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Hard times mean great room for improvement

- The Business Street 2013 welcomes a debate on the challenges facing the film industry in the age of digital media

Hard times mean great room for improvement

The VoD market in Europe and particularly in Italy has been the main focus of the second part of the debate “The Digital Distribution Era: New patterns of film circulation and consumption”, held on November 14 at the Casa del Cinema, as part of the 8th Business Street (TBS, the industry section of the Rome International Film Festival).

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Can these new models become a relevant source of funding for independent producers and distributors? That was the main question that Alessandro Schintu (Chili Tv), Federica Tremolada (Google/You Tube Italy), Irina Kornilova (HIS Screen Digest), Dragoslav Zachariev (Universciné-Eurovod), Stefano Scauri (Warner Bros Italia), Giovanni Scatassa (Rai Cinema) and Stefano Zuliani (Cubovision) were trying to answer.

During the first part of the debate, they agreed that a revolution is happening but that the industry is not meeting it as much as it should and therefore the shift towards the digital era is more complicated than desired. It is necessary to find a common ground between content providers and the audience.

Riccardo Tozzi (photo - ANICA) stressed that it is a moment of great opportunities for audiovisual content producers. He foresees a battle for content among three main platforms: Pay TV, Free TV and new media, such as subscription VoD. Each of them will try to attract content producers and adapt new productions to their own model.

The discussion was opened by Kornilova, who provided an overview of the Video on Demand market in Europe and the evolution in the use of devices for audiovisual content. The most relevant aspect was how mobile devices were slowly but surely overthrowing computers as the main tools for watching films.

Scauri, head of digital distribution for Warner Bros Italy, stressed that the industry is going through a veritable technological tsunami. The theatrical release is for them a high added value for the Video on Demand release, which gains enormous visibility through the promotion in trailers.

Not avoiding the acknowledgement of the limited development and the big challenges ahead, Scatassa (Rai Cinema) detailed the trends in the sector through their own data. Digital consumption is still way below their possibilities. This means that on the one hand right now there's little possibilities for producers to access funding from these distribution models, but on the other there's plenty of room for improvement.

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