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Hollywood: Content or Distribution?

What is "HollyWood"? Content or Distribution?

In the past, Hollywood was a physical place where innovators gathered to create content. To get that content to the audiences, it was natural that distribution needed to grow to support the ecosystem. So, over time, both content & distribution where partnered & intermixed, & seen as "one" entity. (Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers, etc.)


But by 2012, distribution can be (and should be) separated from content creators. No longer are the interests of distributors the same as the interests of creators. Old "Hollywood" is clinging to a false belief that "going outside their approved distribution models is equal to stealing from creators". It's only stealing from archaic distributors, who themselves don't usually offer much % to the real creators.

When I look at the MPAA and their efforts to make alternate distribution methods illegal, it'd be like letting Walmart make illegal, as they are challenging Walmart's physical distribution with online distribution.. All the while, pretending to help the poor toaster manufacture. (Of course, the toaster manufacturer would love to have more, & cheaper new distribution channels.)

Distribution is radically cheaper online. And, only fraudsters would not pass along some of those efficiencies to the people at either end of the value chain.

YouTube is of course a huge distribution network, where creators can upload & reach audiences for FREE (or even get paid real $!). Even if you don't use YouTube, but build your own site, it costs just 30 cents of bandwidth to let your customer get your "DVD's worth" of content, without the shipping, materials, & labor, which totals at least $5, not including all of the headaches & physical processes to manage.


Creators of content are justifiably excited by the lower costs of distribution. Now, nearly everyone with a combination of real intention, some skill, and time & friends, can seriously put together interesting stories online. They don't need old distribution models (which support massive billboard/magazine/TV ads for just a few big hits). They can start by sharing their online story with friends, & if it's good, it'll spread naturally.


So, now, the real issue that any content creator has, is.... discovery. How can the right audience find the right content? Social sharing helps, sure (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc). But, I'm really excited to see new "channels" getting built, & taking off. Machinima, StyleHaul, and more channels are simply bringing together multiple quality creators of content, for their audiences to find them more efficiently. They are getting millions of views per day, & justifiable attention. It's those channels that are bridging the "social discovery" with "mass market passive consumption based on channels".

The future is inevitable. Digital, cheaper, wider distribution is here to stay.

Those that fight digital distribution will simply be leaving the future to other players.

In all future discussions on piracy, DRM, Hollywood, etc.... I believe we'll get to a better future, faster, if we separate "distribution" from "content creation" in our discussions.

OK. Enough on this off-topic, & back to my focus: Getting things scanned & preserved for families across America.

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