“Producers are useless these days.” You can do without them, finding money through crowdfunding and distributing through the Internet. To an extent it is true. It is now possible to create audiovisual projects without the help of traditional channels (film institutes, TV channels, theatres) that the producers are masters of. However as the process is getting easier, the amount of content available increases proportionally. It is regular economy principles. The offer largely exceeds the demand thus fostering competition. And the price of content drops.
Yes, you can fundraise enough money to get started on a production with Kickstarter and the like. But getting started isn’t enough to finish a whole project. The amount most campaigns raise cannot cover the costs of the entire film or TV series. Plus a crowdfunding campaign requires so much energy to market it to the crowd that it might not be as successful as once expected. It is a welcomed first push to gather a first circle of fans.
Yes, you can broadcast your content online thanks to YouTube and the like. But how are you going to acquire an audience among the ocean of content already available for free? No matter how good your project is, you will need a massive advertising campaign to reach the millions of views required to start earning money on YouTube.
Moreover a producer will act as a second opinion on the movie or the TV series. The project can only benefit from honest and unbiased criticisms… Something the crowds are not able to do. The comments are more often than not either extra friendly (relatives or early backers to the project) or extra harsh (the downside of the Internet).
Now alternatives exist but they are far from replacing the traditional ways… Yet. And the producer remains the key partner to the moviemaker.