Technological convergence has led to the rise of Video on Demand (VOD) as a distribution method for films. Technologies such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, and smart TVs has helped convergence as it has allowed audiences to access film content via the internet. This can be through streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime (Indies) or Disney Life (Disney). There are no Disney films or TV programs on Netflix as Disney has there own streaming site and Netflix caters to independent films. This has benefited indies as they can get more exposure from their films instead of Disney towering over them. Their has been a huge increase in streaming sites as Netflix has become the most popular over the years and DVD sales are decreasing. (Distribution)
Star Wars use technological convergence within their phone app as it brings together games trailers and access to buy tickets for the movie. These features bring more hype to the movie as it involves many things linked with the movie. Such as a alternate reality hologram where the consumer has to scan a poster and a stormtrooper’s hologram will appear. These fun little activities engage the audience more which encourages them to watch the movie as they want to know more about the move. This has helped audiences to become prosumers as they use Star Wars
The convergence between film and video games. The game was created by Disney interactive studios and developed by Avalanche software which used to be independent but was bought by Disney and by Bandai Namco which is independent. This shows how the synergy between these institutes has helped to develop a game that audiences enjoy. The game has characters ranging from Toy Story to Marvel characters and Star Wars characters. This highlights how Disney are able to attract a range of audiences to play their game. Audiences have created reviews, blogs and videos on YouTube. This is an examples of secondary circulation and how audiences are becoming Prosumers.(Consumption)
VOD benefits independent producers as it lowers distribution costs, and allowing more films to be distributed digitally to their audience. An example of this is the British film ‘Pulp’ (2012) which became the first film to premiere on the Xbox (an example of technological convergence). ‘Pulp’ was not given a theatrical or DVD release, meaning that games console platform allowed it to be distributed to an audience.
Independent producers have made use of the opportunity to use VOD platforms as part of day-and-date release strategies which maximise audience awareness around one release date. Examples include ‘Mum and Dad’ and ‘A Field in England’.
Technological convergence can help Independent institutes by the use of social media and apps on smart phones. An independent film could release a trailer on YouTube and then audiences can share the video across their social media. This is secondary circulation and audience prosumers. Technological convergence has also helped indies as audiences can research the film, watch a trailer and share information of the film on one device. This has benefited independent institutes as their film can be advertised for free due to secondary circulation.
I personally use my phone to view the trailer of a film and If I like it I research it on the internet and tell my friends about it via social media.
Without doubt digital technologies have revolutionised the way global audiences consume products from the film industry. In particular, web 2.0 has facilitated a new interactive and immersive environment for audiences. Like all film institutions, Disney continually is trying to saturate the internet with content and because their budget is incredibly high, it is easy for the institution to exploit this arena. A fantastic example of Disney utilising web 2.0 is…whilst conglomerates such as Disney find web 2.0 very lucrative, independents are also able to take advantage because…example…However, Marxists would contend that there is an illusion of choice because most consumers are creatures of habit and they are drawn to the major online institutions such as Google, Facebook, IMDB where companies such as Disney have a huge adverting presence.
Moreover, web 2.0 is not the only way institutions can encourage audiences to consume in interactive and immersive ways. Disney infinity…Disney life…However, this domination of the digital sphere is often derided by many critics because it is seen as a form of Disneyfication. Not only is Disney dominating the animation industry (horizontal integration), the institution is also able to manipulate other media industries such as TV streaming, online social networks and the gaming industry (vertical integration). This is seen as cultural imperialism and therefore it has the opposite effect of the designs of media pluralism. It is very hard for children to avoid Disney’s reach and it could be argued that there is a lack of variety for children to consume.
PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
Computer animation – global illumination…Nevertheless, it is also a sign of dumbing down because audiences are confined to the imaginary worlds of one institution (albeit one with subsidiaries).