To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the area of media you have studied? (50 marks)
Digital distribution is very important in the modern day. People rely on the internet nowadays to watch newly released films rather than going to the cinema. They would rather watch films from the comfort of their own home as they know that films are illegally put onto certain websites after 2-3 weeks of the film being released in cinemas. This is piracy and is illegal, for obvious reasons, however this is a rapidly growing problem that film production companies should take into consideration when in post-production phase. One of the main negative aspects of digital distribution is piracy. If an uncoded copy of the film is leaked then it can be copied and watched on multiple websites. It is then hard to take down the film or the websites. This ultimately means that the money that consumers would have paid in order to consume your product is now lost and not returned into the industry. Therefore, film institutions must be careful when distribution comes into play.
The majority of films are distributed digitally rather than film, in the recent years. This is because digital distribution is a lot cheaper than film. Digitally filming a media product is more accessible to production companies nowadays and it is easier to film and edit on. This saves the institution time and money. Depending on what type of Production Company this is, depends on how much profit affects them. A big company like ‘20th Century Fox’ , for example wouldn’t lose out as much as a smaller production company, like independent, British company ‘DNA Films’ that produced British sci-fi movie ‘Ex_Machina’.
Fortunately, thanks to new technologies available to us, advertisements can be distributed in many different ways. YouTube is a big social media website that gives a different mode of communication to the target audiences and more. YouTube also has the ability to be able to ‘share’ their videos on other social media sites that mass audiences from worldwide use.
Another production company that helped produce British sci-fi film ‘Ex_Machina’ was ‘Film 4 Productions’. This company is a British film production institution that is owned by ‘Channel 4 Television Corporation’. The company have been responsible for backing a large number of films made in the UK. However, they’re British based and do not own as much money as the production company, ‘Warner Bros’ that produced and distributed Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road reached a total gross of $300 million, whereas ‘Ex_Machina’ met a gross of $38 million.
Due to digital distribution audiences can also consume media products in more ways than they previously could. For example, through the use of sites such as Netflix, Love Film and Sky Go users can consume media whenever and wherever they are for just a limited monthly subscription, for example a minimum of £5.99 for Netflix or a little more if you wish to view content in higher quality. Films can also be distributed to services such as iTunes where they can be purchased for a small price and digitally stored and kept permanently. Consumers can also watch films at home through the use of tablets, smart TV's and smartphones as they all support subscription services such as those mentioned previously. Also, cable services such as Sky offer users the ability to download media content that can be stored digitally and viewed 24/7. Consumers can therefore also consume media in high quality that will not deteriorate over time, unlike film will, meaning that the overall long term consumer experience is more pleasing.