VOD, Premium VOD, Pay Per View and the Film Budget
Let’s face it, the movie distribution landscape is changing and it is changing quickly now. The long, slow promise of digital distribution of content is well underway without question. For years the promise has been 10 years, 5 years and another 5 years.
It has arrived clearly. In the nick of time nonetheless. While the anticipation has been intensive for decades, the current transformation of film and television distribution could not have come at a better time for all involved in the industry of entertainment. For the consumer who has likewise been eagerly awaiting more choices, more readily available – free or not – this fact is even more welcome.
At a time when the independent film world has undergone yet another downward spiral, like the previous incarnations which were due mostly due to external factors such as the advertising market slump of a decade ago, the sector may now well be headed toward an inevitable rebirth. With the abundance of independent and studio distributor pick-ups recently, including at The Sundance Film Festival this year, to the recent success of films like ‘The King’s Speech’ winning Best Film at the Oscars one can readily see a comeback in the making.
This leads to the point about VOD, Premium VOD, pay per view and the film budget and the massive impact this is all about to have on the movie and television entertainment industry, theatrical distribution and home entertainment choices. As the market for indie films contracted and the downward pressure that caused on the film budget became dramatic, the indie film business went through a much needed shake out that saw the glut diminish. The glut of course was due to the immense amounts of hedge fund money which left the building.
Now that the over supply has retracted a bit the distribution pipelines appear to be back in the business of creating and buying product. Good news. Even better news is the fact that with all breakout success of Netflix, which has now reached the subscriber base strength of Comcast Cable Co., the game is on for competitors like Itunes, Amazon, Hulu, CinemaNow. The studios have jumped in the sport with Premium VOD which will aim to shorten the ancillary pipeline window in a battle for viewership. And finally with the announcement of Google’s YouTube getting into the field (or extending further as they put it) the prognosis is becoming clear.
There will be a strong market for both studio and indie films to come in the very near future. The numbers will begin to emerge on the video on demand, PPV, Premium VOD, cable, internet, online, streaming, downloading and all flavors of available distribution methods, including the Netflix DVD mailing model (remember that?) Hence the effect will be more choice, more availability and more avenues for filmmakers to get their vision to the ‘screen’, for their film to be seen, bought, sold and traded. Prices will rise due to competition and new fundamentals of the film business will break out from the tailspin of 2007-2010 that wreaked havoc upon many careers.
As mentioned before here, the impact on the film budget has been to create serious downward pressure. This has made the importance of well crafted, finely detailed, custom and quality film budget and schedule production services more critical than ever. Movie budgets will continue to be competitive with the tight supply of film finance supporting the new frugality and lower film budgets, however there will be a demand for quality production value in films which will help cushion the past damage to the filmmaking community.
As digital production methods continue to drive down costs as well the need for tight film budgets will certainly remain. As this process continues reliability in the film budget will continue to be critical for film financing as recent days have demonstrated. The ability to reduce a movie budget with skill while maintaining high production value cannot be understated. A film budget by an experienced film producer with extensive knowledge of filmmaking is fundamental to provide investors, lenders, studios, production companies and film financiers accurate and proven numbers.
‘Reign Over Me’, ’The Upside of Anger’
Founder of Film Budget –
The international leader in worldwide film budget and schedule production services.