The marketing and distribution areas of media involve the ways that companies that produce specific media areas deal out their content to their target audience. Basically, how companies get people to watch their content. For example, if I worked for NBC and I wanted people to watch “The Office,” I would advertise and market the show so more people could potentially watch it. Wasko lists several components of the media industry that deal with Havens & Lotz’s marketing/distribution ideas and I was able to place these components into the marketing/distribution sections of media.
1. Agents/Agencies – selling scripts and finding financing is all a part of the marketing side of the media industry. The agents have to be able to market the product in order for something to be produced.
2. Entertainment lawyers – in my opinion, it seems that entertainment lawyers essentially monitor the distribution process and therefore play a key role in the area.
3. Producers – you’d think they would just be involved in the making of the film, but in order for the film to be successful and marketable, the producers have to select good talent for specific parts of the film.
4. Studios – they decide which films will be released and produced, so if the film is not marketable, they won’t produce the film.
5. Funding sources – without sufficient funds, the film can’t even be produced, let alone marketed. I feel like this list is becoming a chain reaction where if one of the links to this chain breaks, the whole system fails.
6. Co-productions – the creative partnerships development helps with the distribution process. When HBO and TBS get involved with a show, things have to be looking good for it.
7. Completion guarantees – this guarantees the financing and production of the film. Because funding sources are on the list, this goes on the list for marketing and distribution because this sets up the film and allows it to be marketed.
8. Locations – people may not think that the location of the filming is important but I certainly pay attention to it. Last summer (2010), they were filming Transformers 3 in Chicago and I drove by it after work one day and I thought it was really cool. I hadn’t seen the first two Transformers movies and honestly, the fact that it was filmed in Chicago influenced me to see it. So, we know that the location of the film marketed the movie for at least one person in America.
9. Post-production – it adds all the cool special effects and added bonuses of the movie. Movies get rated by critics before they even come out to the public. A film with better ratings – many of which involve these special effects – will be more marketable than a film with bad ratings.
What surprises me the most about this list is that 1) it is longer than I expected and 2) it really has nothing to do with the actual ways that a company decides to market its film. It basically describes all the behind-the-scenes stuff that has to go right in order for a film to be produced and then marketed. Also, after reading the article, it surprised me how much the agencies do. They don’t just work with their clients; they are a key component of the marketing and distribution process. Maybe I need to watch “Entourage” more carefully to figure out what exactly Ari Gold does.