A Definition

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Synergy

Synergy (from the Greek syn-ergos, συνεργός meaning working together) is the term used to describe a situation where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final outcome. Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s the ‘strategy of synchronising and actively forging connections between directly related areas of entertainment’. New Technologies support this process – web, dvd, downloading. Media institution exploit various platforms to sell various products related to one film (e.g. film and soundtrack and video game). Symbiosis is the linking up of various companies to make profits from one product

An example of synergy from Disney

Outlets CD

DVD Game

An example of synergy from Working Title Films….

Sound Track

DVD

Symbiosis

This is when different companies work together to promote a range of related products. Eg High School Musical the film will enable spin-offs like Happy Meals, Easter Eggs, bedlinen, toy characters etc and the distributor will agree licensing deals for companies to make and sell this merchandising. A % of the profits will go back to the distributor Walt Disney pioneered symbiosis marketing techniques in the 1930s by granting dozens of firms the right to use his Mickey Mouse character in products and ads, and continued to market Disney media through licensing arrangements. These products can help advertise the film itself and thus help to increase the film's sales. For example, the Spider-Man films had toys of ‘webshooters’ and figures of the characters made, CD soundtracks, video games, DVD’s and other merchandising.

Convergence

Convergence is the process by which a range of media platforms are integrated within a single piece of media technology. For example the new X Box 360 is a games console, a DVD player, an internet modem. The iphone is a phone, a camera, a video camera, an mp3 player, an FM radio, a games console, a web browser, a palmtop computer.

This demonstrates ‘convergence’ of a wide range of technologies. Media institutions recognise that audiences enjoy using converged technology, want to consume media in a variety of different ways (including ‘on the go’) and provide short form content for downloading eg video clips, trailers, music videos, jingles, wallpapers, music tracks etc

Vivendi Universal

Working Title films is owned by Universal films Universal films is part of Vivendi Universal Vivendi Universal is a giant name in the world of the privatised water industry all over the world, from Brazil to the UK It also owns major phone companies in many countries It also owns 60 publishing houses selling 80 million books a year / 40 million CD-ROMs a year

Vivendi Universal

Vivendi Universal own Cineplex and Odeon cinema chains- another distribution an marketing outlet Also owns MP3.com Also owns Canal+ (French TV subscription channel) which has 14 million subscribers in 11 countries in Europe. Canal+ part finance Working Title Films productions. Owns Universal records. (22% share of global market across 63 countries)

Vivendi Universal

Can produce their own tv shows and films at Universal Studios Have exclusive distribution rights of Working Title films and soundtracks Can distribute, market and exhibit films they own through their own 13 cable channels, eg Chiller channel for horror films, Movies 24 in UK and Canal+ in Europe Can market and exhibit content through their tv channels and entertainment parks They can distribute their content through their partnership with Apple via i-tunes

MP3.com

Vivendi Universal own MP3.com They can use this as a platform to distribute Universal owned content They can also use the MP3.com as a platform for advertising content and can sell advertising space to other related companies eg CBS have links to their film sites Therefore the company benefit from audiences owning converged technology such as a videoipod as this is where they will download and exhibit their content

As a company they have..

Vivendi Universal

Have integrated film, music, web and distribution technology into the company, including owning big stakes in cables and wires that deliver these services. Therefore they are vertically integrated because they own all the different companies involved in film, from production to distribution to exhibition. They are also horizontally integrated because they have all the expertise for producing media content under one roof – films, tv, magazines, books, music, games thus being able to produce all the related media content for one film under the same roof (see synergy)

Why is this important to Working Title Films?
Points to think about…  Production  Distribution  Marketing  Exhibition  Merchandising – increase profits

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