Dispersing things through space, to anyone or to specific people. The act of publishing, when you sit down and dwell on it is a pretty incredible process. Distribution though, has become increasingly linked and tangled up with each other, especially with the rise of the internet. Video, sound, text and the bajillion other methods of publishing are all finding new ways to inter-relate. THe internet has allowed for extensive multi-media interactions that aggregate and distribute all these elements at once. However, in terms of my favourite form of publishing and aggregation I’d like to bring it back to a little bit more of an archaic platform: the physical disc. Specifically Blu-Ray Movies.
In the simplest form, Blu-Rays are a medium by which the big movie studios choose to distribute their films. They’re marketed on their higher quality compared to DVD and stuff but lately their biggest marketing factor is the inclusion of digital copies and Ultraviolet copies with the discs. I buy the blu-rays for the picture quality, because I’m a movie geek but the digital copy presents new ways for studios to distribute and for people to aggregate the content that they own.
So Ultraviolet. When I initially heard about it I thought it sounded a bit crap to be honest. It’s built on the idea that you buy a regular DVD/Blu-Ray and then with it you receive a code for a digital copy of the film. Where it differentiates from standard old digital copies of the film (that typically just gave you an iTunes code) is that your digital copies are stored in a cloud for you to take off and use on any device you’d like, while also being able to watch them on the cloud. Theoretically, your movie collection is wherever you are (as long as you have an internet connection). It’s all about making movie access suit your circumstance while also aggregating your data in a fashion that is pleasing (people like to have big movie collections) and useful (people cannot normally access their huge collection of blu-rays when they’re out of town). It’s a shame in some ways though, like Dodson says, data is now trending towards low value ubiquity. The leaders of content creation are merging with the followers by trying to use the distribution methods that are most popular with them.
Realistically, the studios this method isn’t enough for the studios, they need to adapt better, faster have freer standards on the ways they distribute and aggregate their content. Ultimately they have the opportunity to aggregate culture, encourage the creativity of individuals and simply make more money. Danah Boyd in her talk at the Web 2.0 expo mentions how those who control the content hold the most power in the digital space. Digital aggregation is the future of distribution for the studios, as long as they maintain control over the content.