Sunday, January 27, 2013

Small Studios in New Markets

Duncan Studio of Pasadena California, earlier a supplier to larger animation companies, goes in a new direction.

... With the release of My Beastly ABCs in December, Duncan Studio was able to reach a new audience by providing families worldwide with an interactive storybook app that contains captivating animation and striking artwork. The app has received glowing reviews from around the world and USA Today named it one of 2012’s top ten apps for children.

Like other animation studios not part of one of our fine entertainment conglomerates, Duncan is going the New Media route in its quest for cash flow. (Moonbot Studios is another startup doing similar things. Still another is SD Entertainment.)

The reality of today's animation business/marketplace? If you're not a large, vertically integrated entertainment company, you're going to find it tough to get enough work from larger entities to stay in business over long stretches of time. The days when an indie like Hanna-Barbera could own and create shows, then license them to broadcast networks, are long over.

Today's animation independents have to execute multi-pronged approaches to creating and selling animated product. They have to not only sub-contract from the Big Fish, but create internet product, create new media apps, and partner in foreign co-productions. The studios with the most innovative creative teams -- and that make a practice of thinking outside the box -- have the best shots at long-term success.

But it's Indie eat Indie. And the 21st-century marketplace is neither warm, nor fuzzy, nor forgiving.


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