Film Industry fragmentation will worsen in 2014


The film industry faces an increasingly fragmented future as technology takes a hold of the movie business.

We've heard the arguments from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas about a film industry implosion. We've witnessed the huge growth in online VOD. But we've also reached a pivotal moment where audiences are now being divided by a content boom online.

This year we will see a significant battle between Hulu, Amazon and Netflix, as they expand their online content offerings to film lovers. In addition, platforms like Youtube and Vimeo are getting very good at helping people plan and distribute their content. This in turn means that more audiences will be divided by the choice of high quality films and TV series online and at cinemas.

Demand at the box office remains strong, and the experience of watching a film with friends and family is unbeatable compared to online viewing, however, the discovery of content is going to be increasingly difficult when there is so much choice and massively reducing audience attention spans.

Film studios are not the only ones to face this fragmentation issue. The independent film industry will also have to consider how their fans are also increasingly divided by the technology disruption and content offering available to them.

Does this spell doom and gloom for the industry? Definitely not.

What we're seeing is a surge in high quality productions across multiple platforms, an increase across the board in content demand, and a boom in online distribution. VOD is the business model of the industry but what will drive audiences to cinema screens and pay-per-view screenings is the audience conversation.

Whether it's an indie feature or a mainstream movie, an audience conversation that is sustained in a 'cross-platform' environment from blogs to video networks, and social media, will be vital in our fragmented industry. Filmmakers will also need to consider new emerging platforms such as Snapchat when it comes to the movie conversation.

As there's so much online content playing whilst films are running at the cinemas, studios and indies will have to keep audiences engaged on these other platforms to ensure that the viewers who love to watch content libraries online, are also compelled to see films at the cinema.

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