’It is not the strongest that survive but those most responsive to change.’
How and why do media institutions continue to change?
Media institutions adapt to change because they need to in order to continue operating, if they continue to use outdated methods of publicity and distribution they will likely fall out of popularity.
More recently the film industry has been adapting to online marketing to reach a larger audience, horror movies were once intended very much for a niche audience but online marketing of horror movies is utilising more conventional marketing techniques in an effort to widen the audience for this genre. When Paranormal Activity 4 was launched it had a Twitter feed that not only advised fans of various methods to watch the movie but also retweeted the tweets of people who said positive things about the movie. This has two functions, number one, it reinforces the existing fanbase because people will appreciate their tweet being retweeted by the makers of a movie that they enjoyed, and number two, it helps create more fans because of the subtext of the whole procedure, a person may read these positive tweets and be encouraged to see the movie because this person genuinely enjoyed the movie, it was their own personal opinion which can be more encouraging than an actual trailer which has been created by a team of people that may not even like the movie and are only producing the trailer because it is their job.
Viral marketing is effective because of it's interactive element. The official trailer for Silent Hill: Revelation 3D has nearly 4 million views proving how popular these online trailer can be. What draws a person to an online trailer are the interactive codes and conventions of video sharing websites such as YouTube, you can comment on an online video, expressing your opinion is something that the internet is synonymous with and people like to put forth their opinions and get into debates about whether the movie looks any good, what aspects of the trailer were good etc. Also an online trailer can be shared, YouTube has a share function where you can link a YouTube video from Facebook, Twitter or GooglePlus in a few seconds. This feature inspires people to share the link so that they can debate about the trailer with other people and it is cost effective marketing for the movie producers because they are spreading news about their product without having to spend any money.
The trailer for horror movies themselves are also changing, previously horror movies were about as much gore and horrific scenes you could fit into a time slot, nowadays they are much more focused on building tension and then dissipating all of that tension with one big climactic death scene before going back to building the tension, the trailer mirrors this aesthetic very well. We are shown a lot of wide angle shots that show the main characters whole body in order to make the main character look lost and confused in the expansive set, the mise-en-scene is drab and dull using plenty of grey for exterior shots to capture the emotionless feeling of the town that the movie is set in, lots of dark red shades are used for the interior shots to signify that these are the more violent scenes of the movie which indeed they are as the interior shots are the only time we see any monsters attempt to hurt the main character. The interior shots are usually the shots that have a 'narrow' feeling to the mise-en-scene, the full body shots are still used to give that feeling of exposure but the all of the rooms for the interior shots are narrow corridors where the main character has only one direct path ,thereby being forced to continue toward her enemies and increasing the tension for the viewers as they know it's only a matter of time before the main character encounters more grotesque spirits attempting to destroy her.
The music industry is a prime example of how institutions adapt to fit the best interests of their customers. Both major record labels and independent labels have begun to realise that the internet is the future for music distribution. With the success of the Vevo channels on YouTube showing music videos, the huge popularity of sites such as iTunes, Pandora and Last.fm and the fact that well established print institutions such as NME and Village Voice now have websites where they show all of the content that they feature in their magazines on the website it is clear that people enjoy listening to and finding out about music online, and why wouldn't they? The service of downloading an audio file is so simple and not nearly as time consuming as going to a record store and hunting down the particular records that you're looking for.
The record companies aren't the only people involved who benefit. The marketing power of the internet means that it is now easier than ever before for a band to market themselves rather than rely on record companies. If a band, or any other kind of performer for that matter, wants to make themselves known, there are a number of websites on the internet that can assist them. Creating Facebook and Twitter pages can build a fan base easily so you can give people constant updates on the band members and their activities, not to mention making an account on one of these websites is completely free so it is undoubtedly the most cost effective form of promotion that someone can utilise. A band can sell their music on iTunes without the hassle of actually paying someone to make CD's which is just another drain on one's resources, or the band can make their own website and sell the music for free if they are so inclined.