In the next several years this one thing is going to affect the way films are produced and marketed, and it’s already happening on a global scale.
At present, we’re seeing a huge adoption of mobile which is changing the way people consume content and how they discover movies. This adoption has brought lots of new opportunities for filmmakers to reach audiences with mobile first video formats and shorter form promotional trailers, however, this doesn’t factor in the real issue that is a going to have the biggest impact on the film industry.
Last year, Microsoft released a study showing how our attention spans had degraded to a point where goldfish can concentrate longer than humans. Then in a separate study by the Nottingham Trent University, it was revealed that smartphone users were checking their phones around 85 times a day, with an average use of fewer than 30 seconds in each session. These statistics alone are just an indicator of how our smartphone behaviors are making it very difficult for filmmakers to reach audiences, let alone promote their films within a single space of time.
Essentially, we’re witnessing the near total and complete collapse of our attention spans, and this phenomenon is accelerating as more people spend time on smartphones to connect online. This means that filmmakers are going to have to produce videos in greater quantities and in shorter bursts than ever before just to keep up with falling concentrations. This will also lead to more frequent social posting and more promotional efforts just so that audiences can retain the basic information they discover.
In the long term, these smartphone habits are going to degrade our ability to stay attentive which will also mean that we will find it even harder to remember all the content we watch and consume. It’s going to be vital for filmmakers to create regular engagement with their fans or they will fall into obscurity and because films are being distributed online, that has to start on mobile too.
You might like to ask yourself these questions:
- Can you remember what you read on your phone just an hour ago or even this morning?
- How many notifications have you received in the last hour?
- Can you remember what each one was about?
The collapsing window of attention is ultimately going to affect every marketing decision that is made in the film industry and also the types of content that will be produced to reach audiences in the first place. 30-second and 15-second trailers will become the norm as well as repetition. That has already started to happen on social media and as foreign markets outside the US take up mobile adoption, it will soon change the whole ecosystem. This is truly a transformational time for the film industry.