Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience, as they do upon good production practises.
To what extend do you agree with this statement?
- Use case studies to support your answer.
I agree with the statement that marketing and distribution is just as important as production in making a film successful to the point, where it is important for DVD and BluRay release, but the production of the film has to be good for it to be successful in cinemas.
With companies like Disney and Sony being vertically integrated with other companies, they make production easier and better. Sony bought Columbia Pictures in 1989, this meant any sub companies that Columbia owned at that time, were now owned by Sony. Therefore, Sony could still produce their own films, with the help of Columbia Pictures. They could still use the equipment to make the films. This would lead to them releasing the movies on BluRay and DVD’s, which would be played on Sony equipment, giving them an even larger profit. With them being vertically integrated, they can ensure that their films will do well in the chain of cinemas they own. Sony further bought out a previous music company, making it Sony Music Entertainment, and would feature artists or bands on Sony films. Spider-Man is a good example of this, as synergy was used to release video games and soundtracks from the film, by them doing this they increased movie sales, and since the musician that sang the soundtrack was signed by Sony, they made money off that too. The first movie was so successful with production practises and the use of synergy, that it became a franchise. With two sequels and an upcoming fourth movie. This usually happens if the first movie is successful enough. Spider-Man is not the only franchise of films, in fact Harry Potter is the most popular one, each one getting more and more successful.
Although, while Sony distributed the films by using convergence. Such as social networking sites, this could have had a bad effect on the franchises, as people could post negative comments about the movie on Facebook or Youtube trailers, all used to promote the film. They were able to counteract this sort of thing with Slumdog Millionaire as Tug - a digital media agency was brought in to raise the awareness of the film in the UK - began promoting it on search engines to people who were interested in Pathé, India etc… this gained them 75,000 new visitors to the official Slumdog Millionaire site. Using convergence, they were able to promote the film on TV adverts as well as on the internet. All of this contributes to how well the overall success of the film goes. There were problems of piracy with Slumdog Millionaire, so to prevent this, they released the film to DVD and BluRay quicker. At first, it was going to be released straight to DVD without even going into cinemas, but with the funding of large companies like Pathé and Celador Films, they were able to use vertical integration and put the films in the wide cinema chains they owned. Viral trailers were used to market the film which was on AddictTV, then Danny Boyle asked them to create another one with sounds and images of the movie for the web. The Slumdog website used flash technology, again like the trailers, pictures and downloads were also available.
Monsters is another example of how convergence is used, as Foursquare set up ‘infected zones’ where users could have the chance to win merchandise off the movie. This had a great impact on movie sales, as it was getting the users excited for it.
Viral marketing takes a huge role in all of this, as it’s how the fans and viewers find out about the movie. Although there were the negatives about using social networking sites, there were positives too. The fact that fans could be updated on the movie. For example, Paranormal Activity had a button which would give people the option to get the film shown in their cinemas/areas. This builds the audience up to what they expect.
Overall, I think that the distribution of film is slightly more important, because even though the quality of the movie is very important, none of it would be worth it if it didn’t get promoted well enough.