Ira Deutchman kicks off Power to the Pixel with a talk about what is wrong with the theatrical distribution system. He then continues with some solutions for how theatrical can be fixed. He talks about the advantages of digital distribution and explains what emerging pictures is doing to help pioneer this new space.
One thing that could use more emphasis is how social software applications can be used to integrate audience demand with theater programming. Users of social networking services like Spout.com are already using software to keep a list of movies they are interested in seeing. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which movie goers get notified when films they want to see in a theater are going to be playing near where they live. If theaters had access to information about the local demand for films, they could schedule their programming more intelligently. Online Social Networking technology is a medium through which theaters can inform people of when the movies they want to see in a theater are going to be playing. In addition, the notifications can be one click away from where the movie goer can buy a ticket. Movie goers could opt to join a public RSVP page where other potential attendees can see who’s planning on attending the show, adding a more social element to the event.
I think Spout.com and Flixter.com are both good candidates for being the company that really starts to connect some of these dots, since both of them already do some of it. A back-end for theaters to use which provides them with information about demand, a way to notify the audience, and handles ticket sales could be added to either of these services. But thats at the moment. Really I hope in the long term that open source social networking, universal video publishing licenses and innovative digital distributors can all work together in three tiers to solve all of these problems.