CrowdFunding and the Future of Film and Entertainment

By Thomas Ma3i, The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that the only constant in life is change. And boy was he right. We live in an age of constant, never ending profound change. Facebook, Twitter, Google, iTunes, VOD and crowdfunding is now part of our daily vocabulary and yet, iTunes is only 10 years old, Facebook is 9, Twitter is 7 and Kickstarter, the mother of crowdfunding sites, is only 4 years old. These young companies are not even in their teens yet but combined they represent a paramount change in our industry to the tune of over 500 billion dollars.

Did the internet break Blockbuster?

The entry of internet into people’s lives has eventuated into massive disruption of business models across practically every industry. In the case of entertainment, let’s look at what happened to Blockbuster; up until 2004 Blockbuster was the market leader in rental videos around with world with more than 60,000 employees and 9,000 stores. Then Netflix came along and changed all that.

Interestingly their cash cow was not in the rental of videos or selling of popcorn and coke. Sure, they did make money on renting and selling snacks but where they really made a ton of money was in an area that really annoyed their customers. The dreaded late fee! This was direct revenue for Blockbuster as it was not shared with film makers.

Netflix changed all that with the delivery of DVD’s through the mail as there were no late fees. Bigger selections and no “sold out” titles made millions of people sign up to Netflix. As of March 2013, they had 33 million subscribers paying them a fee every month. In September 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in the US. Yes, Blockbuster is still around in Australia but it may be a matter of time before they go the same way as Tower Records, Borders Book Stores, HMV and Virgin Megastores.

No disrespect to Blockbuster or video rental stores but consumers, as mentioned by Screen Australia, want to choose what film they want to watch, the device they want to watch it on and when they want to watch it. What is the morale of the story? We need to learn to adapt to the constant change. And, today the change in entertainment is being driven by the customer and audience. Film and entertainment businesses need to adapt cohesive marketing strategies that engage with and involve their audiences. Two factors driving this change in entertainment are crowdfunding and innovative disruption.

The crowdfunding factor

The premise for crowdfunding is that it enables filmmakers to connect with their audiences before, during and after they have made the film. It is a great way to find out if there is interest in your film before you make it. Up until crowdfunding, we have had this “build it and they will come” mindset in our industry when choosing what project to make. With crowdfunding we can see if there is a clear demand. It is an early pitch directly to your core audience.

Gayby Baby, a documentary that we helped crowdfund $100,000, premieres in a shorter version later in the year on ABC’s Open Shot program and will have a full release next year. The $100,000 raised on Gayby Baby through crowdfunding was great as it told us that there are a lot of people who want to see the film. It also reiterated audience confidence to ABC, Screen Australia, film festivals and others. The “brand” value of film increased before it was even completed. Normally, you start from scratch when a film is released but in this case, we have had a year to build up the anticipation, discussion and fans for the film so that when it does get released, it will have a build in audience that proves to the distributor and exhibitor that there is a market for the film as opposed to a generic marketing campaign.

Innovative distribution

On the film Deep Blue Sea, we crowdfunded $60,000. This money was raised, not to complete the film, as the film was already complete when we met with the producers. We raised the $60,000 to pay for a national release to 30 cities across Australia. In other words, if we did not crowdfund the $60,000, we would have known that there wasn’t enough demand for the film and wouldn’t have released it. More importantly the money raised told us that people were so keen to see the film that they were willing to buy tickets months in advance to “vote” for the film to come to their city.

If we sold a lot of tickets in one city we could afford to rent the local theatre on our terms, but if we sold very little, we could either cancel or show the film in the local pub, town hall or church. By renting the theatres on our terms, we were allowed to sell DVD’s in the foyer, while still having the film available on video on demand. More importantly, the producers made money, from the first dollar at the box office, as opposed to the last dollar.

Crowdfunding and innovative distribution helps in reducing the barriers of entry to the market and gets more people wanting to produce entertainment content. It still has a long way to go, but the change has begun.

Source and read more on :


AZCentral.comTiny companies lure investors under Arizona crowdfunding lawAZCentral.comInvestors who make bets under the state's one-year-old crowdfunding law certainly have the potential to get in on the ground floor, but they must be patient and might not receive any returns. Th [...]

BloombergCouples Desperate For Children Turn to Crowdfunding FertilityBloombergCrowdfunding has become a popular mechanism for many couples who can't afford the high costs of IVF, or adoption and surrogacy. “It's not an easy thing to share publicly,” says Crystal Barrett, 33 [...]

WTTV CBS4IndyCrowdfunding effort to save Dorothy's iconic ruby red slippers from 'Wizard of Oz' raises $300000WTTV CBS4IndyThe Smithsonian has launched a campaign on Kickstarter aimed at raising $300,000 to preserve the ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the belo [...]

Crowdfund InsiderMassive Rule 147 Amendments May Be On The Horizon Impacting ...Crowdfund InsiderAlmost a year ago, the SEC proposed certain amendments to the current Rule 147 which were intended to help foster, and increase the viability of, Intrastat.and more » [...]

Mountain XpressFaces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initatives | Mountain XpressMountain XpressEach week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a feature ...and more » [...]

MarketWatchWhy a crowdfunding site is giving out $10000 scholarshipsMarketWatchCrowdfunding site GoFundMe announced Thursday that it will award $10,000 to 10 students with pages on their site that fundraise for education. The award is part of a contest the site held throughout Septemb [...]

Android Authority (blog)Crowdfunding project of the week: Remix IO is an Android 4K set-top ...Android Authority (blog)The 'Crowdfunding project of the week' series is where we highlight some of the hottest campaigns from sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. There's pl [...]

Huffington PostReal Estate Crowdfunding's Pathway of ChangeHuffington Post“Crowdfunding is just the Internet,” stated Attorney Mark Roderick as he opened last month's RealCap Chicago. RealCap is an annual conference that joins crowdfunding leaders and innovators to propel th [...]

WestwordProgressive-Rock Band Marillion Pioneered CrowdfundingWestwordThat was the beginning of crowdfunding for us — and for every band, really.” When it came time for the recording and release of the followup to the 1999 record, Kelly and the band realized that one of [...]

BBC NewsNHS trust 'relies' on crowdfunding to equip wardBBC NewsAn NHS trust has launched a crowdfunding appeal to buy equipment for a new hospital unit because "it cannot get started without donations". The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore, n [...]

CFB Finance

Press Release

CrowdFund Beat News

Hello @CrowdFundBeat's 17330 followers - thank you so much for following! Wishing you all a happy Monday! >>

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |