plan – I’ll fix it later
The internet has heavily affected the ways in which modern films are marketed and exchanged, one of the main ways it has done this is with the rise of online advertising. Social media and other forms of online advertising are much cheaper and often free forms of advertising for film companies to promote their films on. One of the main reasons The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was as successful as it was, was because it had an active social media following: 12 million Facebook likes and over 1 million Twitter followers. This was, in part, due to the fact that the film was distributed by Lionsgate, who spend over £20 million in advertising on every film they make. This strong online following played a role in the film being as successful as it was, it reached number one on all digital distribution platforms and made $865 million at via theatrical exhibition compared to the $694 million that ‘The Hunger Games’ made, which did not have as strong of a following online.
For some film companies online advertising is the only form of advertising they have as it is much cheaper than advertising through other media and often has more reach. Ricky Gervais’ films such as David Brent and Social Correspondents were only advertised through his personal Twitter account as he knew that his 12 million followers may have more reach than advertising offline, this was targeted advertising as his fans are more likely to go and watch his films than people who aren’t. Certain films will even use a specific marketing routine online. Films with much larger budgets will pay for a personalised advertisement on larger platforms such as Snapchat, which is a form of targeted advertising as the main demographic of those films would be the same as the users of that platform namely 14-24 year olds. This further spreads the word about the film as it is then shared organically via the nature of these social media platforms. For example the 2016 David Yates film: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This film had adverts on Instagram and snapchat, which spread the word about the film to a new audience. This is also a form of simbiosis as these platforms get paid for allowing films to advertise on them.
Much smaller companies have also used the internet to not only market but often budget their films. This was the case for the the 2012 British film Borrowed time, the film company did not have enough money for the production and advertising of the film and so they used the online funding service Kickstarter. The Kickstarter campaign for the film managed to raise over £20000 for the film in just over a month, which caught the attention of Ted Hope who funded the rest of the films production through his Artist 2 Entrepreneur scheme which specialised in direct distribution online. This allowed for the film to further gain a larger audience due to it becoming a trending topic online, as is often the case with successful Kickstarter and Go-fund-me campaigns because they often end up in the news online. Therefore the film made over £7000 in theatrical sales, £4000 in DVD sales and £5000 in VOD sales.
The internet has also allowed for new ways for the exchange and distribution of films. In recent years subscription services such as Netflix and other Video on Demand services have become more convenient for someone than buying a DVD or going to the cinema. Film companies have realised this semi – technological disruption. and have started making a larger and larger portion of a films revenue because of these services. Ricky Gervais’ films David Brent and Social Correspondents were released exclusively for Netflix ( before being shown at various film festivals.) Other films have made use of similar releases. The 2013 Ben Wheatley film: A Field in England, was simultaneously released on many forms of media: DVD, Blu-ray, Cinema, television, online, VOD, TVOD and catchup services such as 4OD. Surprisingly, the majority of viewing were through online platforms such as SkyTV. This is likely because of the convenience that these services offer in comparison to buying a DVD or going to the cinema and it almost always works out as a far cheaper alternative.
Not all things have been positive for films however the internet has also brought rise to other ways people can pirate films. One big example of this was the 2016 film ‘Laid in America’ which has been downloaded via torrent-based piracy networks more than 522,000 times since it was released in late September 2016 on digital platforms. This would account to a large portion of the film’s revenue as it was a direct to digital platform release.
In conclusion the internet has affected the ways in which films are marketed and exchanged by offering a media platform more accessible to all film companies. It allows for new, cheaper forms of advertising that is less imposing than other forms such as radio and television due to the nature of social media and people being able to ignore it. It has also allowed for the budgeting of films to be made much easier as the problems a film may have can become news online and there are services online to help fund these problems. films have been affected in the way they are exchanged by the popularity of streaming services and VOD which are now not only an extra form of revenue for films they can even be an alternative.