To what extent has the internet played a significant role in the marketing and exchange of media products in the area you have studied?
- Internet has revolutionized the way films and other media products have been distributed.
- Internet has many good and bad side effects.
- The internet is used widely for the marketing and exchange of products.
On Demand Services
- Video on demand services have broadened the audience for the products.
- Video on demand services have made the products widely available and easier than ever.
- In my case study Star Wars: The Force Awakens, free online VoD services such as YouTube used for trailers.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens made use of the “Disney Movies Anywhere” – A private subscription VoD service days before the DVD and BluRay.
- Similarly, Special Correspondents is a Ricky Gervais film produced specifically for the Netflix subscription VoD services.
- The Film4 production “A Field in England” was distributed by the vertical-integrated 4DVD company, throughout online transactional VoD services such as iTunes.
- The production sold 1,462 copies of the film via these VoD services.
- The internet allows for the easier-to-access, added content.
- The internet allows for a large range of added content types, such as websites and other online media types.
- “A Field in England” hosted a Q&A session, that was streamed and uploaded to the internet.
- Ben Wheatly, the director for “A Field in England” produced an online seminar of filmmaking, which was provided for free to the public.
- Lucasfilm, the producer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, partnered with tech giant Google to provide film-themed services in the time up to the release of the film.
- This allowed users to change to the “Light” or “Dark” side, which would change the theme of the Google page.
- Disney partnered with Verizon to produce a Google Cardboard (virtual reality).
The internet has revolutionised the way films and other media products have been distributed for cinema and home viewing. The internet is widely used for the marketing and exchange of products, which brings many good side effects. Equally, the internet has flaws which produce bad side effects to companies and productions. 3.2 Billion people in the world have access to the internet, so it is becoming an important thing for the film industry to target.
Video on demand (VoD) services have broadened the audience for media products. VoD has developed rapidly over the recent years, to allow for cinema-quality exhibitions from everyday objects such as a mobile phone or laptop computers. VoD services have made media products easier to watch than ever. Advancements allow viewers to watch the content anywhere and any time, without even the need for internet.
In my case study, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, trailers were published periodically on free VoD services such YouTube. Services such as YouTube allow for an easy wide audience, and also allow videos to be turned into adverts which viewers of other videos cannot instantly skip, and occasionally cannot skip at all. Disney, the production company behind the movies, run their own VoD service named “Disney Movies Anywhere”. This VoD service allows for quality (up to 1080p) content to be streamed to any device the viewer owns. The service also allows for the content to be downloaded and watched through their mobile and desktop apps. Disney released Star Wars: The Force Awakens on DVD and BluRay days after they released it on their VoD service “Disney Movies Anywhere”.
Special Correspondents is a Ricky Gervais film produced specifically for the Netflix subscription VoD service. This gave Netflix the upper hand when working with the film, which meant that viewers who wanted to see the film were forced to own, purchase or trial the Netflix system. This also gave Netflix considerable control over the advertising of the film, as they could easily focus advertisement for the film on currently subscribed customers, for free through their own e-mailing-list system. This also meant that Netflix did not need to scatter-advertise as much as other films, as a wide audience for the film were already members of their own system.
A Field In England is a Film4 production which was produced in 2012. The film was distributed by the vertical-integration of the Channel 4 company, by the 4DVD sub-company. The film was distributed via online transactional VoD service such as iTunes and Google Play. The film was also exhibited for free on the Channel 4 television channel. Although the film was screened for free, the film still sold 1,462 copies via these VoD services. Many of these copies were sold to foreign territories, which shows how widespread the VoD services have become, and how they can assist media assets during distribution.
The internet has allowed films to provide and produce added content for viewers. The internet allows for lots of different types of material to be hosted, including websites, news-articles, video clips and other such content. This enables a wide scope for content to be added and provided to users of the internet.
A Field in England’s director hosted a Question and Answer (Q&A) session live in a theatre, which was streamed and uploaded to the internet. This allowed for viewers and fans of the film and director to discover more information about the film and its creative processes. Ben Wheatley, the director of the film, also produced an online seminar of filmmaking, which was uploaded and distributed to the public for free. This increased publicity for the film, which was premiered after the seminar was uploaded to the internet.
Lucasfilm, the producer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, partnered with Google, a sub-organisation of the world-wide tech giant Alphabet Inc. The two organisations provided film-themed services in the time up to the release the film, which increased global awareness of the production. Users of the Google services could choose to join the Light or Dark sides of the internet, which took inspiration from the movie series. The choices made by the users would ultimately change the layout, design and other small features of their Google-based browsing habits. This acted as a symbiotic partnership, as it increased awareness of the film, and also meant that users spent longer, or changed to Google as this took place.
Disney, another one of the production companies behind the film partnered with the North American mobile network provider Verizon. The pair produced a Google Cardboard application, which users allowed users to simulate the film’s world within a low-cost virtual reality setup. Many users have never used the Google Cardboard device, so Disney and Verizon targeted this gap. Users who had not used the device before would download this app and would be able to experience the universe. This application was released for free to the public, which ultimately increased awareness.
Ping Pong, a 2012 film produced by Britdoc hosted an online website which encouraged people to get into the sport of ping-pong. The website featured location search features and guides so that people could get into the sport. Directors and producers of the film also hosted a Q&A session, where it’s transcript was posted on the website. The website was also used to display the trailer for the film, and a direct purchase for the film’s DVD.
Ultimately, the internet plays a large role in the marketing and exhibition of films. It allows for a large amount of views from internet-users, which eases the marketing of films, for a cheaper price. The internet also plays a large role in the exhibition of films, allowing for the streaming to private devices, and for public cinemas. This has ultimately revolutionised the marketing and exhibition of films, which which provides a lot more control to film companies, cinemas and viewers.