Accenture Media and Entertainment. "The Challenge of Change: Perspectives on the future for Content Providers." Accenture Global Content Study 2008. Accenture: 2008.
This report is the result of a market research firm initiative, in which they surveyed 100 entertainment executives to determine their opinions on the future of revenue models based on digital media. The results of the survey show that the ad-based model is the most popular model for the surveyed executives, as opposed to subscription or iTunes-like services. Though the focus in the report seems to be on forms of entertainment other than music media, it provides a successful context for profit-garnering models in digital entertainment. It also reflects the point of view of those that will ultimately be responsible for shaping the way that media is transferred to the consumer (legally) online.
This report represents yet another perspective on successful provision of internet content (without greater legislation). The importance of advertising on maintaining free content on the internet cannot be understated -- many argue that advertising-based models represent the future of music revenue. Ad-based music models are already being put into place: the music-search engine developed by Google in China, for example. The Accenture report is important, therefore, because it provides data and quotes from industry experts that address the longstanding relationship between advertising and entertainment.
Call#: Van Pelt Library HD9970.5.C483 U655 2006
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1995.9.H6 H674 2004
This edited collection of essays has the overarching goal of exploring the horror film genre by paying attention to the technical and industrial aspects of film that distinguish horror films from horror in other media (such as literature or comic books). The two general questions that the essays-to one degree or another-address are: what role does technology play in the production of horror films, and what role does technology play in the distribution, exhibition, and reception of horror films? ("technology" defined broadly to include production equipment, industrial mechanisms, ideological mechanisms, etc.). The first section of the book consists of essays that explore various technologies and formal innovations employed in the production of horror films. The second section of the book deals with issues surrounding horror films in the marketplace (advertising, distribution, and reception). Finally, the third section examines discursive and ideological aspects of the horror genre from censorship to fan discourse.
Philip Simpson's chapter entitled "The Horror 'Event' Movie: The Mummy, Hannibal, and Signs" explores horror films as they are positioned as Hollywood blockbusters. These marketing and promotion of these films often downplay or outright deny the film's association with the horror genre (still often seen as a marginal or low brow genre). Simpson argues that these horror 'event' movies reach a larger mainstream audience by using star actors and high profile directors, high production values, and genre mixing. Simpson distinguishes between major studio horror films and "second tier" cult audience films. While it is true that many of the films that Simpson discusses are marketed as something other than horror (either as thrillers, adventure films, or even supernatural thrillers), it is not clear where the division between A-list productions and "second tier" films lies. He cites the $100 million dollar domestic theatrical gross mark as certifying a blockbuster, but fails to cite many of the low budget, independent, or "second tier" horror films that crossed that barrier such as The Blair Witch Project (1999), The Ring (2002), and The Grudge (2004).
This is a somewhat informative essay, particularly if one is interested in the production and distribution of anime films, but the argument it makes is an exceptionally simple one (although it dons the clothes of profundity). Cubbison’s essay basically wants to say that form effects content, and that now consumers are allowed to dictate (to a certain, very limited extent) form. She also adds that the form consumers desire is based on an idea of authenticity, but this aspect of the essay is only explored through the relation of a few contrasting anecdotes and resulting in the conclusion: nobody is really certain what an authentic text is but there are lots of opinions about what it may be. To get back to form, content, and consumers, though, one must admit that her argument is not a very novel or complex one. Form and content have always been interrelated, and have always been seen to mutually affect one another. Cubbison’s argument that anime fans have some control over the form (or work) of the anime VHS or DVDs they buy is interesting, but as she herself admits, the debate over what form the work takes is moot at this point since DVDs are now able to provide dubbed and subtitled, original and edited versions of any given work (whereas before VHS had to make formal judgments that often upset fans). DVDs have rendered the debate amongst fans about the most authentic form an anime work can take irrelevant because they can now offer every potential “authentic text.” Anyway, this essay is an interesting look at the way that anime fans have been involved with the distribution of anime films historically, and how these debates have been waged over “authentic” anime texts, but as you will find if you read this essay the tensions and squabbles surrounding the distribution of anime films has been squelched by the capacity of DVDs to provide all possible “authentic texts.” So, for a historical glimpse of the debates about form amongst anime fans definitely read this article, but beyond this the essay is little more than a rehashing of a now dead debate.
