Friday, 13 June 2008

Films for free on the internet - the tip of the iceberg?

Digital reinvented the music model; the question we’ve been asking for some time now is what it will do to the film industry.

Studios have been (understandably) slow to pick up on online downloads – which could of course fundamentally threaten the business model. But recently things have started moving the states, Yesterday Cinematical reported that Disney were to start offering their Wonderful World of Disney films online; Today the same site covers Fox Searchlight’s decision to offer content for download on Hulu.

Three films have been mentioned so far: Sideways, 28 days later and Quills have been mentioned. Reports suggest that content will also become available from other networks including Fox itself, Universal, MGM, Lionsgate etc.

Have a read of the Cinematical article (it’s much better than this). They centre on the disruption of ads in the stream. (interesting) and the fact that there are no age restrictions.

For me it’s more about what could be the front edge of a very big iceberg, which could change the way we consume film. Nothing’s going to change in the short term – there are too many vested interests involved – surely at some point though, new channels to market are going to start eroding a model that’s been in place since Hollywood was founded.

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