This new TechCrunch article sheds some light an industry that has very few startups in the space- Hollywood. Hollywood is the best when it comes to creativity, innovation and disruption. They have some of the smartest, brightest and most innovative people working behind camera night and day to dazzle our thoughts and brains for 2 hours in a theatre. Every. Time.
But there aren’t many startups working in the movie space. If you think about it, every industry has undergone massive changes in the past few years. DVD’s were changed by streaming services, like Hulu and Netflix, music was changed by Napster and Spotify, books were replaced with Kindle and even the transportation industry is undergoing some changes with crowdsourcing services like Uber, Lyft and SideCar (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/disruptions-upstarts-challenge-the-taxi-industry/?hpw). And why is nobody trying to revolutionize the movie market?
Many of the other previous movie startups (SeenTh.at, PreScreen, Can’t Wait, etc…) tend to try to fix one part of the whole movie industry. Some focus on streaming like Netflix, WhoSay with celebrity following, Flixster with dvd/blu ray, and others. But nobody has tried to re-invent the whole loop: from poster and trailer release, leading up to the theatrical release, to celebrity following and finding friends to go with. Your friends can have a huge impact on whether or not you go to a movie. So let’s combine the stars and movies we love with the friends we trust. Let’s change the average person to become a movie fan. Let’s make a casual movie fan become a major movie buff. Let’s connect people through movies. Let’s make magic happen.
Steve Jobs clearly speaks about the issues that paralyze studios when it comes to marketing their movies. Studio spends massive amounts of money to market their films (~ $20 Billion a year and increasing.) There is currently no direct line of communication between those who are watching their trailers, huge fans of their movies, posters, movie stars, etc… They depend on various websites like Fandango, YouTube, Yahoo, Apple, banner ads, splash pages, advertisements, commercials etc. to bring awareness to their films. Studios still spend large amounts of money trying to let you know about their upcoming films, and still spending the most in television commercials. Are teenagers still watching television or are they always on their computers? Or better yet, are they consuming content from their television or their mobile phones?
The Gen Z of today (teenagers) were brought up in a world that is highly connected online. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook always mentions how social has completely changed the way people consume content and information. Teenagers are the largest consumers of movies and yet, still, there is nothing social (online) in the movie space.
How is this possible? Aren’t movies inherently social? I still go to movies with friends, and so does 96% of the population. Why has it been so late for movies to include the social layer it desperately needs to bring virality, increase the awareness and intent to see a film via friends and help studios sell more tickets. Most importantly (for studios), it can decrease their enormous marketing costs. So let’s go through why there hasn’t been such a platform until now.
There have been several before MovieLaLa who have attempted to improve the entertainment/movie experience such as Can’t Wait, PreScreen, SeenTh.at and many others. Some of them launched as a mobile app (Can’t Wait), some were focused on independent films (PreScreen) and others like SeenTha.at had a team collapse. As a startup in Silicon Valley, with roots in Los Angeles, I think we will be the first to really correct this long awaited problem (or “Dream” as many studio execs say) when it comes to marketing movies. MovieLaLa will be THE socially designed platform that will finally connect movie fans and their friends with the movies they are interested in, as well as the movie stars they love most. And finally, studios will have a direct way to market their movies online, with new tools and analytics studios desperately need to decrease their market spend drastically.