2016 Nostradamus Report

For this year’s report, we have interviewed the following experts, enormously generous with their time and thoughts:

Carsten Andreasen (Head of Market Insights for Northern Europe, Google/YouTube), Julie Bergeron, (Head of Industry Programs, Marché du Film in Cannes), Stefan Borgquist (Head of TV, TeliaSonera Sverige), Liselott Forsman (Executive Producer International Drama, YLE, and Head of European Fiction, EBU), Peter Gerard (Director of VOD, VIMEO), Tine Klint, (CEO, LevelK ApS Film Sales) and Matthijs Wouter Knol (Director, European Film Market).

At the accompanying seminar, Matthijs Wouter Knol and Julie Bergeron are joined in discussing the questions further by Justine Powell (iROKO Global) and Anna Higgs (Nowness).

The Nostradamus Project is a joint initiative from Göteborg Film Festival/Nordic Film Market and Lindholmen Science Park.

1. Few Stages, Fewer Steps

Sales, distribution and marketing will start early, happen in parallel, and increasingly be provided by the same companies, driving some out of business and everyone to change how they work. All films and programming will need individual release strategies. Harder times for drama ahead are temporary and may not hurt quality content.

2. Rapid Changes in Representation

Audiences, industry minorities and business logic are forcing the industries to act on representation. Studies show that discrimination is systemic, but the same correlations suggest positive change could have have powerful ripple effects, measurably changing ratios.

3. Post-Television

The viewing of streamed content is growing in all age groups while TV audiences are getting older. Networks and TV providers offering good user experiences online can still do well. In effect, the digital revolution has re-created the TV ecosystem, only slightly slimmer with much more flexibility.

4. The New Majors

Although competing with local know-how in hundreds of markets is not trivial, Netflix, Amazon and perhaps a few others will become global players in the OTT space. This is neither much more nor much less of a worry than vertically integrated global media conglomerates are in general.

5. Getting It Out There

Windows and holdback times will continue to develop, overall becoming more flexible and shorter. Self-distribution and other unconventional releases show potential for niche titles. TVOD is growing, as are specialty SVOD services. Festivals will be increasingly important.

6. Cinemas & Circulation

Independent theatres have become laboratories for innovative audience work and we seem to be at the cusp of an arthouse renaissance. There are still hard years ahead for independent cinema, but by perhaps 2020 digital distribution will be finding its form.

7. At the Vrovies

Virtual Reality filmmaking is coming into its own, attracting funding and talent. The medium’s cinematic potential makes it interesting to the film industry, but it is not inherently suited for linear storytelling. Learning from less linear traditions like games and performance is vital.

8. The Advertising Wars

Advertising fatigue, in particular the practice of adblocking, is affecting the economic landscape of film and video. Distributing content on proprietary platforms with shared revenue models raises questions but shows potential.

9. TV and Video Advertising Floods

With audience behaviour and business models out of sync, commercial TV needs to trim the amount of ads to protect linear viewing. Competition in online video from traditionally text-based media is growing.

Interviews for the report were conducted in December 2015 and January 2016. In addition, the report contains references to the following sources, linked below for your convenience.

Surveys & Reports

Director’s Guild Of America: DGA TV Diversity Report.

The Swedish Video Landscape. A TNS/Sifo interview survey in Oct/Nov 2015, for Google (proprietary)

TV-insikt 2015. Norm Research & Consulting, for Boxer

Lyle Friedman, Matt Daniels, Ilia Blinderman: Hollywood’s Gender Divide and Its Effect on Films.

Text

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California: ‘ACLU Asks State And Federal Civil Rights Agencies To Investigate Gender Discrimination In Hollywood’, May 12, aclusocal.org, 2015

Kate Bennier and Sydney Ember: ‘Enabling of Ad Blocking in Apple’s iOS 9 Prompts Backlash’. New York Times, Sept 18, 2015.

Paul Berry: ‘The Bright Future of an Adblocked World’, blog post

Manuel Betancourt: ‘The Problem With Netflix’s Original Shows That No-One Is Talkin About’, Mic, September 16, 2015.

Phil Birchenall: ‘Understanding Latin America: Current Trends in the TV Market’, blog post

Michael Boehm: ‘Where’s Rey? Insider Says Lucasfilm Vendors Removed Star Wars Character to ‘Improve Sales’’, Sweatpants & Coffee, January 19, 2016.

Julie Brill: AdExchanger Industry Preview 2016 Keynote Address, Ftc.gov, January 21, 2016.

