The film industry has continued to struggle over the years as their distribution priorities are beginning to shift from a physical piece of content (DVD’s) to strictly digital. This is no surprise as a similar case has previously occurred in the industry, I’m sure we all remember the transformation from VHS to DVD, well now its online; just look at Blockbuster’s fate.
We can now legally acquire films through applications on our smart devices (tablets, laptops, phones, TV’s, iPods, etc.) simply by going on a distributer app to purchase the film. Providers such as Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, or Cineplex allow you to actually purchase these films and store them in the Cloud; this binds the product to your account and places it in your “movie library”. Not to mention, the subscription based film distributors such as Netflix or Crackle, who buys the content, gives you a catalogue of films you purchased for the month.
A set of technological developments drives the change in the motion picture industry. The primary technological forces are: Internet, digital file compression, streaming media, and encryption; Kevin Zhu a PhD in Information Systems from Stanford University claims that approximately a decade ago distribution of content was as followed, “movie theatres, video rental stores, videos, pay-per-view television, premium channels, and finally basic cable/network/syndicated television” (Zhu, 275).
Evidently this has changed drastically. This is expanded on by Motion Picture Capital Limited which writes, the window has been shortened from a theatre to home (online streaming, digital downloads, etc.) distribution process. The information website also states, “home entertainment is the most diverse distribution format” allowing the movie business to survive.
Expanding on this idea, we can put the blame on Netflix. Megan O’Neill, writer for the Social Times presents the notion that Netflix bankrupted Blockbuster. She says that Netflix has “eliminated the way we used to rent DVD’s and even watch TV” (O’Neill); further stating that driving to stores like blockbuster to rent a movie has become prehistoric. She is absolutely right and it is because of these ideologies that people will no longer do these old school activities rather keep up to date with the new; which is purchasing film content online.
It is pretty clear that if the industry wishes to make profit they most focus their attention and money on monetizing the online user space. We have already seen some hints of this transition, such as the advertisements being introduced to social media feeds.
Here's a video elaborating on Blockbuster's bankruptcy and Netflix's conquering of the business:
"Film Production Process." DISTRIBUTION. 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.motionpicturecapital.com/film-production-process/distribution>.
Zhu, Kevin. "Internet-based Distribution of Digital Videos: The Economic Impacts of Digitization on the Motion Picture Industry." Electronic Markets (2001): 273-80. Print.
O'Neill, Megan. "How Netflix Bankrupted And Destroyed Blockbuster [INFOGRAPHIC]." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 1 Mar. 2011. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.