Variety.com - Fox Atomic brings new twists: Genre Label Adds to Conventional Tactics.
Tue., Feb. 20, 2007
by Steven Zeitchick
The article discusses the creation of Fox Atomic--a division of Fox Film Entertainment dedicated to genre films and youth markets. However, Fox Atomic doesn't want to just create and market movies, rather "it wants to create entire worlds around those movies." The Fox Atomic website enlists current trends in digital culture to reach out to young, tech savy audiences. The studio has a presence in Second Life called "Fox Atomic Island, a virtual movie studio where citizens can pick up and play with avatars from all its leading pics." It also holds mashup and machinima contests, includes movie related video games on its website, as well as user forums and information on forthcoming releases. In addition, Fox Atomic has created a comics division that will release comics based on movie properties that are not adaptations of the films, but rather engage in "cross-media" storytelling. Current and upcoming film releases include The Hills Have Eyes 2, 28 Weeks Later, and Touristas.
Although other film studios and distributors have a web presence and engage with digital culture, few have ventured quite as far as Fox Atomic. The article remains skeptical as to the success of this strategy as it is still unproven in its ability to generate ticket sales, but this sort of "web 2.0" interactivity and media convergence may be something that film studios can ill afford to ignore.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1995.9.H6 H45 2004
Heffernan’s book seeks to investigate the economic and industrial aspects of the horror film genre that many scholarly accounts (which typically focus on cultural and/or aesthetic issues) fail to adequately consider. The book focuses on the postwar period (1953-1968); a period comprised of drastic changes in the film industry (i.e., Paramount decree, TV, technological innovation), and charts some of the functions or positions that horror genre pictures filled during this time period. He argues that this period—which is book-ended by 3D technology and the adoption of the MPAA rating system—saw a major cultural and economic shift in the production and reception of horror movies. This was partially due to the Supreme Court’s Paramount decision in 1948 which required the break-up of Hollywood’s vertically integrated system of production, distribution, and exhibition. As Hollywood studios began producing fewer films, independent distributors and exhibitors needed more product to fill out their schedules including B-pictures for the bottom half of popular double-feature bills. Heffernan argues that “low” genres like horror and sci-fi played an important part in the testing and development of new technologies and methods of production, distribution, and advertising to accommodate various changes including suburbanization, the growth of television, new youth markets, and the new economic and business structures of the film industry. Although written as a “corrective” to scholarship which focuses solely on culture and aesthetics, Heffernan avoids “economic determinism” by deftly intertwining the exploration of various aesthetic and formal changes of the horror genre during this period including greater psychological realism and, of course, graphic gore.
Using Philadelphia as his test market, Heffernan chronologically traces the distribution and exhibition patterns of various horror films across both theatrical and television venues. He begins with the early 1950s cycle of 3D horror films arguing that the narrative and stylistic norms of the horror genre could best negotiate the conflicting demands of “attraction” (the gimmick shots) and narrative integration of the classical Hollywood model, and also detailing the challenges faced by small theater owners to equip theaters to show 3D. Heffernan continues through the 50s and 60s exploring the impact of Hammer’s color saturated and bloody Gothic updates of the classic Universal monsters, how shortages in production from majors caused independent distributors and exhibitors to get into the production business, how the rise in art theaters utilized both exploitation/genre films and art cinema (i.e., “paracinema”), and the rise of “adult” horror in the late 60s. Overall, Heffernan’s book is well-researched, clearly written, and provides a wealth of knowledge for film scholars interested in the economic side of the industry—especially those interested in genre film. The only quibble is with the brief conclusion “The Horror Film in the New Hollywood.” It feels not only tacked on, but somewhat dismissive of the horror film post-1968. He also makes some broad—and I believe incorrect—claims such as that in the 1980s horror film spectacle overwhelms narrative. This comment flies in the face of the convincing arguments he lays out in discussing the intricate relation between technology and genre film of the 50s and 60s (such as horror’s ability to navigate 3D and narrative).
