I’ve heard a lot of debate on film distribution in the recent past. Considering that studios are starting to stream their own content, Amazon and YouTube are working to cut the distributors AND the studios out of the picture entirely, and Netflix’s crazy push-me-pull-you is pissing-off their subscription base big-time, it’s obvious that this is an area of the business that is ripe for innovation.
So, where are we heading?
Well, that depends on who you ask.
Hybrid distribution combines direct sales by filmmakers with distribution by third parties (e.g. DVD distributors, TV channels, VOD companies, educational distributors).
The New York Times ultimately gives the rights and responsibilities to the filmmakers themselves, while still tipping their hat to Broderick above.
Another (much older) article, by the Wysiwyg team, actually understands that most of what gets described as “innovation,” isn’t. But even they are still looking to simply distribute content better, not to change the model entirely.
All of these ideas are still improvements, though, and NOT true “disruptive innovations.”
(Thank you, Clayton Christensen)
What do I think? I think that Amazon is the closest. YouTube might come up with a way to monetize their model, but I don’t see it changing things for indie film.
In any case, someone’s going to find a way to tie the audience more directly to the content they want–and that person will be the winner.