Doesn't it bug you how everyone knows the world has changed but so few folks do anything about it? Or even worse, how whole industries choose to ignore the realities of today. We call something the the way it is, because THEY say it is, not because it actually is. Instead of moaning about it though, I find it heartening when some adjustments occur, bringing us closer to reality, even when it is not my community doing the readjustment. Each step closer to the reality gives me hope.
My twelve year old boy likes to point out that curses are curses only because we call them curses. Well, what we call success is only success because of how we define it. I do think we have to get far beyond money as the basis of most achievement, but all that aside, even in the revenue reporting we've got a lot of ground to cover.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Music Biz's paper of record, Billboard, has changed the way that they determine chart toppers, adding in digital download sales and streaming data. Yes, this has it's share of problems too, but I do think it more accurately reflects how people consume music (but what do I know). And I do wish something similar would occur in the Film Biz.
Imagine if we had VOD data and streaming data. Wouldn't that show what people are really watching? Yup. So when will we start having access to the VOD & Streaming numbers. Not until the numbers HAVE to be reported. Indiewire recently tried to explain the problem. But unfortunately there is even more to it. I found that many distributors have confidentiality clause in the contracts with the VOD companies & digital platforms, where they can report numbers but not terms. Even numbers though are difficult to extract. A producer recently complained to me how a distributors statement did not even break out digital revenue, let alone all the varieties thereof.
If we don't have the numbers available, we can not use success as something we can build upon. And it is not just the filmmakers, their supporters, and the fans that want this number. Theater owners want it too. What's it going to take to get the Film Biz to follow the Music's lead?