1. Kickstarter While the impact Kickstarter has had on indie film financing and distribution is hardly a new story, no list would be complete without a mention of this massively influential crowd-funding platform. Kickstarter claims no ownership over the projects it helps, opting instead for a percentage of funds raised. According to Wikipedia, as of July 03, 2012, there were over 62,000 launched projects (3,973 in progress), with a success rate of 44%. The completed successful projects had raised a total of $229M.
In short: crowd sourced exhibition. Tugg is a platform that allows users to create film events at their local theaters, and harness their social networks to drive the required RSVP numbers that allow the film to play. It takes the risk of distributing a small film off the exhibitors (attendance is guaranteed) and offers a new self-distribution model for independent filmmakers while bringing unique films to local theaters. When Tugg works, everyone wins.
Considered one of the leaders in social entertainment, Milyoni helps customers convert social media fans into paying customers. They have created "social VOD experiences"--featuring a VOD movie enhanced with games and sharable features--for Miramax (Pulp Fiction), Magnolia Pictures (Marley) and Universal Pictures (The Big Lebowski). In partnership with Starz Media they recently launched the first every 3D movie on Facebook (Dimension's Piranha 3DD) day and date with its theatrical release. Milyoni is betting on Facebook as the next great place to watch movies and they are leading the charge to make the experience unique and social.
Filling the gaps of digital self-distribution and digital bonus features, MoPix allows content creators of all kinds (independent filmmakers, chefs, fitness instructors) to distribute video and related content via the app equivalent of special edition DVD's. Numbers show that digital ownership is having a tough time catching on but this kind of thinking may help reverse the trend.
Buzz-worthy social TV startup Viggle is built around a loyalty rewards program for watching TV that offers real world rewards--from movie tickets to gift cards at iTunes and Amazon--for watching your favorite shows. The longer you keep watching (Viggle's finger-printing technology can tell) the more you earn. I would not be surprised if companies like this start seeing chunks of studio P&A spends in the near future.