Thursday, 28 April 2016

To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied?

I think digital distribution can have both positive and negative affects on marketing and consumption for films and for the film industry. Over the years, movies have started to be filmed digitally instead of using a 35mm. Now, 9 out of 10 US cinemas have made the switch from 35mm to digital. Filming with digital has plenty of benefits. One of which is that it allows film-makers to review their work instantly, making the process of production a lot quicker. It is also useful when films are shown in cinemas for long amounts of time. Using a 35mm for a long period of time would result in the prints being worn down until they eventually fell apart in the projectors. This is not a risk for digital distribution. Digital distribution has the most well known benefits of allowing wide release, such as Mad Max: Fury Road which was released on thousands of screens at the same time all over the world, as the movie can be released on tens of thousands of screens at the same time across the whole planet, as well as having multi platform release while you're at it (iTunes.) This makes for a larger audience to be reached all at once.

However to have a digital film shown in cinemas, a digital projector must be used which on average can cost between $60,000 and $150,000. This raises an issue for small independent cinemas as they would be unable to afford the digital projectors and therefore are unable to play the films. This will result in a massive decrease in consumption when popular blockbusters are filmed fully in digital, for example The Wolf of Wall Street, which was the first major film to be distributed in digital format only. Another negative is that piracy is easier to do with digital as it is simple to copy and move onto a memory stick etc, whereas a 35mm was actual film and was not stored on computers or other digital technology. This has resulted in the rates of home entertainment increasing as there are now websites such as Megashare and, occasionally, YouTube that play copies of films, negatively impacting consumption for the Box Office. There was a 50% surge in downloads of digital HD formats, this lead to an increase in home entertainment revenue, therefore influencing the methods of distribution in the modern industry; surpassing $1 billion for the first time. 

As for the marketing of films, some rely heavily on digital distribution. For example, Ex Machina, which used almost 100% viral marketing. This is a type of marketing that involves social media sites spreading the marketing through reposts, retweets, status' etc and is free as the audience are marketing the movie themselves. As Ex Machina was a small budget movie, this was extremely beneficial. Therefore without digital distribution, Ex Machina would have had to spend vast amounts of money that they didn't have to market the film, which would have been very risky if the film had not succeeded. Digital distribution also has positive effects for Blockbusters. This is for similar reasons as low budget films, as YouTube and film promoting websites (e.g Rotton Tomatoes) would be unavailable which would be very problematic as these, especially YouTube, are the most used means of marketing. This means that they would have to spend a lot more on posters, adverts etc, which are not as noticed as most people don't really pay attention to them.

In conclusion I think digital distribution has had a massive affect on the marketing and consumption of films. Whilst some of these affects are negative, I think the overall the switch to digital has a generally positive affect on the film industry.

No comments:

Post a Comment