5 Major Trends That Changed Digital Entertainment in 2011
By Christina Warren, Mashable
As 2011 comes to a close, it's time to look back and reflect on some of
the major events, changes and trends across various industries. Social
and digital media are having a profound impact on how media
entertainment content is created, consumed and distributed.
Music, television, movies and casual games are expanding, contracting
and evolving at a dizzying pace. Here are some of the highlights.
1. Social TV and the iPad Transform the Boob Tube
Like other parts of the entertainment industry, social and digital are
changing the way television is made, watched and broadcast.
In 2011, social TV really started to come into its own. From the rise of
entertainment checkin services like GetGlue and Miso, to integrated
social and digital campaigns from networks and stars, social sites like
Twitter and Facebook have become the real-time watercooler for
discussing and disseminating content.
The result is that even though television ownership is on the decline,
live television ratings are actually on the rise. It's becoming
increasingly important for viewers to watch a program as it happens, in
order to interact with each other in real-time.
The concept of social TV wouldn't work if the network and content
creators weren't on board. One of the biggest surprises of 2011 has been
the extent to which networks and studios have embraced social TV,
particularly using second screen apps. We can thank the iPad for that.
The iPad and its success proved to leery network executives that
engaging with viewers on multiple platforms was a necessity.
Moving into 2012, social TV campaigns will evolve and become more
mature. It's our hope that we can move to the next level, where social
interaction becomes part of the show content itself.
2. Spotify and Subscription Streaming Disrupt Music Industry
Digital continues to transform the music industry.
Spotify, long the darling of the European music press, finally arrived
in America to much fanfare. Competing against US-based rivals like Rdio,
Rhapsody and MOG, Spotify has armed itself with a known brand name and
strong Facebook integration.
This has re-opened the debate over whether music is owned or rented and
how artists and labels are compensated for their works. It's a complex
problem and one that wasn't decided in 2011 and likely won't be settled
Artists continue to use social networks, including Facebook and YouTube,
to promote their music and their albums. Meanwhile, we've seen the rise
of music shared experiences services, like Turntable.fm.
Artists and end-users are also flocking to services like SoundCloud for storing, remixing and distributing all types of audio.
Moving into 2012, the battle in the music subscription space will
continue, and we expect to see the market converge and contract. The
real opportunity is with social and bringing back the experience of
listening to a playlist or album with a group of friends.
3. Movie Marketing is Socialized
It's been a rough year at the box office, with receipts way down and few
breakout hits. Marketing efforts are rapidly becoming social, as
studios realize that reaching out to influencers online can yield a much
bigger return on investment.
From blockbuster franchises like Harry Potter to lower-budget
art films, social and digital are increasingly becoming tentpole parts
of the promotional process. Directors, actors and producers are active
on Twitter and Facebook. YouTube is increasingly used as a way to show
previews and surprises.
The Muppets is one of the most socially savvy media campaigns
we've ever seen, and the films success at the box office is a testament
to this kind of marketing.
Meanwhile, startups like MoviePilot are dedicated to reaching the most
avid and influential movie watchers, using Facebook and news content
from around the web.
Moving into 2012, theater chains and studios are going to be using
digital and social to lure audiences back into the theater -- using 3D,
motion capture and (we hope) quality storylines as a draw.
4. Casual Gaming Gets Serious
Although traditional console and PC gaming is still generating tons of
revenue, there is a lot of momentum in the social and casual gaming
The continued success of Angry Birds, not just as a game but as a
veritable franchise, proves that $50 million budgets and two and a half
year production times are not required to create a gaming sensation.
Not even the PlayStation Network disaster could keep users from engaging
in online play, whether it was through a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii or
increasingly -- an iPhone, iPad or Android device.
With Zynga's upcoming IPO and its multi-billion dollar valuation, casual
gaming is no longer a joke. It's real and it's going to be part of the
To wit, big studios are acquiring or creating smaller units dedicated to
building smaller, iterative titles that can be updated more regularly
and have smaller budgets.
Meanwhile, the graphical capabilities of portable and mobile devices
continues to improve. A game like Infinity Blade 2 shows that we're only
scratching the surface and power of the handheld computers we carry
with us 24 hours a day.
Moving into 2012, we expect that social and casual gaming will continue
gain traction. As a public company, Zynga will need to prove itself. Is
it the next EA or is it the next Acclaim.
5. Netflix Implodes: The Battle Over Content, Consumption and Ownership Continues
A central issue within the entertainment industry in 2011 was the battle over content ownership and distribution.
A year ago, it looked like Netflix would ultimately win the content
wars, TV Everywhere was a pipe dream and that power would shift from the
content owners to the distributors, like Netflix or Amazon.
A year later, the situation is utterly different. Rather than winning
the content wars, Netflix faces increased competition from Hulu, Amazon
and soon, YouTube.
Moreover, Netflix's public meltdown over the summer proved just how
valuable licensing content for streaming over the Internet can be.
Content owners and rights holders want their piece of the pie and want
more to get content online.
This has given TV Everywhere a real chance to succeed. HBO Go, the
tremendously successful HBO initiative at offering cable subscribers
access to content online, on mobile devices and supported set-top boxes,
has shown that customers are willing to go through the hassle of
logging in with a cable company ID. With more than 5 million downloads
and 98 million streams in just six months, it's the best case for TV
Everywhere's potential yet.
