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Title: The impact of digital technology on documentary distribution
Author: Nime, Nicole Marie
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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The Internet and digital technologies have created an opportunity for documentaries to find new audiences; however, documentary's capacity to overcome the challenges that the online market presents and achieve sustainability is not yet understood. This study brings together research in the areas of new media and documentary in order to comprehend and assess the significance of the growing overlap between the two. Focusing on documentary distribution post-2000, in the United States and the United Kingdom, the thesis examines how the online market has influenced both the culture of documentary and the economic structure of the methods used to distribute documentary films. This involves an exploration of the rise of digital media in relation to its impact upon the film industry and a historical review of the changes that have occurred within the documentary marketplace. The core analysis takes the form of a case study approach that sets out to identify trends in documentary distribution and generate insights into the new models that both documentary platforms and filmmakers have employed. What this research suggests is that documentary distribution via the Web requires a new framework for thinking about how films reach audiences and generate revenues. In particular, it indicates how audience engagement from the onset of production can help documentaries overcome challenges in the online market. In line with participatory media trends, the research confirms that distribution has become more than just a mechanism for content dissemination and that, in the digital age, distribution has developed as a social phenomenon, which expands through ongoing public . involvement and innovation. However, the research also indicates that alternative distribution strategies that rely upon leveraging communities must be uniquely adapted to each project and its particular core audiences. This means that there is no singular, overarching theory or replicable model that characterises the online distribution process for documentary films. Thus, the thesis adds to our knowledge of the diverse ways in which documentary has inhabited the social space offered by new media while ancho~ing existing theories of 'social media' within specific contexts. 3
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available