Marvel Studios has done a pretty good job, generally speaking, in getting movie fans to buy into their cinematic universe. One of the ways they have done this is by continually creating content in some form for fans to consume. While there is inevitable down time between feature films, Marvel would create something they called One Shots, short films that dealt with supporting characters and side plots. These would get attached to DVD releases that would come out in between movies. But therein lies the problem. When was the last time you bought a DVD?
For what it’s worth, Marvel, and The Russo Brothers more specifically, are well aware that physical media is slowly fading away, and they’ll need to look to other avenues to promote future films. Anthony Russo told Forbes that they’re working on something for Avengers: Infinity War that would allow them to continue the same sort of world building through a platform that everybody is familiar with.
We can’t go into too many details about this but we are thinking, very specifically, about [how] to do new ways of what you are talking about with Avengers: Infinity War. We’re just in the beginning phases of figuring them out. Yes, DVDs are gone, but there is this wonderful internet platform out there called YouTube.
Since pretty much every living person on the planet is familiar with YouTube, it makes sense as the way to bring new content to Marvel's fans. It’s the place where many people go to watch Marvel’s movie trailers anyway, so they’re already used to using the site to get the latest images of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Avengers: Infinity War looking to contain every Marvel hero under the sun, they may very well need something just to introduce all the characters properly.
Honestly, from the standpoint of trying to keep fans focused on their product, YouTube makes even more sense. While a One Shot as a DVD extra may entice you to buy the DVD, once you’ve seen the new content, you’re back in the same situation. YouTube would allow Marvel to create multiple One Shot type films and release them over a period of time, getting fans re-engaged every few months. While they’d lose out on the cash from the DVD sale, they would gain the ad revenue of many more people watching on YouTube than would have purchased the physical disc to begin with. Anthony Russo compares this to releasing movie trailers. Making the trailer costs money, and doesn’t directly produce any income, but it does produce anticipation for a film, which ultimately leads to ticket sales.
It’s possible that we might even see this new plan go into effect soon. Yesterday, we wrote about how, while the Russo’s confirmed that there will be some post credits action attached to Captain: America: Civil War they wouldn’t confirm how much we would see. They implied there could be as many as three different post-credits sequences, though there might be fewer. Could they be contemplating hanging on to some of this footage to release online later?
What do you think of YouTube as a new place to get you MCU fix?