, 2nd Edition

By Jeffrey C. Ulin


626 pages

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Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780240824239
pub: 2013-09-26
Hardback: 9781138128781
pub: 2015-09-29
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780240824543
pub: 2013-10-15
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Learn how an idea moves from concept to profits and how distribution dominates the bottom line of an industry otherwise grounded in high profile elements (production, creative, law, finance, and marketing).

In this updated edition of a bestselling industry staple, experienced media executive Jeff Ulin relates business theory and practice across key global market segments—film, television, video, and online/digital—providing you with an insider’s perspective that can't be found anywhere else. This new edition:

    • Includes perspectives from key industry executives at studios, networks and online leaders, including Fox, Paramount, Lucasfilm, USA Network, BSkyB, YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft and many more
    • Analyzes online influences throughout the distribution chain and explains the impact made by the growth of apps, tablets, smart-phones, social media, social gaming, and over-the-top delivery
    • Discusses the growth of Digital Cinema and the related distribution of 3D movies.
    • Explores changes in the home video business and growth of on-demand (VOD) and on-the-go access to content
    • Illustrates how online services like Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Hulu are changing the way TV content is distributed and consumed, and why they are producing their own original series
    • Breaks down historical film windows, the economic drivers behind them, and how online and digital delivery applications are changing the landscape.
    • Features a companion website (, which includes additional material demystifying how projects are developed and profits calculated

Hollywood stars may make the headlines, but marketing and distribution are the behind the scenes drivers converting content into cash. Regardless of your background and training, The Business of Media Distribution, Second Edition delivers the business practices and virtual apprenticeship you need to understand and manage the complicated media markets and how digital distribution is impacting traditional methods.


For anyone generally interested in how networks and studios make money and put money at risk, from the TV shows and movies they produce to the novel challenges they’re facing today, this book provides a unique overview and a glimpse into the future.

—Blair Westlake, Corporate Vice-President Media & Entertainment, Microsoft

Jeff Ulin brings his practical experience and academic understanding of today’s complicated media world together to provide us with a comprehensive guide to navigating a world that changes almost daily!

—Marion Edwards, President, 20th Century Fox International Television

It's very difficult to find a text that gives both a comprehensive overview of the history of the entertainment industry as well as informed insight into its future landscape. Nothing out there does it better.

—Judd Funk, Former Head of Legal Affairs, Universal Pictures; Associate Professor, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, and School of Law, Chapman University

Anyone who wants to know more about how films and TV shows are distributed and exploited can learn a huge amount from this book.

——Jim Morris, Pixar Animation Studios General Manager, EVP, Production and Producer, Wall•E; Former President, Industrial Light & Magic

Jeff Ulins broad spectrum of expertise, spanning all aspects of motion picture and television distribution, from theatrical to home entertainment to new media and television licensing, render him uniquely qualified to illuminate the business side of the entertainment business.

—Hal Richardson, President of Paramount Worldwide Television

The entertainment industry is an industry with ongoing challenges with constant change. Jeff provides a road map to see where you are going by understanding where you started.

—Louis Feola, Former President Universal Home Video, and Paramount Famous Productions

This is the book that everyone in the business has been waiting for Jeff’s seen it all, and has written a must-read book for those wanting to understand the jigsaw of media distribution and in what ways the web is influencing how, when and where money is made.

—Michael Uslan, Executive Producer, Batman, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight

Jeff Ulin’s book is a must read for practitioners, academics and potential investors in the new media space. Having worked in all segments of the industry, Ulin brings together a unique combination of experience and analytical rigor to deconstruct the driving forces of an industry in dynamic change.

—Pablo Spiller, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor of Business and Technology, Haas School of Business.

Ulin expertly depicts the fluid nature of content creation and distribution in a concise and understandable way. Theres never been a better insiders look at the choices and challenges that studio executives face every day.

—Gary Marenzi, Former President, MGM Worldwide Television

Every Silicon Valley start-up working with Hollywood needs to know what Jeff knows. With his knowledge, youre better able to fast forward the future of online video. Without it, you risk being stuck on pause.

—Kevin Yen, Former Director, Strategic Partnerships YouTube

I couldn’t help but be impressed at how up-to-date the book was… [T]his book manages to provide a mine of useful practical information in an interesting and enjoyable style.

—Jim Slater, Cinema Technology

Table of Contents

Market Opportunity and Segmentation; Intellectual Property Assets Enabling Distribution; Financing Production; Theatrical Distribution; The Home Video Business; Television Distribution; Internet Distribution, Downloads, and On-Demand Streaming; Ancillary Revenues; Marketing; Making Money

About the Author

Jeffrey C. Ulin has worked as a media executive, attorney, lecturer, and entrepreneur. Half of his 20+ years in the film business have been at Lucasfilm, where he headed worldwide distribution for all markets (theatrical, video, TV, online), managed sales for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and oversaw the release of the last Star Wars film made by George Lucas, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He also helped manage Paramount and Universal’s overseas video distribution venture; co-founded and ran animation studio Wildbrain Entertainment, where he created Disney’s pre-school hit Higglytown Heroes; and navigated the convergence of digital media at Silicon Valley’s most renowned law firm (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati). Jeff sits on advisory boards of media start-ups and has used the book to teach the class Media & Entertainment: Economics, Policy, and Strategy at the Hass School of Business, the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently based in Amsterdam, working as General Counsel of Irdeto, a global leader in media delivery and security solutions.

About the Series

American Film Market Presents

American Film Market Presents

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General

Author's Website

The Author's website is available at:



Why not download our Routledge FreeBook The Business of Show Business for Creatives? This resource contains a chapter from The Business of Media Distribution, along with a wealth of other information on getting your film to market.

Click here for more information, and to access this FreeBook.