Movie theaters regardless of size are facing declining attendance (Business Insider, 2017). Customers are unwilling to pay a lot of money when they can simply stay home and stream movies. Also, a lot of people’s tastes in movies is just not as “mainstream” but the movies they crave are not shown at most theatres (Business Insider, 2017).
Still, let’s face it, staying home watching a movie is simply not the same as on the big screen. So, what if you let customers demand a movie?
Demand.film is an Australian firm which takes a crowdfunding approach to cinema-on-demand (also available in UK, Ireland, NZ) by enabling users (age 18+) to request a movie event at local partnering theatres. The majority of movies offered are studio classics, indies, artsy- and foreign films. While the concept is not entirely new (see Graphr and Tugg), Demand.film is the first larger on-demand cinema platform serving markets beyond the US. Moreover, it uses blockchain technology to support producers, distributors and exhibitors with transparent and reliable sales data (Forbes, 2017).
How does it work?
Efficiency Criteria: Weighing Cost And Benefits
For a user, the time and effort needed to place or support a request is really low and tickets only have to be paid by the attendees if the screening is confirmed to happen (leapfrogfilms, 2017). Partnering theatres of course will have to check their schedule and also determine required attendance thresholds.
How does this crowdfunding approach create value for customers, theatres and platform?
Customers co-create by driving the entire process from requesting (incl. time, date and location) to “spreading the word” about the screening of their wishes. If successful, a whole crowd of friends and strangers can finally enjoy “their” movie on a big screen, in a social atmosphere outside the own house.
Theatres help making it happen by approving the request. Further, hence they use capacities more wisely and can generate additional revenue without uncertainty: if the event happens, this money is “safe”. They meet customers’ demand and have the opportunity to welcome (potentially) new customers at their venue. The insights can be a trigger for theatres to think about future events and screenings by illustrating potential demand (Saarijärvi et al., 2013).
Even the filmmakers gain increased exposure and reach for their films; especially those which are not regular movie material.
Finally, Demand.Film only wins if everyone else wins by charging a ticket fee (~ GBP 1.65 per ticket).
What does the future hold for Demand.film?
Naturally, the main goal is expanding the partner and user network as well as geographical reach. Can it be a success? Certainly, never underestimate the power of niche markets and don’t forget about the reach of social media! Will it be a success? The on-demand economy is still on the rise in offline settings and competition never sleeps, so it will remain interesting. All I know is that “I would be in”, would you?
Business insider (2017). “Movie theater attendance is declining as cord cutting becomes more popular”. http://www.businessinsider.com/movie-theater-attendance-is-declining-as-cord-cutting-becomes-more-popular-2016-9?international=true&r=US&IR=T last accessed 28.02.2017
Forbes (2017). “Tugg And Gathr Face Competition From A New Cinema-On-Demand Platform“ Online: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dongroves/2016/09/12/tugg-and-gathr-face-competition-from-a-new-international-platform/#60a94aaa4eff last accessed 28.02.2017
Leapfrogfilms (2017). Demand.film https://demand.film/
Leapfrogfilms (2017). Demand.film example https://tickets.demand.film/event/1115
Saarijärvi, H., Kannan, P.K. K, Kuusela, H. (2013). European Business Review 25 (1), pp. 6-19
COVER: Leapfrogfilms (2017). Demand.film https://demand.film/