April 03, 2019
12:45 - 14:00
LLN & Mons
Doyen 21 + Visio Room Mons
Research Seminar by Allègre HADIDA, University of Cambridge
Hollywood Studio Filmmaking in the Age of Netflix: A Tale of Two Institutional Logics?
(paper co-authored with J. Lampel, A. Joshi and W.D. Walls)
New online streaming services are challenging long-standing decision-making practices that have guided the traditional motion picture industry for almost a century. Accordingly, the remaining six major Hollywood studios are now at a crossroads. This paper uses institutional logics theory to examine how both traditional studios and new online streaming services make strategic decisions on which films to produce, and how these films should be distributed, and to analyse how their interaction will likely evolve. We argue that the key criteria that studio executives use to make such decisions are shaped by what we define as a ‘commitment institutional logic’: decision making prescriptions that focus studio executives’ attention on theatrical release and box office intakes. In contrast, the new online streaming services follow what we call a ‘convenience institutional logic’, the product of advanced data analytics to increase subscriptions. In the convenience institutional logic, film development and distribution decisions are guided by the need to drive online traffic by providing subscribers with an extensive catalogue of film offerings. Whereas the commitment logic aims for mass-market hits in cinemas, the convenience logic seeks to reach a wide range of subscribers at home with micro-segmented content. We compare and contrast the two logics, then develop four scenarios of how the interaction between them may shape the film industry. We discuss the conditions under which the suggested scenarios would work best and offer recommendations to the studios.