Survival of the fittest: This evolutionary concept is applicable to nearly every facet of our existence. Normally, we use this paradigm of thinking when discussing the development of life, but Darwin’s theory of the evolutionary process reaches beyond the normal realm of biological development.
Darwin believed that an ability to rapidly and effectively adapt to one’s changing surroundings is the essential quality of survival. This line of thinking stands true in business as well.
The field of entertainment – through protectionist structuring and crowding out techniques – has been able to buck the trend for nearly a century. The film industry’s formula for movie distribution has not changed since the 1930’s. The only things to change have been film titles and wardrobe.
But over the last 20 years information transferring has become instant instead of the old changing hands through intermediaries. As a result Generation Y’s attention span has been reduced significantly, requiring immediate gratification that thoroughly engage us.
Yet, we willingly get into our cars and drive miles away for a limited selection of films that are shown on a pre-selected schedule at an expensive rate. This process is called “Going To The Movies.” Why is that Generation Y’s culture is so focused on multi-tasking, efficiency and instant supply in every regard except movie watching?
However, digital media shows no patience. Streaming broadcasts, downloads, Netflix, Movies On Demand—these have all forever changed the way in which we can access our favorite film and television content. Still, movie theatres and basic cable networks thrive off of their unrelenting approach to an outdated presentation.
Certain venture capitalists and entrepreneurs have spoken out against the old industry’s lack of evolution and development. The individuals entering the field are actually calling for a movement of replacement by offering generous donations for start-ups that rival the current system. Or, in their words, “Kill Hollywood.” Y Combinator, a startup-funding firm, is leading the charge against Hollywood with the passion of William Wallace in Braveheart.
The firm released a straightforward statement detailing the reasons why they believe the current cumbersome entertainment structure is in need of an overhaul.
What’s going to kill movies and TV is what’s already killing them: better ways to entertain people.
Their claim deserves consideration: with advancements in technology, why has the consumption process for entertainment media remained virtually unchanged? Do the current industry leaders’ actions validate the literal “hit” that venture capitalists have placed on the outdated and inefficient industry of movies?
If you look at all other technology services and companies that thrive, they all make a point to cater to the specific demands of contemporary society. As much as we curse Mark Zuckerberg for the constant and annoying changes that occur with our Facebooks, we have to notice that the site has consistently expanded the ways in which we can communicate. At this point, the site has essentially rendered email, Vchat and all other instant messaging software programs obsolete. Why use them all separately when Facebook has combined them into one online destination?
New technologies create endless possibilities for media, yet Hollywood remains unchanged. It is a lot like the New York Jets clinging to a ground and pound offensive attack when the NFL has clearly become a predominantly passing league.
Serial entrepreneur Stephan Paternot has proposed an idea for finding funding by private producers in order to disrupt Hollywood’s business. So he created Slated, a private marketplace, to do just that.
“What you’re seeing with Hollywood is the result of a dysfunctional incumbent desperate to save itself,” Paternot has been quoted as saying. “What we need is not just new methods of distribution, like Netflix and Hulu, but going farther up the food chain, to find new platforms for creating big budget independent films.”
This back and forth between entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and studio management has culminated in the battle we are now seeing take shape. Individuals and organizations are taking an initiative against antiquated Hollywood methods in order to create newer, more efficient ways to digest entertainment.
So, what is the future of entertainment?
This is a critical question to ask, given the on going struggle. Miles Beckett, of pandodaily, provides a specific aim for future entertainment organizations.
“The platforms are here, but how can we leverage these platforms to make them more interesting? I believe that we will build experiences. Over the course of this year, we will see LA-based companies fill the desert with the digital equivalent of rock concerts, movie theaters, and theme parks. They will build web and mobile applications that leverage existing platforms to create engaging experiences that work across all platforms and devices.”
No longer is the goal of entertainment only to attract audiences. Merely garnering an audience is just not enough anymore. Now, organizations must find a way to actively engage those same audiences. The new crop of consumers wants to feel connected to the product in some way, and the standard movie-viewing format does not meet this growing demand.
This proclaimed execution of Hollywood has been a long time coming in the industry rival’s eyes. Hollywood’s resistance to change and technological development is only a stubborn attitude, providing the motivation for this revolutionary movement.
Darwin was correct in his belief that adaptation is an integral part of survival. Hollywood may have been able to resist such changes for the better part of a century, but the time to adapt is rapidly drawing closer. The question is, will Hollywood be willingly able to adjust their approach in order to accommodate a new age of entertainment? Or, is the demise of Hollywood as we know it around the next the corner?
Brandon Katz | Elite.