Why vice, buzzfeed and refinery29 are in the movie biz.
Why settle for desktop and mobile screens when the silver screen is a possibility?
As digital publishers constantly look for new ways to distribute their content and reach untapped audiences—think Facebook Watch shows and experiential events—feature films remain a lucrative platform where publishers like Vice Media, Buzz Feed and, most recently, Refinery29 can engage their audiences and satisfy the ever-pressing need for myriad revenue streams.
“It makes sense from a business perspective to have diverse revenue streams,” said Aymar Jean Christian, an assistant professor of communication studies at Northwestern University. “It particularly makes sense when you’re a publisher but don’t have complete control over your distribution.”
The medium also gives publishers a marketing advantage: Because they already have “their own publicity machine,” said Rebecca Lieb, co-founder and analyst at Kaleido Insights, they can promote the film through their own newsletters and websites.
“All of these publications are audio-visual as well as written word,” said Lieb. “So getting into video and, by extension, feature film is not much of a stretch.”
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