Holdback is a period during which a film is not allowed to be exploited on a different or “competitive” media/business models for a certain time.

Holdbacks periods are mutually negotiated depending on the overall conditions of the distribution deal. Specially in digital distribution there is a tendency to not negotiate them anymore and skip in favor of broad marketing across several forms of exploitation in order to not miss out on the various potential revenue streams.

For example, a film can be on Netflix but not on YouTube or on a streaming service and not in Cinema.

Image on www.sinemite.com a blog about what is a holdback in the film industry.