HowSocial Media And Technology Affect Movies?
Facebookis arguably the biggest social networking site with over 1 billionmonthly active users actively. Over the years, other social mediaplatforms like Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterestand LinkedIn among other have emerged. Technology, on the other hand,has grown over the years. For instance, a while back people used toview movies from video cassette players. However, with time peoplemoved from video cassette players to the DVD player and now peopleare watching movies online. The growth of social media and technologyhas had an enormous effect on movies. There have been both positiveand adverse impacts. However, there have been more positive effectsof social media and technology on movies than negative effects.
Accordingto the movie ‘The Social Network”, social media came to life inthe year 2003 when one Mark Zuckerberg created thefacemash.com afterhis girlfriend, Erica Albright dumped him. The site quickly gainedpopularity with Harvard University students thou it lands Mark introuble as he is suspended from the University. Mark together withhis friends expands the site to other institutions across thecountry. However, as the site quickly gains popularity, the moreproblems Mark faces as he faces lawsuits from people claiming hestole their idea and created Facebook and faces lawsuits regardingthe ownership of Facebook (Bradshaw).
Longgone are the days where movies would be promoted via print media andbillboards. "Socialmedia represent an opportunity to reach an audience and establishrelationships at a personal level that traditional advertising is notcapable of achieving"(Science 2.0). Using social media, it is now possible to create abuzz and hype of a movie even before it is released. Facebook andparticularly Twitter hash tags have become a popular way ofadvertising and creating a buzz before and after movies are released.Social media also creates a platform whereby people can haveconversations about the movie. In addition, social media also helpsestablish a connection between the viewers and creators of movies.This gives the viewers a chance to interact with their favoriteactors in the movie (TheHollywood Reporter). It also helps the creators get a chance to seethe real-time reactions of their viewers once the movie is released.
Socialmedia has also helped drive down the cost of advertising movies. Asingle post on social media platforms can be able to reach millionsof people without the creators spending a dime. Several movies havetaken advantage of social media marketing to earn high big boxnumbers. For instance, the series “Breaking Bad” averaged only1.2 million viewers during its premiere season. However, after avigorous social media campaign the show was able to hit 10.2 millionviewers by the final season. According to research conducted by theHollywoodreporter.com, 72% of social media users post about a movieafter they have watched a movie, 20% post about the movie whenwatching the movie and 8% post about the movie before watching themovie.
However,on the negative side, social media and technology has reduced thenumber of hours people set aside to watch movies. According toresearch conducted by Penn Schoen Berland of theHollywoodreporter.com, 88% of people who took part in the study areslowly turning to social media as their preferred form ofentertainment as compared to watching movies. People would ratherspend time on social media texting, viewing videos on YouTube,listening to music and downloading short clips and music. If thistrend continues, this is likely to affect the movie industry in anegative way, and we could potentially see the death of the movieindustry (TheHollywood Reporter).
Usingsophisticated pieces of technology, movie creators can now be able toimprove the experience of their viewers using computer-generatedimages. These images improve the quality of the movie by creatingspecial effects contrary to what people have been used to. Forexample, it is possible to change the background of a movie usingthis piece of sophisticated technology. This has helped moviecreators to reduce the budget used in the production of movies as thecrew and actors do not have to travel to specific places to shoot amovie. These special effects have over the years been used in theproduction of some of the most successful movies of the century.While the digital effects have been lauded for being cheap and makingthe editing process less cumbersome, some critics believe that thesespecial effects compromise the quality of movies.
Technologyhas also had an effect on the profit of moviemakers. It is nowpossible to download a movie online without paying a dime for themovie. This has had an effect on the overall sales. Pirating is amajor concern for most movie creators as this eats away their income.Some people are notorious for carrying cameras to movie theaters torecord movies at the time of its release. Despite the governmentcoming up with stringent measures to curb pirating, piratingcontinues to be a big issue in the movie industry. More has to bedone to curb this pirating menace and bring the culprits to justice.
Whilesocial media has been used to market movies, the same media hasrepeatedly been used to discredit movies and this affects thepublicity of the movie and finally affects the number of people whowill purchase and watch the movie. Over time, social media users haveinitiated negative social media campaigns against certain movies.This has affected the sales of the movies, as people will not bemotivated to watch a movie, which has been branded as being poor andboring.
Lastly,technology has enabled more and more people have access to movies.For instance, people who cannot be able to purchase tickets to apremiere of a movie can now be able to acquire an original copy ofthe movie in DVD format. This is a cheaper alternative to most peopleas the whole family gets to watch the movie. People can also be ableto watch movies online shortly after they are released. With internetrates becoming cheaper, more people are preferring to watch moviesonline rather than going to watch movies in theaters(Ibm.com).This would not have been possible if it were not for the immensegrowth in technology.
Technologyand social media have had both positive and negative effects on themovie industry. However, I think that the positive effects outweighthe negative effects. This is evident from the movie “The SocialNetwork” which has a quote that states that one cannot have 500million friends without creating a few enemies. While there are manypositive effects of social media and technology on the movieindustry, there are also a few negative effects, which is perfectlynormal. “Socialmedia has clearly impacted the entertainment industry, as mosttelevision viewers and moviegoers consider it an irresistible form ofentertainment. Social networks have revolutionized the “traditional”entertainment experience now that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitterare used to supplement viewing”(Ibm.com).
Bradshaw,Peter. `The Social Network – Review`. theGuardian.N.p., 2010. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.
Briansolis.com,.`Music, Film, TV: How Social Media Changed The EntertainmentExperience – Brian Solis`. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.
Ibm.com,.`By The Numbers: Social Media`s Impact On The Entertainment Industry- USC Marshall School Of Business: Exploring Social Business Blog -USC Marshall School Of Business: Exploring Social Business`. N.p.,2015. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.
Science2.0,. `The Direct And Indirect Effects Of Social Marketing OnMovies`. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.
TheHollywood Reporter,. `THR`s Social Media Poll: How Facebook AndTwitter Impact The Entertainment Industry`. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Aug.2015.