This piece seemed to lament the fact that the Super Bowl advertisers were not able to monopolize traffic to the ads post-game. It sympathizes with the disappointment these giant companies must be feeling over only getting several hundred thousand hits (instead, presumably, of the several million which they no doubt deserved). Then the article goes on to give the companies tips for how to increase traffic next year, and strategies they should employ if they want fully capitalize on the online branding opportunity. This article testifies to the corporate interests of many media outlets, and can only be of interest if read for what the article is doing, not saying.
For my project, though, this piece is very relevant. It shows the way that commercial interests are sometimes subverted, and how in order to “set things right” (i.e. stop subversion of corporate interests) plans are being made to integrate the very thing that was the cause of subversion. Thus we see how the article calls for the companies to “work with” (i.e. subsume) those aggregator sites that so wickedly usurped their web traffic. This, then, is another example of how commercial interests appropriate more independent forms of media distribution.
This article is an interesting, albeit dated, piece. It brings up some relevant concerns about what happens when community based sites like YouTube are bought up by giant corporations, and does a mediocre job of reporting the ambivalence surrounding this issue. On the other hand, this article lacks a good deal of information that seems critical for understanding exactly what it means that Google has purchased YouTube. For example, it mentions that YouTube is already selling homepage space to advertisers, and this will only increase under Google’s control, but it does not explain what space it is talking about. Are these advertising videos parading as user generated content, or simply banner ads asking you to join Match.com or other such ubiquitous internet advertisements? This would be good information to know since advertising is such a protean, mutable form. Also, the article mentions that YouTube has already made deals with several other large companies (e.g. CBS, NBC, etc.), but does not explain what these deals entail. Do these companies post fake user generated videos that are truly advertisements, or do they simply get to advertise on YouTube in some other manner? So, while this article does touch upon some interesting issues surrounding both the dot.com universe and marketing, it also fails to provide sufficient information to make it a truly useful document.
This article relates to my own project in its focus on corporate conglomeration and marketing. Similar to how Google subsumes a digital community like YouTube, companies like Dorito’s are appropriating the work of independent, non-professional individuals. While this article expresses some fear about the implications of a company like Google buying YouTube, my project will express a good deal more skepticism about what happens when companies like Dorito’s start soliciting user generated content.
While this appears to be a fairly innocuous article about the future of user generated content and the marketing that companies are putting into attracting consumers to create their own video content, there are many insidious implications in this piece. For one, the article mentions how YouTube will soon be providing “branded channels,” which are essentially user generated video channels that are intended to attract consumers by allowing them to create advertisements for a certain company. Companies see this interactive opportunity as a great way to raise “brand loyalty.” Also, the article mentions the six “sample commercials” that CBS created, which are intended to “be as close to authentic” as possible. Authenticity, then, simply becomes something that can be created and produced by companies like CBS. Finally, the article mentions how CBS will be screening every video submitted “for language and appropriateness of content.” The article assures the reader, though, that CBS will “preserve their [the videos] reality and spontaneity.” There are many troubling things about this form of tacit (sort of) censorship, one being that CBS is now the arbiter of what is and is not “appropriate.” Also, the notion that “reality and spontaneity” need to be screened for is blatantly contradictory, but ultimately very telling about this so-called democratizing force known as user generated content. Read this article with skepticism and ire (i.e. critically), though, and it can be very illuminating. For this reason I think it can be useful for my project that deals with exactly what this article addresses (although approaches it from a much different perspective).
tagged Advertising Amateur_Video Copyright_Law Digita Digital Digital_Distribution Digital_Technology Disruptive_Technology Google Hollywood Internet_Culture Marketing Media Movie_Theatres Participatory_Culture User_Generated_Content Video_Rental YouTube by blueher ...on 08-MAR-07
Call#: Van Pelt Library HF6146.T42 N364 2003
The book was complex if you do not know a lot about advertising. At times it was hard to follow and a bit dense, but overall, it provided an interesting look at how the market is determined in entertainment media as well as how new media and technology effect the audience market.