As content owners weigh the pros and cons of what to license, when to
license and who to license content to, customers are the ones stuck in
The fantasy of first-run content on Netflix is little more than a pipe
dream (Arrested Development not withstanding), but content is coming
online, even if pure over-the-top plays are still financially
Battle over content and who gets it -- in music, film and television
will continue to be a big trend in 2012. Even on the casual gaming side,
what platforms or networks support a property will continue to be an
issue that game makers and game players face.
Call for Films: Center for Mexican American Studies & Research Conference
The Center for
Mexican American Studies and Research (CMASR) seeks original or
previously-screened short films - ranging from 10-45 minutes - for its
9th Annual Conference. The film festival will be held on March 22, 2012
on the campus of Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas.
The film festival aims to enhance awareness and exposure to the
experiences of both the Mexican American community and/or Mexican
American filmmaker to independent cinema, media, and the motion picture
Present your short film to an eager audience. Submission of all types of
film, both narrative and documentary, is encouraged. Both professional
and student films are welcomed and will not directly compete with one
another. If accepted, you will be invited to discuss your film.
Finally, there will be a prize competition for 1) Best film overall and 2) Best student film.
Deadline to apply: February 24, 2012
DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION:
* Film Submission Fee is required.
- $0=High School & OLLU students; $10=non-OLLU College Students; $20=Non-students
- (Make checks payable to CMASR Conference and Mail to address below)
Our Lady of the Lake University, Moye 110
411 SW 24th Street
San Antonio, TX 78207
* BY FEBRUARY 24th: Submit an application: To submit, you can either:
1) Submit online here
2) Create and email a Word/PDF document to RenelindaArana@ollusa.edu
A. Biography of filmmaker(s) (maximum 100 words)
B. Contact information: Email, phone, mailing address
C. Length of Film
D. Title (maximum 50 words)
E. Synopsis or overview of film (between 250 words and 500 words)
* Media: Submit 3 copies of your film via DVD, VHS or website. These copies will not be returned.
* The deadline to submit your entry is February 24, 2012.
FOR QUESTIONS OR SUBMISSION, PLEASE CONTACT:
* Dr. Renelinda Arana at RenelindaArana@ollusa.edu or 210-434-6711 #8151
* Address for Film Submission:
Our Lady of the Lake University, Moye Hall 208
411 SW 24th Street
San Antonio, TX 78207
Call for Applications: Reel Aging: Real Change
makers addressing aging and elder rights! Working Films, with support
from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, announces Reel Aging: Real Change,
an initiative that will tie compelling documentary films and transmedia
projects that explore aging to ongoing policy work and grassroots
campaigns supporting older populations globally.
Reel Aging: Real Change will begin on March 23, 2012 with a four-day
residency where eight to ten media teams will sharpen their strategies
for audience and community engagement. On Tuesday, March 27, the teams
will present their projects to regional, national and global NGOs,
funders, government agencies, activists, and policy makers - all leaders
in the field of aging who have a track record of supporting elder
rights, respect and health. The goal: to embed the film and media
projects into on-the-ground efforts by the advocates in the room. Hosted
in Washington, DC in collaboration with American University's Center
for Social Media, this day-long, strategic convening will launch a
collaborative campaign between the participating media makers and the
We are seeking applications from media makers for participation in Reel
Aging: Real Change. All nonfiction projects that explore the aging
experience are eligible to apply, and applicants may be at any stage of
production or distribution, from new and completed projects to
Application Deadline: January 6, 2012
Submission: Please complete application form online at www.workingfilms.org/reelaging
Registration Fee: NONE. The residency includes lodging, meals, and
materials. Participants are responsible for covering their own travel;
stipends are available.
Industry Registration Now Open for Miami Int. Film Festival
Accreditation for the 29th Miami International Film Festival
(March 2-11, 2012) an event produced and presented by Miami Dade
College is now open. Early bird pricing began Monday December 19, 2011
and ends at midnight EST on Friday, February 3, 2012.
Accreditation gives the following benefits: Access to a maximum of 3
public screenings per festival day (excluding Opening/Awards/Closing);
Access to all MASTERCLASS Seminars; Nightly Happy Hours and networking
opportunities; Access to Industry/Filmmaker invite only events; Access
to Digital viewing library (including Ibero-American On-line Market);
Industry Guide Listing, Rights List, MIFF Publications.
The deadline for Industry Registration is February 17, 2012.
Visit the Industry Accreditation webpage to commence your application.
During its 28 years, the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) has
grown to be a premiere venue for the exhibition of U.S. and
international films, showcasing films and filmmakers that have gained
world-wide attention. More than 70,000 people attended the Festival in
2011 and more than 300 filmmakers, producers, directors, writers,
actors, and industry representatives from around the world. The portal
to the United States for Ibero-American film, the Miami international
Film Festival is ideally placed to nurture a healthy, focused
marketplace for original Latin content (this includes any film shot or
financed in South America, Central America, or Portugal OR
Spanish/Portuguese-language film shot or financed in the U.S.).
Should you require any further assistance, please contact Carol Coombes, Program and Industry Initiatives Associate Manager firstname.lastname@example.org