What are the advantages of traditional distribution channels over electronic distribution for movies?
Traditional movie distribution channels offer distributors an opportunity to make higher revenues as compared to electronic distribution which is easily accessible to the film maker. For example, indie film makers may opt to independently distribute their movies through free electronic platforms such as CreateSpace.
Electronic distribution of movies presents higher risks of piracy as compared to traditional distribution channels. For example, pirates have employed the use of software that are capable of recording digital movies in high quality formats for purposes of distribution.
Traditional distribution of movies has had no issues with format playability. Devices meant to play traditionally distributed movies would normally perform as compared to electronic distribution where some of the movies may need to undergo conversion in order to play on certain devices.
Traditional distribution offer customers the opportunity to keep a copy of the film for future access. Electronic distribution mostly employs live streaming which only plays the movie on demand lacking any form of storage for offline access.
The first major advantage for a film company in traditional distribution is that it is much harder to pirate. Piracy, especially in countries such as China, has had a significant negative impact on the profitability of film production.
Another major advantage of traditional distribution is higher profits. When movies are bundled for electronic distribution, first, people are willing to pay less per movie than when they are sold via traditional channels (especially theatres) and second, distributors of electronic versions often receive very substantial discounts.This shift towards high-volume, low-cost models makes it hard to recoup costs in an industry where one blockbuster pays for many failures.
Finally, producers have more control over how their films are distributed through traditional outlets.