UK Supermarket Starts Making Its Own Movies

from the the-industry,-she's-a-changing dept

Whenever we talk about new business models, we get questions about how company x can stay in business with such a business model -- often with the implication being that if company x (e.g., a record label or a movie studio) can't do this, then it can't possibly work for the overall industry. But the fact is that markets are changing, and some of the end results may mean that non-traditional players end up making music and movies. We've already seen how different consumer products brands like Kraft and P&G have jumped into the music business, and now it appears that UK supermarket chain Tesco is getting into the movie business, producing a series of movies that are designed on purpose to go straight to the DVD shelves in Tesco. The company is working with some well known authors (the first movie is an adaptation of a Jackie Collins novel) and a small studio set up specifically for this kind of thing.

While they admit there's some stigma with direct-to-shelves DVDs, they're hoping to get past that with the name recognition associated with the author. The article also notes that Tesco has taken a complete hands-off approach to the film production. There's no product placement and no attempts to weave in Tesco-related marketing. Apparently, Tesco's only requirement is that the film not stray into pornography.

I have no idea if this will be a success. In fact, I have my doubts that this particular setup will work well for Tesco. But it does highlight an important point. There are alternative means to finance a film, and if there's demand for this kind of creative work, someone will figure out a way to get it made, even if it's not some big Hollywood studio.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 11:48pm

    "Apparently, Tesco's only requirement is that the film not stray into pornography. "


    although if they did they would probably sell by the bucket load

     

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  2.  
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    AW, Aug 10th, 2010 @ 11:52pm

    Nice to see some risk taking. I personally don't think to badly of direct to dvd movies if the idea is original and the story is good. The "gamers" series is a good example. Or look at the Seefee(Syfy) channel movies the stuff they actually make is usually pretty decent.

     

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  3.  
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    JC, Aug 11th, 2010 @ 12:48am

    Is this any different than when advertisers were approached to start advertising on television, when television was still a new technology? Or radio?

    Single advertisers used to finance entire shows.

    Advertising seems to move wherever the attention is being paid.

     

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  4.  
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    Liam (profile), Aug 11th, 2010 @ 2:28am

    Re:

    "Advertising seems to move wherever the attention is being paid."

    insightful stuff :p

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2010 @ 2:45am

    Internet Providers and Google should follow

    If they are smart the Googles and Verizons of this world combine their own movies with their own infrastructure.

     

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  6.  
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    Danny (profile), Aug 11th, 2010 @ 3:36am

    What goes around comes around

    There is a reason soap operas are called soap operas

     

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  7.  
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    slacker525600 (profile), Aug 11th, 2010 @ 5:32am

    it would be interesting

    if lots of these small shops started opening up, and then the most successful movies they produced were used as feeders into the big budget movie industry, with licensing agreements to help the small studios

     

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  8.  
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    Idobek (profile), Aug 11th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    £1 in every 8 (possibly 7) spent in the UK is spent in Tesco. If there is one company that can afford to experiment with new business models, it is Tesco.

     

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  9.  
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    Dallas IT Guy, Aug 11th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Not that far out of the box

    Stores have been selling private label goods for a long time, and this is only a little different (more "r & d", if you will.)

    I'd really expect to see "NetFlix" branded or funded movies go direct to streaming as the next step.

     

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  10.  
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    iget2 (profile), Aug 11th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    brilliant idea

    this is going to be the trend! after working in tv/film for many years, watch the dinosaur die slowly that is the financing of yore! :) networks are too top heavy and owned by too many parent companies. they can no longer be nimble and greenlight something 'new & different' (oooooo ...tooo scarrrreeeeeyyyy) ... it takes too long for a good idea pitch, to wind it's way up the corporate food chain in entertainment. bravo tesco.

    anyone want to finance our iget2 brand? (infotainment)
    comedy, info & stories???
    flagship site:
    http://iget2work.com

     

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  11.  
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    McC (profile), Aug 11th, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Nice report

    Thanks for reporting on this, Mike. THIS seems like a more real-world business model than others we've read about. I hope you'll keep us abreast of Tesco's success/failure.

     

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  12.  
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    Cyberpoint (profile), Aug 12th, 2010 @ 2:37am

    Frankly, it's ingenious

    Think of all the paperbacks Tesco already sells, they're just re-publishing them in a different format.

    Once they've had the film made the run-on costs of putting a DVD on the shelves is negligible.

    They pick best sellers guaranteed to sell in the thousands.

    And think of the sales at airports and railway stations to all those travellers with a portable DVD player.

     

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  13.  
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    PaulT (profile), Aug 12th, 2010 @ 5:06am

    It's a pretty straightforward evolution, in a way. Typically, the movie industry works in 2 ways (especially on DVD) - either a studio produces a movie and then has to work out how to distribute it involving 3rd party retailers or somebody makes a movie and then has to convince somebody to buy it for distribution.

    Tesco are merely moving everything in house - taking care of everything from script development to retail product. Time will tell whether the quality of the movies is good enough to convince people to buy the DVDs (especially a male audience - and yes marketers, we do the shopping as well), but it makes perfect sense.

     

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  14.  
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    Marissa, Aug 15th, 2010 @ 12:13am

    "It's a pretty straightforward evolution, in a way. Typically, the movie industry works in 2 ways (especially on DVD) - either a studio produces a movie and then has to work out how to distribute it involving 3rd party retailers or somebody makes a movie and then has to convince somebody to buy it for distribution.

    Tesco are merely moving everything in house - taking care of everything from script development to retail product. Time will tell whether the quality of the movies is good enough to convince people to buy the DVDs (especially a male audience - and yes marketers, we do the shopping as well), but it makes perfect sense."

    I agree with Paul.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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