who survived, evolved, and
thrived over the last three years
Stephen J. Kerr & Sarah Nean Bruce
In 2014, Stephen published an article while consulting with a number of film sales agencies and distributors about the challenges they were facing.
In 2017, we updated that piece after interviewing six of the top independent feature and documentary distributors about the importance of making Minimum Guarantees (MG RISKS & REWARDS), and the overall status of the film/television distribution industry today.
“Consolidation is the only solution to a chaotic marketplace. We need fewer, stronger, better financed distributors, able to purchase quality films, and let the flotsam and jetsam sink to the bottom where they belong.”
In 2017, I still think that while the film industry would benefit from stronger, better funded distributors and sales agencies, the ones that remain have proven themselves highly adaptive to the new digital delivery marketplace.
Over the past three years some distributors and foreign sales agencies have consolidated with competitors or simply gone out of business, and still more have cropped up in their place.
While revenue from foreign and domestic film sales is still down (compared to the 2000-2008 “high water” period), many distributors are still clawing out a living – others are thriving. Some global sales agencies are benefiting from the emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe – while others are concentrating on domestic delivery only and letting others handle the foreign.
Our advice to small/midsize distributors and sales agencies is:
- specialize in a specific genre, seek out global partners,
- find a company to merge with, and educate yourself on the global 4K content marketplace.
Our advice to the large, better funded distributors and sales agencies:
- consolidate your market niche,
- build strategic alliances, and
- own outright more of the films you release.
Now, we realize better there is room for everyone in the entertainment industry. And, one need only maximize what one has.
Moreover, the coming explosion of 4K content should be of keen interest to everyone. While the 4K / Ultra HD revolution is still in its early days, we not only encourage everyone to get ahead of the curve, we are eager to facilitate it for ourselves and others (WHAT IS YOUR 4K / ULTRA HD STRATEGY?).
And the future?
There may come a time that all distribution rights to new motion pictures and documentaries are put up on some giant online auction site and the world’s film buyers and broadcasters will simply bid on those territorial rights like some entertainment industry version of EBay.
Until then we have a system of global film markets and film festivals that we must all attend to sell, titillate, and cajole the buyers to pick our films from the thousands of other offerings.
We trade heavily on our personal relationships and our reputations to get this job done.
It is an important job because thousands of producers, directors, investors, actors and crews are counting on us to succeed.
And ultimately, there are millions of consumers around the world who seek our film and television content.
Our firm, Bel Âge Médias (B.Â.M.}, is a company specializing in providing Business Development, Branding Guidance, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) expertise, Exit Strategies, and Investment Banking services. Additionally, under out ongoing Streaming / OTT / 4K / Ultra HD initiative, we continue pursuing strategic alignments with high-end, entertainment technology providers, and explore low-cost alternatives for theatrical, televised, streamed, and online distribution of 4K and 2K films & television programs globally.
Bel Âge Médias • Santa Monica, California
Call Us - or Visit Us Online - or Email Us:
+1 310 666-6474
Stephen(@)BelAgeMedias.com • Sarah(@)BelAgeMedias.com
LinkedIn-Stephen J. Kerr – https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenjkerr
LinkedIn Sarah Nean Bruce – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahneanbruce
1 - “Too Many Film/TV Distributors” | BizMark Online – 2/20/2014 By Stephen J. Kerr - http://www.bizmark.net/blogs/too-many-filmtv-distributors