The evolution of technology has not only changed the way films are made but also the way they are distributed. From a time when you had to trek down to your local cinema to watch a film to now when you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your coach to stream thousands of films that are just a click away. With services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime becoming more popular with film fans, cinema is now a thing of the past. Not only has technology changed the way films are streamed to its audience but also how films are marketed and promoted to its intended viewers. With bigger budgets for trailers, tv adverts and peoples addiction to social media it is now a whole lot easier for your film to be marketed.
Lets take a look at the digital impact on film distribution.
Netflix started back in 1997 as an online movie rental service, by 2016 the Netflix we know today was available worldwide. Allowing customers to stream hundreds of films and tv series online anywhere at any time for a monthly fee makes it one of the popular ways to stream movies. Along with buying the rights of existing films to feature on their site, Netflix has also created award winning original films which include the Oscar winning documentary ‘The White Helmets’, this summers hit ‘The Kissing Booth’ and probably its most successful show ‘Stranger Things’ which are estimated to reach over 300 million viewers worldwide. With over 100 million subscribers Amazon prime video similar to Netflix, offers customers a selection of TV shows and films all which are accessible through their website and app. Often compared as a rival to Netflix, Amazon Video exclusively offers customers access to over 40 channels including Eurosport, ITV Hub, Discovery and MGM. Amazon Prime also allows viewers to stream the latest releases for a small extra fee. Although both very popular it comes with the burden of having to pay every month for its uses, although extremely illegal it was estimated in 2017 that over 5 million Brits illegally streamed TV and movies. We can all probably admit that we have at least once in our lives watched a movie illegally online because we didn’t want to pay the extra £10 to see it in cinema or to by the DVD. Becoming a popular way of streaming movies free of charge has also meant that cinemas are loosing money resulting in many being shut down.
Netflix and amazon along with other streaming services such as BBC I Player and All 4 has marked the beginning of a new way of streaming movies and offering people a more accessible, cheaper way of watching movies however, this is slowly putting an end to cinema. With more and more audiences deciding against going to the cinema it is forcing production companies to release their films exclusively online or through services such as Netflix, iTunes and sky Cinema.
Nowadays when its the run up to a release of a major Hollywood film you can expect to see it everywhere you go, from billboards, tv adverts, and social media. With movies now receiving bigger budgets it means they can spend more on adversity the actual movie, which can sometimes cost as much or even more than the making of the movie itself. The fate of the movie is ultimately decided in its opening week, which is all down to how much people know and have heard about it through trailers, critic reviews and its promotion through social media. It is stated that it costs $725,000 per day to advertise your movie trailer on YouTubes homepage while a 30 second ad in peak time on ITV can cost anywhere between £10,000-£30,000. When walking through major cities such as London or New York you are bound to see the same movie poster multiple times, whether it being on the side of a bus, in the tube station, on the side a building or on one of the big screens in Times Square, which according to Business Insider costs between $1.1million- $4million a year to own. If you fail to see any movie posters around your local town, then you are definitely likely to see some type of advertisement on your social media, with more and more movies creating their own accounts audiences can be kept up to date with all the new information that is released in the build up to its release.
With movies being made more than ever before the film industry is a highly competitive place meaning the only way to get your film heard is if you overly advertise it so as many people can see and hear about it as much as possible. With todays technology it has made reaching a wider audiences that much easier, allowing for production companies to release a trailer knowing it will reach thousands online.