Online Ad Budget Calculator

Almost all of our independent film clients have questions about the appropriate size of their respective digital advertising budgets. It’s a tough question mainly because there isn’t a simple, one-size-fits-all answer. Of course, it would be great to have unlimited resources but, as I’m sure many of you reading this already know, that is almost never the case when it comes to independent artists.

And that’s why Smarthouse created our online ad budget calculator tool!

Ad Calc Image.jpeg

This tool is primarily designed to support independent filmmakers and artists launching their content, but the Video on Demand option could also work for product launches, album releases, and similar.

Video on Demand Ad Calculator

On Demand.jpeg

The Video on Demand ad calculator operates on a simple break-even framework that takes into account a variety of essential variables, including filmmaker split, pricing strategy, budget, cost-per-click, and target conversion rate. Each variable is controlled by its respective slider, which updates the expected outcomes in real time.

Theatrical/Event Ad Calculator


The Theatrical/Event ad calculator functions on the same break-even principle as the VOD calculator, but also introduces two ticket inventory variables (Total Tickets Available Per Screening and Total Screenings in the Run) to better reflect the “revenue ceiling” inherent in a real world, time sensitive event.

This is a free planning tool that is available on our website here. Please use it to estimate the optimal budget required to successfully launch your new project, but remember that this tool does not take into account the more subjective ad elements of creative and copy. Without images and text that will appeal to your target audience, your bottom-line outcomes will likely not be realized. However, if you have the right creative elements in place, this tool will help you not overspend when it comes to your advertising budget. It will also help ensure you maximize the ROI of each advertising dollar that you spend to get the word out about your project.

For more on ad targeting and A/B testing of creative, please check out this case study for a documentary film that we recently helped launched on iTunes.