Monday, December 22, 2014

Manufacturers and Consumers

Manufacturers and consumers:

... manufacturers never spoke to consumers before. They spoke with distributors and retailers. But now products are connected to the internet, manufacturers suddenly have a relationship with the consumer. And they literally don't know what to do. Should marketing look after this? Or product development? Or customer service? Or should it be outsourced to an agency, like advertising?

I had the same thought watching Marco Polo on Netflix yesterday. I noticed that the show has been released in four different languages simultaneously across all these language territories. This would be impossible for conventional television. Yes, shows or films eventually reach overseas territories but months or years later. I suspect this is because the show producers would need to negotiate at length with local cable channels and providers (and adhere to local content laws in some cases). Netflix has no such limitation. It is producer, distributor and cable channel (or theater operator) all rolled in one.

This has impact not only on how the business is conducted, as the above link points out, but what kind of products we see. In the case of Netflix, if multiple linguistic territories are available in one swoop, it would encourage programming with a broader international appeal (like Marco Polo). It would also likely encourage productions with international casts and crews.

On the other hand, it might kill much of the local variety and diversity in programming.

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