How Film Relates to Tapscott and Williams’ Theory. Amy Scott and Ceiridwen Fowles
Who are Tapscott and Williams and what is their theory? Don Tapscott and Andy Williams are media theorists, who came up with an important theory about how distribution, consumption and exchange patterns had changed due to web 2.0. They argued that the internet gave the consumer a new kind of power, as not only did they have an ‘abundance of choices’ but they can also ‘increasingly rely on themselves.’ Consumers don’t just have the power change suppliers or customise their goods but they could even ‘become an economy unto themselves.’ Tapscott and Williams wrote an influential book called ‘Wikinomics’ which discussed business and commerce in the online age. The book contained many ‘big ideas’ so of which we will investigate in this presentation and look at what they mean for the film industry.
Peering Peering is defined as the free sharing of material on the internet. Positive Effects on the Film Industry Peering cuts distribution cost considerably because it means that independent film makers can easily showcase their films on video streaming sites such as YouTube, gaining them an audience that would otherwise be unavailable. This is particular true in terms of short films, which before the internet, were only able to be show cased at specific festivals. Whilst these festivals still exist, the internet and peering has created more opportunities for film maker’s work to be distributed to a wider audience. Websites and competitions such as Virgin Media Shorts make this possible. This also means that ideas and information can be spread around, for example in the script writing process more feedback can be given and received from a wider network faster.
Negative Effects on the Film Industry Peering is a problem for major film companies as it enables people to share and download films for free using torrent sites and other direct. This means that SWIM (Someone who isn’t me i.e. Ceiridwen) can have 150 films on their external hard drive for free. This is bad because it causes a huge loss of revenue as people are less likely to go to the cinema or buy films on DVD. Hollywood investigators claim that a 10% increase every year is lost in revenue due to illegal downloading. Ceiridwen’s favourite Torrent site
Free Creativity Free creatively allows consumers to use material already created and edit it (like remixes). What does this mean for the film industry? This means that the content of films can be re-edited and shared, which could potentially draw more people to the film as they see clips from it. It means fan trailers can be made as well as remixes of key scenes, for example; ‘ They're Taking The Hobbits to Isengard ’ ‘Harry Potter starts a band’
Thinking Globally Thinking Globally refers to the fact that the internet is now an instant global communication sphere meaning that national and cultural boundaries are inevitably reduced. What does this mean? CIVIL WAR This means that there can be worldwide blanket distribution of films which eliminates some of the demand for piracy and increases profits from a wider audience. It also means that production is easier as locations and staff can be found from the wider pool of people.
Perfect Storm A film about a boat. Or the combination of economics, technology and a ‘digital native’ demographic that makes companies that don’t utilise web 2.0 less successful. What does this mean? This means that to sell their films effectively, the film companies have to use viral marketing in their advertising campaigns. They can utilise social networking sites to increase awareness of their productions. We looked at the current online marketing campaign for the latest Harry Potter film. However, as the demographic they are trying to target are digital natives, so there is some debate as to whether viral marketing actually works. People are so used to techniques such as pop up adverts that they just ignore them, so they are no longer effective.