Since 2008, CineRegio — the European network that groups together 43 film funds — has been publishing a series of reports linked to the digital revolution and cinema audiences. Entitled “Audience in the Mind”, this fifth and final report focuses strongly on the close relationship between content and its audience. It has been published thanks to Michael Gubbins, former editor-in-chief at Screen International, and now a media analyst and consultant working through his company, SampoMedia.
With this 125-page report, Gubbins reveals how, in our digital society, any project looking to make money or to have a cultural impact – or to achieve both of these objectives together – needs to consider three areas of consumer expectation: experience, access and ownership. While the report primarily focuses upon European cinema audiences, Gubbins’ findings can be easily transported to other regions.
Through analysing concepts, proposals for structuring new audiences and, above all, a great number of studies on specific and innovative projects that illustrate his points, Gubbins provides a document that constitutes an excellent starting point for any professional wanting to broaden his or her knowledge of digital consumer behaviour, or simply to become acquainted with it. The report contains many references and numerous notes that link to other publications, allowing the reader to continue his or her research into any point mentioned.
According to Charlotte Appelgren, Secretary-General of CineRegio:
“Audience in the Mind has both the potential and the ambition to alter the way the film industry thinks and acts, offering a foundation for creating and distributing more audience-driven projects. More than ever, the European film industry needs to readjust its strategy by changing its mindset and integrating the new skills required to reach a constantly evolving audience. It is high time to implement innovative strategies that will allow the industry to be refined in order to bring it into line with the new behavioural patterns of audiences.”
In the end, reading “Audience in the Mind” should lead to a sole and obvious conclusion for any professional producer, distributor or promoter of audiovisual content: there is an urgent need to adopt a digital strategy geared towards today’s audience. This is described in much greater detail in the report, which is available for free on the CineRegio website.