SXSW 2014, you’ve been amazing! We’ve met so many great people, seen some incredible things and have come away more positive than ever about the future of education. The festival was too big to cover everything in a single post, but as a starting point, here’s 10 of the things we’ve learnt last week.
In ‘Blockbusters: Why Big Hits - And Big Risks - are the Future of the Entertainment Business,’ Anita Elberse argues that Chris Anderson’s ‘long tail theory’ was just a nice idea. In reality we aren’t seeing more diversity and choice and digital media is simply boosting the economic ‘blockbuster’ power of the biggest entertainment brands - superhero movies, football clubs and celebs like Lady Gaga.
Warner Bros have a strategy whereby they focus on a smaller number of big bets or ‘tent-pole’ movies every year, throw an awful lot of marketing money at them. And let the cash flow in. The downside is that if they fail, it’s failure on a massive scale. Think Disney’s John Carter (which I actually really liked).
Here’s a great fact about the music industry - in 2011 a third of sales were of songs that sold just one copy. The blockbuster investment went into 100 songs that sold more than one million each. Gaga is the best example of this mega-marketing led music phenomenon.
What are the lessons for the corporate world? It’s clear that the mega brands such as Coca Cola and Ford will continue to shift advertising spend into powerful content marketing through social channels, growing massive and mainstream audiences.
In my world on a smaller scale, I think it reinforces the need to focus on and invest in fewer, bigger communications campaigns for greater cut through. And in a smaller number of social channels we can really scale, finding the right balance between focus and niche content areas.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life …Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Being a parent is very much like being a Burmese politician. It’s house arrest and the only contact you have with the outside world is CBeebies. Men who grew up in the Seventies have had to evolve more in 40 years than in the previous 40,000.