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  • Writer's pictureHugo Pinto

Like music, the movie industry still hasn’t learned: the #oscars2014

The Oscars are the pinnacle of cinema, and a huge point of conversion for a lot of generations. Each generation has their preferred touch points with the event, and the most conservative still go to a movie theatre to watch it overnight, and the younger ones will only read the top tweets, but “the guys upstairs” still haven’t figured it out, after all these years.

It’s easy to speak about the copyright crisis affecting the content industry, but it’s very complicated to speak about how it’s being handled. There are examples like game of thrones – and a few others as i explain on this post – and bad ones, as this year’s Oscars ceremony – I was especially amazed to see entertainment limiting content to geographical areas.

Businesses, and especially content businesses must get the idea that content on the world wide web is available – you got it – WORLD WIDE! So if you have a show you know will attract people from everywhere in the world, and even better, they are eager to see and talk about it, why stream it online only in the US (after you login or something)?

How much does the US revenues for content represent for hollywood?

Let’s do the math with James Cameron HD extravaganza, Avatar, the highest revenue generating movie in history, information from the site The Numbers.

Production budget: $425 Million

US revenues (Theatres only): $761 Million

Ex-US revenues (Theatres only): $2.23 Billion

So why this autistic and myopic strategy of just keep doing what you’ve always done? And even though you’re in Captain Phillips shoes – the industry doesn’t still know how it will survive the pirates, nor themselves.

Interesting that most of the countries have this show being transmitted over paid TV, and many will watch it on catch up services over their set top boxes, but tomorrow, everyone will be talking about it. Speaking of which, isn’t it kind of strange that when the industry is trying to get as much visibility and noise around the movies, they limit that impact themselves? It should be available for free, on any device, and the engagement of this event should be pushed months in advance, getting the revenues from the movies, no the show – that’s the purpose of sponsors!

Maybe the proper and strategised use of social media, mobile and other new content consumption technological trends could help studios and artists make better use of all this noise, before, during and after the show – but then there would be no more excuses to  keep filling the pockets of an obsolete chain of value – just like the music industry did.

One other big trend that cannot be ignored is the democratisation of content creation, both by brands and end-users – youtube is the living proof of the latter, and the content marketing [R]evolution is now one of the key brand strategies, opening the way in the social media jungle, to their audiences and their consumers.

Fortunately not everyone gives up, and geniuses like Kevin Spacey fight this trend and embrace projects like Now: The film – which he self-released – and House of Cards an exclusive from Netflix, that is released in Bulk, allowing you to have full control of how, when and where you watch it. And yet another example, from another area of entertainment, WWE launched it’s own network, with 24/7 livestream online to any device, bringing the content to where the viewers are.

As in the music industry with the initiatives of Radiohead and Spotify, these initiatives can be considered the baby steps of a much bigger revolution the will soon hit like a tsunami. And these industries are getting themselves on an island – without any high ground – and not even Wilson will want to keep them company…

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