A Hulu success story

I'm fairly certain this is the most successfully named movie in Hulu's catalog. Not that you need to make a movie with "sex" in the title to hit it big, but given the powerful bloc of young males voting with their mouse clicks and search queries, it was a built-in advantage. You still need to make something people want to watch; attracting that first click doesn't get you the full check, but with each ad break you keep a viewer through earns you additional revenue.

Still, the naming shouldn't be discounted here. The filmmaker Stevie Long didn't know his movie would end up on Hulu so it may just be chance, but knowing your distribution medium and tailoring something to break through on that medium is something more independent artists looking to break through should consider. When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, he specifically wanted a name for the company that began with the letter A because so many directories for the web were organized alphabetically back then. Being on page 1 was a big deal.

Strictly Sexual is also a testament to the power of free, or in this case, semi-free. There are many sites that will charge you $5 for an online rental of indie films, but if you're an independent filmmaker who thinks someone will drop $5 on a movie they've never heard of, you're likely overvaluing monetary payback and undervaluing exposure. But Long's example shows you don't always have to trade off between the two. Per CNN, he's reinvesting his profits into his next film, "Porn Star: The Ugly Life of a Beautiful Girl," which he'll release directly on the internet.

Why mess with the formula?