The growth of the Internet has made it much easier to find and view independent films. Several corporate services offer access to independent films online for a subscription fee. Organizations and endowments often sponsor this kind of limited release film as well and may provide online access to films with which they were involved. Some directors and producers of independent films offer free or inexpensive access to their work on the Internet, and some older films may have been released into the public domain.
Streaming video and digital video sales are both very lucrative businesses in the modern world. Independent movies may not collect the same amount of money as blockbusters, but their sale and online rental remain lucrative. Most nations have at least one online retailer specializing in offering access to streaming video, and these retailers usually provide access to a large number of independent films online. A typical service requires a monthly fee for access or may offer access on a pay-per-view basis for individual films. Some subscription video and cable services also offer access to independent films online, typically though their associated websites.
Other corporations make a profit by selling digital copies of films via the Internet. These firms generally charge a fixed price for the rights to download a copy of a film and sometimes include the right to download that film again if at any point it is lost from the computer on which it was stored. Some firms may embed digital rights management software into a downloaded independent film to ensure that it is not used illegally.
Non-commercial ways to watch independent films online exist as well. Public television systems, governments, art boards, and other organizations often sponsor the creation of independent films. These agencies frequently offer free or inexpensive online access to films produced with their assistance. They may also partner with the directors or producers of independent films in order to increase the visibility of new films.
Many independent films are made available for free by their creators, who may or may not solicit donations in support of their work. No single process exists to locate these independent films online, but a web search will often turn up information on a director, writer, or producer of a film, allowing a film to be tracked down successfully. Smaller and more obscure works are especially likely to be distributed in this fashion. Some foreign and older films may no longer be under copyright protection and might simply be available on major streaming video websites.