To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied?
20 marks Evidence, Analysis, Argument
20 marks Examples
10 marks Terminology
In the film industry there are 4 main stages; pre production, production, post production and distribution. personally I strongly argue that distribution is the most important and significant of the 4. But what is distribution? Distribution is the way in which a film is made available to audiences. Previously films were made available firstly at the cinema and then on video or DVD (depending on how far back you view this). However with the introduction of digital distribution the marketing area and consumption faces of film have changed drastically.
With the increasing amount of capabilities in various technological areas over the past few years, more significantly; the internet, mobile phones, tablets and VOD (Video on Demand). Audiences prefer to view films and media products from the comfort of their own home. The reasons for this can be different depending on the individual. Some may find a trip to the cinema tedious, some may prefer the comfort of their home (for example being able to watch these products in bed) and some may prefer the more recent methods of film viewing as the price of these media platforms is generally cheaper than that of a cinema ticket.
Due to digital distribution media institutions benefit more than the previous distribution methods. This is because more audiences can access their products, these audiences tend to be those who find it difficult or uncomfortable going to the cinema. for example the disabled population, the elderly and those who live in relative isolation (with large distances in between themselves and the nearest cinema).
Trends in viewing currently in the UK and moreover the World are largely centred around VOD. This platform of viewing first arrived on the scene with Kingston in 2001, and in the last 15 years has boomed. Although the future seems to hold more success for VOD, problems have been encountered with a portion of the population not paying for media products and streaming and downloading these products from illegal torrent sites. The ﬁlm Mad Max: Fury Road was the most pirated ﬁlm of 2015, it has been illegally downloaded 22.90 million times in 2015. Even though the studios will not get any money from the downloads it shows that many people want to watch the ﬁlm and that one area of the digital distribution that isn't legitimate is working.
Small film institutions benefit from digital distribution greatly, as their smaller budgets tend to rule out their incorporation across screens worldwide with large cinema chains. However these products which tend to be cult films, have planted their feet firmly in the digital market, as VOD the main method of digital viewing is cheaper and can contact the smaller audiences these films target far easier than cinema can.
This is evident with the film Ex Machina. The film had a limited marketing campaign and therefore was not widely noted by audiences across the world. however with it appearing on a variety of VOD services including; I Tunes, Amazon and Sky Go the film attracted some attention. Which was instrumental in it being nominated and winning an ward for the British Independent film award. Which then saw a re-release in cinemas on a larger scale. This manipulation of classic (cinema) and recent media platforms is a key attributer to the film being noted as one of the best films of 2015.
As far as marketing is concerned, the far more cost effective methods of digital distribution suit films such as Ex Machina, the independent- low budget films, massively. This is apparent with the marketing of Ex Machina and the large social media following and attention it received. With the film advertising on social media sites Tinder and Instagram, which coupled with the VOD services it appeared on made a formidable paring, enhancing the recognition the film gathered.
On the other hand the marketing of Mad Max, on platforms such as television, bus stops and billboards was also successful and is more suited to larger budget films, with vast audiences. These methods of marketing are able to contact these audiences with ease, whereas if these techniques were used by Ex Machina, they would not be as effective and would be more costly than the methods they actually chose.
In conclusion I believe the extent of digital distribution that affects marketing and consumption in film differs depending on the budget of the film and the audience size. As lower budget, independent films rely on digital distribution greatly as it offers a large proportion of each products potential profits, due to the capabilities of it being able to contact their smaller audiences easier. Whereas larger budget, 'blockbusters' do not rely on digital distribution as heavily as their counterparts. Although digital distribution for these products can increase and maximise profits further, as these type of products will always generate a profit due to the faces they include (stars), content- usually largely CGI heavy and the size of the audience they appeal to, which is why blockbusters tend to be 4 quadrant films.