Exploiting New Opportunities and Markets in the Digital Age
Described as happening a number of decades ago, the digital revolution has drastically changed the way producers engage with their medium. As technology advances, the means to create becomes more accessible and affordable. A producer must not only decide on the medium they wish to use, but they must also decide on the audience and demographic they wish to target. Once deciding their target audience, they must consider the audience’s expectations, the means by which they will reach the audience (film, television, etc.), and discuss what a feasible budget might look like that will satisfy the needs of their demographic. The demographics of a producer’s audience can greatly affect the work they are creating. They must consider age, gender, income, education, religion, culture, and language. Market research may help when estimating audience size and preferences. A producer will give their work a dry run by using a test audience.
These questions show the amount of detail and consideration that must take place before their work can begin but they are each essential factors that will dictate the way a producer’s work is received by their desired audience:
Which distribution method will be used?
Which production format will be used?
Which electronic media will be used?
Which genre will tell the story best?
With the growth of digitized signals, it is possible to reach an audience through many different media distribution forms such as AM-FM, HD-Radio, Mobile, Satellite, Cable, Disk, Internet, Games, Motion Pictures, and more. Producers must consider the details of post production before they even begin to work. Once a producer creates work, their is an intermediary that facilitates the audience consumption of the content.
The type of consumption we are most familiar with today is on demand streaming through the internet. This form of media consumption makes for widely accessible content. Convergence allows for content to be at our fingertips constantly. Convergence is the merging of media platforms and distribution. Your cell phone is the perfect example of convergence. It is a telephone, computer, calculator, camera as well as much more. These are all factors that affect the economics of distribution. A producer must understand the basic economics of distribution in order to reach their target audience.
In regards to independent films and small production companies that have trouble getting their work out their, it proves best for them to work with local cable station. Local stations are concerned will filling time and they are likely to show independent work during slow time slots. Local stations are able to sell commercials to advertisers for a high cost and they can generate some viewership before their main programming, such as the local news. A local station rarely pays for this type of programming and a producer’s best choice is to sell their work to a commercial TV station, but this is often difficult. With a huge boom in online streaming, internet distribution is a great way to reach younger audiences and to gain exposure.
Overall, there are many challenges faces with media production and many factors to consider, but there are also ways of making the process easier and more accessible for all to participate to the content we engage in everyday.