Streaming: Is it worth it?

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In this day and age where instant gratification rules the consumer’s pocket, more and more filmmakers are drifting towards digital streaming. Filmmakers are finding that revenues of the digital age are more enhanced than the traditional standers.  Although Netflix is one of the top streaming services, iTunes is a close contender, being reasonable for filmmakers and convenient for consumers. For both the filmmaker and the consumer it’s all about convenience. Being able to watch any film at the flick of a finger is a lot cheaper for consumers than going to a cinema in today’s society. Steaming with a company like iTunes, helps out the filmmaker save money on manufacturing and shipping.  iTunes gives a better sales split to filmmakers than Netfilx does, a 70/30 split favoring the filmmaker.

Streaming programs such as iTunes, is a great transition from traditional theatre entertainment without completely dementing theatres and film distributions for release. From the article How to get your Indie film onto iTunes & Netflix by Lights Film School, it states “iTunes splits sales 70/30. With 70% going to the filmmaker and 30% going to iTunes. For example, when iTunes sells a film for $9.99. $7 of that goes to the filmmaker. With the new aggregator model, the filmmaker will generally see 100% of that $7. With the old aggregator model, the filmmaker would probably see around $3.50 of the $7.

Since we’re living in the digital age and part of a fast pace world, we developed a short attention span within film and media entertainment. For example, in the article ​Why Is Binge-Viewing So Popular in a Short Attention Span Age? by Gary Susman, he presents some ideas of society being “all about convenience”, “the necessity for quality” and how much society taste is “evolving”. Again, with the convenience of iTunes pre order purchases having the ability to automatically download to customers devices when the film is released, is a plus from other streaming or DVD release locations. Addition to the automatic download, consumers also receive a great quality copy with special features, behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, etc.

The primary advantage of using iTunes over other streaming services is their use of DRM (Digital Rights management) technology. This prevents un-authorized viewing with out purchasing a license. Streaming services are negligent in this area because users can share accounts with family and friends who use the service free.

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Streaming services, like iTunes, purchase blanket license agreements so the revenue generated by the studio per-view decreases with the popularity of the film. With iTunes, the content creator receives 70% of the rental or purchase price of the title.

Another advantage of iTunes is the advertisement they provide that other streaming services can’t. They offer pre-orders for major films while they are in theaters and can offer additional content such as exclusive trailers, deleted scenes, and director commentary. The additional services that iTunes provides and their use of digital rights management, iTunes is able to provide more revenue into studio’s pockets, provide quality and compatibility to new devices and support the fast pace lifestyle of streaming services and trends in entertainment.

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