There is still a lack of diversity when it comes to narrative and documentary films. That was part of the reason why President and CEO of Amerid Media, Tim Harjo wanted to start NativeFlix, a subscription network that features narrative films, documentaries, series, and children’s...
There is still a lack of diversity when it comes to narrative and documentary films. That was part of the reason why President and CEO of Amerid Media, Tim Harjo wanted to start NativeFlix, a subscription network that features narrative films, documentaries, series, and children’s programs that are created by indigenous filmmakers and actors. He took some time to speak with us about why he chose to set his network up through VHX, and why branded apps are part of their growth strategy.
VHX: What inspired you to start NativeFlix?
Tim Harjo: Basically, there are many movies, TV series, and documentaries that I knew about that were not being offered by TV networks, cable television channels, or online services. Some of these outlets did carry some, but they were far and few between. Even then, most perpetuate negative stereotypes or were made by non-Indigenous people, or from a non-Indigenous perspective.
The tagline for NativeFlix is “Stories For The Generations.” Talk about that more.
The story behind the tagline is that the concept of family, storytelling, stories of old, and new stories that will become timeless, will become known and loved by each new generation. Stories that teach, stories that connect people, friends, and family. Stories that pass on language, culture, and tradition.
Why is it important to bring these stories to a digital subscription network?
Many of the films on NativeFlix have been transferred from tape. With this digitization process, we are helping to preserve these stories for all time. Many stories do not get widespread distribution from one market to the next. We want to overcome these distribution problems. Of course, digital media, mobile devices, and high-speed data networks allow people from across the World to access the content easier than any other time in history.
How are you building your audience?
We are promoting the service with the many media outlets that serve our target market. We also have several affiliate marketing agreements with several companies whose websites generate significant traffic by our target market. Our target market consists of Indigenous peoples from North, South, and Central America, New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
What made you choose VHX to power your network?
We reviewed many different content management platforms and decided that the VHX platform provided the best balance of user experience, content management, and cost for our needs.
What’s been the biggest challenge with building your business?
The biggest challenge with building the business is content acquisition and licensing. It’s a lengthy process that doesn't always end successfully.
How have you spread the word about your network?
Mostly via social media, however, we also attend major conferences and events around the country to get the word out. Many of our filmmakers also get the word out using their networks as well.
Are there any specific campaigns or sales/marketing strategies that you’ve seen success with?
Yes, ad buys on highly trafficked websites by our target market has been effective in bringing significant traffic to our site, which leads to higher levels of subscribers.