The film and TV industries have reputations for being hard to break into. Independent content creators have always been at a disadvantage. They often lack the funds to produce their projects and the connections to distribute them on the market. The system doesn’t work in their favor, nor fans’. Fans are only spectators when it comes to entertainment, even though it’s their money the industry is asking for. These are just two of the many factors that show how the entertainment industry’s model is broken. Unfortunately, the entertainment industry has many other problems that make it inefficient.
What Are the Problems in the Entertainment Industry?
Content creators in Hollywood’s current system approach industry executives with their ideas, pitch them, and hope that the executives decide the project is worth investing in and producing. However, this process is extremely selective and biased, so countless projects never make it to the big screen. Some creators attempt to go around the system and produce their projects independently, but they need to raise capital themselves and typically can’t distribute their finished products. As the system stands, creators struggle to acquire funding and lack access to studios that can provide them with the resources for success.
Financiers are one of the reasons for this. Other industries have lots of data to analyze that can guide their investment decisions, but the entertainment industry has little in comparison—mostly past ticket sales, studio and producer prestige, and past viewer numbers. As a result, the industry produces lots of franchise prequels and sequels because those are safe bets for generating high profits.
According to Stephen Follows, only 31.6 percent of independent films are “likely” to turn a profit, 3.7 percent are “possible”, and 58.8 percent are likely to result in a loss. However, 43 percent of Hollywood studio films are expected to earn a profit, while 41.7 are not likely to break even. Multiple factors are contributing to these ratios, such as the possibility that audiences prefer to see films with higher budgets (and therefore improved production value) and the fact that studios have more resources to allocate towards marketing.
In addition, fans have no voice in the production process. Since they are the ones paying for movies and TV, shouldn’t they get a say in what gets made? Currently, they are asked to gamble with their money and hope a film or show pleases them. If it turns out the content is unsatisfying, then they have wasted their time and money.
How Do We Optimize the Entertainment Industry?
How to fix the problems in the entertainment industry is a complicated discussion that will take a long time to unpack. It also depends on who wants something “fixed”—movie theaters, for instance, are frustrated with streaming services creating original content because people are choosing to stay home instead of going to the cinema. However, the goal should not be to direct money back to where it’s always gone; it should be to make the industry more fair and navigable for creators, fans and investors.
One platform that intends to revolutionize the film and TV industries is Filmio. The founders of Filmio have worked closely with big-names in the entertainment industry and know its shortcomings first-hand. They created their platform to be an alternative system to the conventional product-to-market model in Hollywood. On Filmio, creators can upload their projects and connect with investors and fans early on in the production process. This way, creators have more opportunities to connect with studios and investors, fans can provide feedback while projects are being made (not after), and investors have more meaningful data to analyze that can better predict which projects will be hits or misses.
Why the Entertainment Industry Needs a Reboot
Leveling the Hollywood playing field will create a more inclusive and accessible industry. Everyone participates in it in some way, so shouldn’t everyone be involved more than they currently are? When everyone has a voice and more opportunities to bring their ideas to fruition, the final products that reach the market will be better because fans were able to give their input before completion. There will be a more diverse range of movies and TV shows to watch because there will be more opportunities for originality (and evidence to support its importance). Stories matter, so fixing Hollywood’s problems is not unimportant. It may be challenging, but making a more fair and inclusive entertainment industry is possible.