Media Management: The Movie Industry

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           The media industry has been recording massive changes. Technology is playing an important role in these transformations. First, it was with classical T.V. Viewership begun to decline with the introduction of the movie culture. Television responded by introducing the TV shows. On the contrary, the movie industry was popular especially because of the blockbusters that meant that the population would look forward to the next releases to premier in the theaters. Currently, the industry is witnessing massive alterations especially with the emergence of Netflix and Amazon streaming services (Sweney, 2018). The movie industry like any other industry has been facing challenges that have had an impact on its revenues and customer base. The sector is also benefiting from the changes that have been happening in the entertainment industry. The new opportunities and threats continue to shape the movie industry, with the players adopting new strategies. The major changes that have had an impact on the movie sector include the decline in DVD sales and the emergence of streaming services. As consumer tastes and demands change, the movie industry is striving to adapt by countering both the crumple of the DVD market and the challenge from streaming‌‍‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‍‌‍‍ services. This paper will explore the tactics the movie industry has been using to respond to the collapse of both the collapse of the DVD market and the challenge from streaming‌‍‍‍‍‍‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‍‌‍‍g. 

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Background of the issue

The movie industry without a doubt was the main entertainment business regarding revenues and the control of consumer market share. The emergence of the satellite and the cable meant that TV networks faced a major challenge. The reliance on the TV network waned as consumers could get a better quality program compared with the broadcasting programs. This move provided an opportunity for the movie industry players to purchase the rights of airing their production in the cable and satellite platform. The popularity of the film industry grew as they had control of the entertainment industry. The number of classical TV viewers dropped considerably.

Furthermore, the move by President Ronald Reagan to deregulate the broadcasting industry provided an opportunity for Hollywood and their parent companies to evolve (McDonald, Carman, Hoyt & Drake, 2017; Wasko, 2020). The move to dismantle the existing regulation on broadcasting was to ensure that the subject of public interest should not elude the principle of profits. Consequently, in the US, which has the largest global film industry, experienced the domination of Hollywood. The emergence of Hollywood and the cable networks effectively ended the domination of broadcasting networks in the US. 

Theater owners, studio executives, filmmakers were the biggest beneficiaries in the US and UK, where movie studios were dominant (Chalaby, 2010). Theaters and cinemas were the main avenues, where movie-lovers could go and watch their favorite actors and movies. Moviegoers had to wait for the release of a blockbuster before getting the opportunity to see them in the theatre and cinema.

Major changes arrived with the Video Home System (VHS) developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC). The video recording on the tape cassettes meant that the volume of moviegoers to theatre declined rapidly. The film industry faced this first major challenge in the 1970s. The release of the Digital Versatile Disc in 1995 dealt a major blow to the movie industry, with a majority of the consumers preferring to watch their favorite movies at home rather than the cinema and theaters. Even though the film industry ensured that the rights of consumers to begin viewing the film begins with cinema and theaters goers, the industry began to rely on the DVD for home entertainment. However, changes are technology is resulting in a decline in DVD sales. According to Adam Sherwin (2010), the rise in newer technology, the costs and the convenience of the DVD are the main factors contributing to the fall in DVD sales. The film industry identifies the drop in DVD sales as an opportunity to revive the industry.

The emergence of video streaming providers has been the major changes that have a huge impact on the movie industry. The speed of production, the reduction in costs and the increase in the demand from the customers are fueling the streaming services. For instance, Netflix, one of the biggest streaming services providers have been using strategies such as monthly payment and constant releases to fascinate the current movie lovers. Consequently, the film industry is facing a threat from the continual rise in streaming services.

The survival of the film industry is dependent on the strategies, which will ensure that they capitalize on the opportunity in the market and counter the continual threats by the streaming providers. These moves will ensure that the movie industry continues offering entertainment and generating profits. Without the tactics, the sector risk extinction, as movie lovers are dynamic and adopt substitutes easily.

How the Movie Industry is responding to the Collapse of the DVD Market

Movie theaters and cinemas were the biggest revenue generation sources before the emergence of DVDs. The latter resulted in a massive decline in the number of the movie goes to cinemas and theatre. Since most of the incomes of the film industry originated from the fans filling the theatre seats, the DVD industry re-structured the sector massively. Film industry players had to adapt to the DVD wave as part of an insurance plan. The move was inevitable since as of 2005, DVD accounted for 64% of the American Home Entertainment market. That is, the DVD industry acted as an avenue, where film players could get an assurance on sales. DVD was a popular outlet, which popularizes major blockbusters, but still, the cinema played a crucial role in releasing the video. The DVD remained a compensation for the movie lovers that prefer home entertainment. The DVD sales continued slump (by more than 86 percent since 2008) means that the film industry is also making losses (Whitten, 2019). This is especially in a situation where there is a combination of both the theatre and DVD sales. The drop in the sales of DVDs has been primarily because of the introduction of new technologies such as streaming (Cuthbertson, 2018; Vaughan-Nichols, 2019). The above drop in DVD sales has resulted in an opportunity for the movie industry to exploit.

Movie industry players have responded to the decline in DVD sales by carrying out promotional activities on theaters (Savage, 2017). Theaters and cinemas are now reminding movie lovers the main thrill they could have been missing because of watching movies in their homes rather than the theater. DVD without a doubt contributed to a majority of the moviegoers choosing to watch their favorite movies at home. The decline in DVD sales means that one of the major competitors of the film industry players is now missing. The promotional activities are set to remind consumers of the existence of the theaters and the cinemas. The basic explanation of the film industry players is that the revenues they were getting from the DVD sales must remain in the theaters.

