Is This an Age of Blockbusters in Live Entertainment?

This piece makes a very compelling case for the death of the “Long Tail” and the fact that we are in the age of the blockbuster.

Not only do I believe it, but I’ve been saying for years that the Long Tail is mostly myth.

If you’re producing live entertainment, you understand this. When The Book of Mormon comes into your market, it’s going to get disproportionate attention. When the Red Sox are in the playoffs, that will dominate people’s thoughts.

But there’s some good news, and that’s that live entertainment is actually significantly less prone to the Long Tail phenomenon than online and electronic forms. If you’re talking about downloadable music, for example, the most popular thing is going to tend to become even more popular because it’s so darn easy for anyone to get it anytime. It’s a click away.

Live entertainment is significantly less convenient to consume, so even if somebody is a huge Red Sox or Mormon fan, there’s a lot they have to do to go see that show or game. It might even be impossible. This enables the success of lots of local things in a way that is almost obsolete with digital stuff.

"Audience," © 2009 Pieter Morlion, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.

“Audience,” © 2009 Pieter Morlion, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.

So what should you do? You simply must take advantage of this to develop an audience of your own, to build an asset of fans who like what you do and to nurture and draw on them. This isn’t just about collecting email addresses or Facebook likes. Yes, you have to reach people and have a way to stay in touch, but you also have to develop a clear reason for them to love you, and you have to love them back.

Yes, I said love them back.

If you do that, you’ll not just survive, but thrive in the age of the blockbuster.

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