Media Ownership Essay

To what extent does media ownership have an impact on the successful distribution of media products in the media area that you are supposed to have studied.

 

Introduction

  • Media ownership integration etc makes distribution easier. Many companies are owned by the larger companies in the film industry. 86% of the film industry and products originate somewhat from the big 6.
  • The big 6 are the most influential companies in the media industry. They are the 6 biggest companies in the world.
  • The 6 biggest companies are integrated horizontally and vertically. Disney owns many different sub-companies, which feature the vertical integration system. They also operate in the horizontal integration.

The Big 6

  • Big 6 companies.
  • Different, smaller companies.
  • Easier to distribute.
  • Tentpole releases vs standard releases.

 

  • Lucasfilm & Disney – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    • Tentpole release by Disney. 306$ million budget.
    • Generated 163.6$ million in revenue (in the UK).
    • Generated 2$ billion worldwide.
    • Lucasfilm is owned by Disney – worth 169$ billion
    • The film was distributed by Walt Disney Studios – vertical integration.

 

  • Film 4 Productions – A Field in England
    • Budget of £316,879. £112,000 for P&A.
    • Theatrically screened in 17 cinemas on 5th July.
    • Theatrical distributor was Picturehouse cinemas.
    • Also screened non-theatrically via the Film 4 TV channel.
    • The Film 4 TV channel is owned by Channel Four TV corp.
    • Film 4 Productions is owned by Channel Four TV corp.

 

Draft Essay

Media ownership is, in today’s world, a large thing. Large players in the media industry are conglomerates of larger organizations, known as The Big 6. These big 6 integrate with all different types of media, especially the film industry. The big 6 are the most influential media companies in the world, with up to 86% of the film industry originating from some stage of their integration. The big 6 utilise horizontal and vertical integration methods, which allow them to operate easier, and for their processes to flow smoother.

The big 6.

The big 6 is made up of large companies such as Time Warner, GE, News-corp, Viacom, Disney and CBS. These companies work by the use of lots of smaller companies. Disney operates Pixar, Miramax, Marvel Studios and many more, which allow them to produce a large amount of content. The big 6 also operate with their own distribution and production assets, which are also usually integrated vertically into the conglomeration.

For these big 6, many different productions are produced yearly, with some even coming out every few months. These big six companies work with both tentpole releases and standard releases; those releases that are a large proportion of the total income, and those that are not. Usually, tentpole releases are stuffed with large operating budgets, and large prints and advertising budgets. The smaller standard releases, are usually smaller gambles, which have a substantially smaller budget.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Disney, one of the big 6 produced Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film was also produced by Lucasfilms. It was one of Disney’s Tentpole releases, with a budget of £236,787,126 million. In the UK alone, the film generated $+ million in revenue, although worldwide it generated in excess of $2 billion. The film was distributed by Walt Disney Studios, a vertical-integrated conglomerate of Disney. Similarly, the second producing company, Lucasfilm, is also owned by Disney. The film was another addition to the series of films, which were all produced by Lucasfilm, and rights also owned by them. This produced a great advantage for Disney over other companies – they had lots of previous experience distributing the same film.

A Field in England

Film 4 Productions created the smaller film A Field in England. Like Disney, Film 4 are part of a larger network, with experience in distributing smaller films and less-popular content. This film had a budget of £316,879 and a P&A spend of £112,000. The film theatrically screened in 17 cinemas on the 5th July. The film was also non-theatrically screened via the use of the Film 4 television channel. Film 4 Productions is owned by the Channel Four TV corporation, along with the Film 4 TV channel. In terms of distribution, this gave the film a large head-start. The film reached 367,000 viewers from the TV broadcast alone. The cinema screenings brought at least 8,000 views, which in comparison is a tiny amount – 2.1%. Without this broadcast, a much smaller pool of viewers would have actually seen the film.

Ping Pong!

Smaller companies can also be successful in film-distribution. One such example is Ping Pong, a film produced by Banyak Films and Britdoc in synergy. The two companies worked together to produce the film, and Britdoc acted as a distributor for the film. The two companies split the revenue of the film, proportionate to the amount of money spent on the film. Initially, Banyak Films was to receive 25% of the revenue, and Britdoc 75%, until their production costs had been gained back. After that, the revenue was to be split at 50% each way. This is a perfect example of how media ownership impacts the production and distribution of films, and also represents how smaller film-companies are stretched to independently produce quality films. The synergy that the two companies entered here was used as to ensure that a failure in the film’s exhibition was not to collapse either company.