Besides, the movie industry is responding to the decline in DVD sales by setting stricter laws that will prevent the return of the piracy menace. DVD offered the opportunity to the illegal movie lovers to download and “burn” the movies. The presence of DVD was also a loss-making avenue for the movie industry. The first reaction has been the development of policies, which will prevent new technologies from benefiting from the films illegally. The networks and the logistics of DVDs helped in spreading the piracy issues, which was the biggest loss of making avenues for companies. The stricter policies present at cinemas and theaters prevent the loss of intellectual properties through the issue of patents.

The drop in DVD sales is an opportunity for the film industry to recover revenues, which were getting lost because of piracy. The evolution of the theater to include technological changes implies that filmmakers are now aware of the impact of technology on its revenues. DVD was the newer technology that disrupted the market. For the above reason, the response of the filmmakers has been to incorporate additional technologies such as 3D glasses that ensure that film lovers will have an unforgettable experience. The efforts of the film industry are to attract the millennial and the young population who are looking for something different before going to see a movie.

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How the Movie industry is responding to the Threat of Streaming services

The emergence of firms such as Netflix and Amazon has completely changed the manner in which individuals are watching movies (Foley, 2018). The streaming services are now relying on the internet and the timely delivery of the movie. Streaming is now allowing any movie lover to check their favorite movies at the pleasure of their couch, office desk, and car. The main requirement is simply subscription and the availability of the internet. The flexible subscription packages mean that customers can get access to viewership by paying monthly or annually. Further, still, the prospect of the introduction of the 5 G networks means that the streaming of videos will be faster and more efficient. The above benefits of the streaming services are posing dangers to the film industry, as there are a likely decline and obsolescence of theaters and cinemas. The fact that the film industry has been dependent on DVD for sales, its decline suggests it might be losing the battle to the video streaming.

The movie industry has been coming up with strategies that ensure that it will not disappear because of the emergence of streaming services. The first tactic has been audience engagement. Netflix and Amazon have been experiencing growth because of the streaming craze by movie lovers. On the contrary, their audience engagement has been minimal. The movie industry is capitalizing on the issue of increasing audience engagement. Movie industry players are now embracing social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to popularize their products. Even though streaming players conduct their services using the internet, failure to popularize their business could result in a loss in the market share.

The other approach the movie sector has been responding to the streaming services threats is the improvement of filmmaking. The major problem, which filmgoers associated with was poor image qualities of the movies. This means that the experience at the theater or cinema was not great. In a bid to force viewers back to the theaters, movie industry players have been improving their filming. The most common addition, in this case, is the VR-enabled live-action video cameras. The new inclusion not only improving the new videos, but viewers is moving back to the theater. The main undoing of the film industry was the failure to adopt this crucial element. Consequently, the interactive aspect was missing. The adoption of technology will improve filming and thus match the prowess of other technological industries.

Besides, film industry players are now exploring ways to manage their production costs. Companies offering streaming services have been incurring low production costs, with this handing them a competitive advantage over film industry players. Hollywood is not relying on technological improvements such as Smartphone and drones to shoot specific scenes in the movie. Not only is the move reducing production costs, but also the industry players can produce more movies at a lower cost. Moviegoers are also set to pay less and watch more. Currently, companies such as Netflix have flexible subscription rates, which mean that users are enjoying more entertainment for fewer amounts. Prices will be the major factor in the competition between the film industry and streaming services.

The other upcoming trend evident in the movie industry is the introduction of movie theater subscription. Film industry players in this case attempt to copy the structure that is evident with the streaming service providers. The fact that users would have the ability to access any movie based on their package, it means that they will enjoy more for less. That is, when the user feels that he or she does not have time to view the current movie, they do not feel the agony of losing the money. The introduction of a subscription is improving the volume of customers to the theaters. Movie lovers do not have the worry of missing a particular movie since their subscription allows them to watch the next movie of the day. The stress that was accompanying moviegoers during the pay-and-watch approach meant that customers lost interest easily when they were losing money because of delays or important emergencies. Although this approach has been being now applicable by some film industry players, it continues to draw mixed outcomes.  

The involvement of broader content is the other approach applicable by filmmakers. Instead of concentrating on the common topics, film industry players are now showing topics that are likely to draw emotions and the attention of viewers. Consequently, viewers are going back to the theater to view contents that they might be missing in the streaming mediums.

Conclusion

The film industry is undergoing major changes since the evolution from broadcasting services to cable networks. The industry is facing threats from video streaming services and the decline in the sale of DVDs. In an effort to stay afloat, movie industry players are adopting several strategies. The approaches applicable are countering the impact of the decline in DVD use and the emergence of video streaming services. Although the movie industry still faces threats from the new developments, its survival depends on the introduction of the above and more strategies.  

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References

Cuthbertson, A. (2018, October 23). Death of the dvd? john lewis kills off players as people turn to streaming sites like netflix. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/dvd-player-death-netflix-streaming-john-lewis-retail-report-2018-a8597666.html

Chalaby, J. K. (2010). The rise of Britain’s super-indies: Policy-making in the age of the global media market. International Communication Gazette72(8), 675-693.

Foley, J. (2018). Netflix & Chill: The Evolution of the Streaming Outlet. Film Matters, 9(3), 115-120.

McDonald, P., Carman, E., Hoyt, E., & Drake, P. (Eds.). (2017). Hollywood and the Law. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Savage, J. (2017). The effect of video on demand services on the cinema Industry.

Vaughan-Nichols, S. (2019, February 25). The end of blue ray. Retrieved from https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-end-of-blu-ray/

Wasko, J. (2020). Understanding Disney: The manufacture of fantasy. John Wiley & Sons.

Whitten, S. (2019, November 8). The death of the DVD: Why sales dropped more than 86% in 13 years. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/08/the-death-of-the-dvd-why-sales-dropped-more- than-86percent-in-13-years.htm

 

 

 

 

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