Accessibility statement
November 2016 - July 2017

Digital Technologies and the Creative Industries: how are on-demand platforms changing film and television distribution?

Professor Andrew Higson, Dr Huw Jones, Mr John Mateer, Dr Beatrice D'Ippolito

How is on-demand culture is changing the way films and television drama are produced, distributed and consumed?

The business of films and television drama is rapidly changing with the growing popularity of on-demand culture, whereby audiences are able to watch films and television drama online. Slowly but surely, the technology has been created for consumers to access streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Studios, Hulu and iTunes on any consumer device connected to the Internet, including smart TV, video game consoles, laptops, tablets and smart phones, increasingly through mobile apps.

The popularity of subscription services Netflix and Amazon Studios stand out with dozens of millions of subscribers worldwide. Television broadcasters and specialist companies have equally moved into this new online space, creating on-demand libraries and enabling cultural diversity in local or national markets. Thus, the on-demand market in the UK is comprised of leading global players such as Netflix and Amazon Studios, as well as locally-oriented broadcasters such as BBC iPlayer and All 4 and locally-oriented companies such as Curzon Home Cinema and BFI Player, amongst others.

Our aim is to explore how on-demand culture is changing the way films and television drama are produced, distributed and consumed, particularly focusing on a few key areas. Thes first of these is audience behaviour and a consideration of the effect of algorithms and the curation of content in guiding that behaviour. The second considers the perspective of the providers themselves, this includes comparing business models for Video on Demand (VOD), the impact of VOD on distributors and other gatekeepers and to consider the great opportunities offered by an on-demand culture to film and television producers.