Todd Cunningham: ’Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq Does Gangbusters Business At Box Office In Chicago’, The Wrap, December 6, 2015.

Roger Ebert: ‘The Chilling Film Concept Of Virtual Reality’, republished on RogerEbert.com, from June 21, 1992

Joe Flint: ‘TNT Plans to Air Fewer Commercials’. Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2016.

Tim Gray: ‘Academy Mulls Changes In Membership & Categories to Halt Crisis’, Variety, January 20, 2016.

Jean-Louis Gassée: ‘Life After Content Blocking’, Mondaynote, August 31, 2015.

Tony Haile: ‘What We Might Break When We Fix For Ad Blocking’, blog post, September 18, 2015.

Ted Johnson: ‘Employment Commission to Interview Women Directors In Gender Discrimination Probe’, Variety, October 6, 2015.

Jacob Kastrenakes: ‘Amazon Will Make Chi-raq Free To Prime Subscribers On February 4th,The Verge, December 30, 2015.

Johanna Koljonen: ‘Engaging The Audience’, Nostradamus Screen Visions 2015,

S. Kumar: ‘Netflix’s New Show Is Full Of Spanish For A Very Good Reason’, Fortune, September 9, 2015.

Jon Lafayette: ‘Turner Launching Lab To Reinvigorate Advertising’, Broadcasting & Cable, 13 January, 2016.

Brent Lang: ‘Major Theater Chains to Boycott Netflix’s ‘Beasts of No Nation’’, Variety, March 3, 2015.

Julia Lundin: ‘Flow Network teamar upp med Hallpressen’, Resumé, August 20, 2015

Michael Mathison: ‘We Need New Standards In TV Ad Measurement’, AdExchanger, January 29, 2015

Markus Montola: On the Edge of the Magic Circle: Understanding Pervasive Games and Role-Playing, pp 86-94, (Acta Universitatis Tamperensis, 2012),

Jeannine Poggi: ‘TNT Plans to Reduce Ad Loads in New Dramas’, AdAge, January 7, 2016.

Jeannine Poggi: ‘TruTV Reduces Prime-Time Commercial Load to 10 Minutes, Lowest on TV’, AdAge, October 28, 2015.

James Rainey: ‘Diversity In Hollywood: Failure In Inclusion Plagues The Entire Industry’, Variety, January 26, 2016.

David Robb: ‘Gender Issues In Hollywood Will Be Even Bigger Story In 2016’, Deadline Hollywood, December 31, 2015.

Natalie Robehmed: ‘Hollywood’s Diversity Problem Begins In The Writing Room, New Study Shows’. Forbes, January 21, 2016.

Garrett Sloane: ‘Video Becomes The Main Ad-Blocking Battleground For Publishers’, Digiday, November 30, 2015.

Nicole Sperling: ‘New Study Spotlights The Importance Of Gender Diversity On Film Sets’, Entertainment Weekly, October 27, 2015

Brian Steinberg: ‘Viacom To Cut Back On Primetime TV Ads Starting In October’, Variety, September 21, 2015.

Jaakko Stenros: ‘Aesthetics of Action’, blog post, October 28, 2013.

Nick Vivarelli: ‘MIA: Jan Mojto, International TV Honchos Discuss Ways To Make Shows That Travel’, Variety, October 19, 2015.

Annika Waern, ‘Larp Design For Storymaking’, blog post, Mach 20, 2015

Annika Waern: ‘Storymaking In Larp’, blog post, December 22, 2014.  

Annika Waern: ‘Why I Don’t Believe In Emergent Narratives’, July 16, 2012.

Andrew Wallenstein: ‘Yahoo Shutters Video Service Yahoo Screen’, Variety, January 4, 2016

Erik Wisterberg: ‘Aftonbladet kliver in i MMS webb-tv-mätningar’, Dagens Media, October 28, 2015.

Cartel Mike [Mike Woods]: Why VR “Stotytelling” Does Not Currently Work. And Can It Ever Work?’, blog post, January 11, 1016.

Video and Audio Sources

Madeleine Probst (Watershed), Ivo Andrie (Aerofilms), Gonzalo Lamela (Ecocinema), Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse), Michael Gubbins (Sampomedia): NEXT: Cinema Innovation in the Digital Experience Economy, at Marché du Film/NEXT: 19 May, 2015

Henry Jenkins, USC: ‘The New Audience’, At The New Audience: Moviegoing in a Connected World, an Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences event on May 12, 2015.