Altogether, the partnerships and integration between large and small companies is a massive hurdle for film-producers. For smaller producers, films would act as a gamble on the business’ success, if the film unfortunately failed. For larger companies, such as Disney, although the company would not collapse, they would lose out on a substantial profit for their film, and would also be forced to spend more, as they are working outside of their own corporate empire.

Digital Distribution Essay

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

Introduction

  • Internet and digital types of content has revolutionized the way films and other media products have been distributed.
  •  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.

Added Content

  • Digital Content allows for the easier-to-access, added content.
  • Digital Content 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 film-making, which was provided for free to the public.

Draft Essay

Introduction

The new methods of storing content digitally has majorly affected the way the media products are distributed and consumed. With many different types of storage, such as DVD, HD-DVD, Bluray and digital viewing via methods such as streaming, online downloads and VoD services. Furthermore, the marketing and consumption of media has been revolutionized by the age of digital content.

On Demand Services

Video on demand services (also known as VoD), have broadened the audience for media products, and the way that the products can be sold. Many products are sold on online web-stores via transnational VoD, where viewers can purchase or rent a “virtual” copy for viewing. Such services have made products easier than ever to consume, and to also distribute to the consumers.

A popular Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was a massively popular film produced by Lucasfilm (and inherently Disney). The film’s P&A crew placed a lot of effort into free online VoD services, such as YouTube, where they uploaded movie trailers. These VoD services allow for a massively wide distribution path, for free, which makes these services a very important asset when it comes to digital marketing. These trailers gained in excess of 90 million views.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also utilized the Disney-based VoD service “Disney Movies Anywhere”. This service is a private subscription VoD service which provides full-quality Disney-based movies to customers. Disney used this private service to gain a boost in subscriptions, by releasing the film on their service, earlier than they did on DVD and Bluray.

Special Correspondents is a Ricky Gervais film produced specifically for the Netflix subscription VoD service. Netflix is a service with 98 million subscribers world-wide, giving the upper-hand when working with the film. Those who wanted to watch the film were forced to purchase or try a Netflix subscription. Advertising for the film was also considerably controller by the corporation. Netflix, just like Disney, utilized the free YouTube VoD service to distribute their film trailers. Their trailer was published on the service 33 days before the film was released on Netflix, and racked up 853, 420 views world-wide.

The Film 4 production A Field in England, was distributed by the vertically integrated 4DVD company, throughout transnational VoD services such as iTunes. Viewers could choose to purchase out-right the film, or to rent the film for a specified period of time. The film was distributed via online services such as iTunes and Google Play, although the film was also available as a disk-based copy. The film sold 1,462 copies of the film via these services, even though a free screening had been given on the Film4 TV channel.

Digital content allows for viewers to easily access added content. Added content can be embedded into disk-based copies of the film, or online via websites, extra footage and other such methods.

A Field in England used this to host a Q&A session that was live-streamed to the internet. The Q&A was hosted in a cinema, and viewers in other cinemas screening the film could watch it happen live. Similarly, the director of A Field in England, Ben Wheatly, produced an online seminar or film-making, which was provided for free to the public. This was used to both encourage smaller guerilla film-making, but to also bring publicity to his film, which took the same idea.

Ultimately, the internet plays a large role in the digital distribution of films. It also plays a massive role in the consumption of media, allowing viewers to gain access to the films and it’s added-content at a cheaper price, whilst being able to watch it practically anywhere. The internet has also revolutionized the marketing for films, as producers and distribution companies can now freely and quickly distribute trailers and other such advertisements to potential viewers.

New Technologies Essay

 

To what extent has the internet played a significant role in the marketing and exchange of media products in the area you have studied?

Essay Plan

Introduction

  • 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.

Added Content

  • 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).

 

 

 

Draft Essay

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.

Red State

red_state_poster

How the film was produced, distributed and exhibited in the USA.
Finish with a brief paragraph about the international release.

As opposed to following the normal conventions of the film industry, where a film director and producers will sell the film onwards to film studios, or will make the films for the studios. Kevin Smith, the producer, makes a speech at the sundance film festival talking about these issues, and talking to the audience, who are mainly distributors, large film studios, and film fans, about how the art of independent filmmaking is dying because of the regular conventions. Smith talks about how his own struggles with independent filmmaking, and how he thought it better to cut out the third parties and to distribute, produce and advertise the film himself.

For this reason, Smith decided to personally exhibit the film himself, across the United States. He setup tours across the United States, and generated in his first screening $204,230. In the lifetime of the film, only $1,104,682 (approx 1/4 of the production cost) was received, which ironically shows how Smith’s judgement was flawed. Alternatively, this also shows how independent filmmakers can still do well without any other third parties.

 

Below is the clip where Smith talks about these issues.