As a result, there is more content than ever flooding the marketplace every day, creating a substantial threat of new entry for you. In addition to the dozens, if not hundreds, of independent films released each day (not including YouTube clips, etc.), you also have to worry about the latest studio blockbuster, old television show, and catalog film titles competing with you for market share. And don’t forget Apple TV and Disney+…
“…the vast majority of consumers would either just watch the original Taken or the latest Hollywood superhero epic among many other entertainment options.”
Which all adds up to a competitive advantage of virtually zero for an independent filmmaker. No matter how original your work, it’s still just one of many options to choose from in a vast ocean of content.
These platforms also have massive supplier power (again from the artist’s perspective) in that they can set and adjust prices, terms of service, and the level of transparency they offer to content creators because, without them, it becomes even more difficult than it already is to sell your content to the general public.
That general public has immense buying power which allows them to demand ever cheaper subscriptions, rentals, and sale prices for the content they consume. Which results in reduced payouts to you, the content creator. And unless you’re monetizing at your full potential (at scale), that number is going to quickly become negligible, along with any competitive advantage you thought you had.
There is also a major threat of substitution, which further decreases (or even eliminates) any competitive advantage offered to independents in the current competitive entertainment landscape. For example, if you’re selling your film as “an indie The Big Chill” or “a low-budget Taken,” the vast majority of consumers would either just watch the original Taken or the latest Hollywood superhero epic among many other entertainment options.
In case you missed it last time: you are not a black swan. Tune in next month for how you can fix that.
Brad Wilke is the co-founder and principal at Smarthouse Creative, a marketing and publicity agency serving independent filmmakers.
Smarthouse Creative is a marketing agency for independent filmmakers. Whether you’re looking for an overall marketing strategy that marries advertising, social media, and publicity, or just a stand-alone digital ad, social media, or PR plan for your indie film, we can help.