However, in our analysis we failed to anticipate one important and worrying new trend: the decline of the cultural relevance of movies, in response to the competition for audience attention brought forth by the flood of original content from Netflix and Amazon. According to Rotten Tomatoes' audience appreciation scores, the top shows on those platforms often significantly outperform the biggest movie releases.
The art of marketing the latest movies seems to have lost its way, with independent films struggling to find funding and an audience outside of the acquisitions made by the streaming giants. I wrote about why movie marketing and distribution need to change in order to preserve (as much as possible) the relevance of film in the face of so many digital rivals in a recent opinion piece for The Drum.
In order to go much more in depth and provide an overview for various industry stakeholders- including producers, distributors and exhibitors- we have recently published a third chapter to our ebook, Winning Your Audiences: Marketing Movies In The Connected World. In this new section we look at the most significant trends set to impact the film industry over the next 5 years, and make predictions regarding their development and outcome. The trends we analyse include:
1. Smashing the box office window
2. The rise of VOD
3. New masters from Silicon Valley
Our main observation is that the business of distribution needs to innovate quickly over the next few years. The internet and digital technologies are in the process of massively disrupting the movie industry; the distributors’ traditional role as gatekeepers is being challenged more than ever.
In Chapter 3 of Winning Your Audiences (available as a free download HERE) we examine the change that will be required for the modernisation of the distribution process in this increasingly fragmented landscape. We also identify the principal stakeholders within the industry and assess what each of them should be doing.
In the concluding section of the book we look at Blockchain, the foundation of Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. We make the argument that Blockchain could fundamentally solve many of the important challenges we have highlighted.