Ooh, waves of change! Ride ’em, baby! Cowabunga! Legendary agent/studio dude (and owner of the L.A. Dodgers and the Golden State Warriors) has a few things to say about the state of entertainment right now, today:
by Peter Guber
Once upon a time, Hollywood lived by the golden rule – he who had the gold, made the rule. Studios, networks and other gatekeepers enjoyed the keys to the kingdom for a long time and earned enormous economic success. But a funny thing happened on the way to eternal domination – the digitization and subsequent democratization of content creation and distribution which forever changed and continues to change who is holding those keys to success.
This is the current state of the filmed entertainment industry.
The walls that separated the artist from their audience have come down. Artists can now talk directly with the audience without gatekeepers, and the audience can connect directly with the artist. Both the artists and the audience can talk with each other – in real time – whenever and wherever they are. While networks and studios once enjoyed an audience of millions or hundreds of millions, it’s now an audience of 1 one hundred million times over. Each one of these people is, in fact, a niche. When they come together socially, they become a tribe. And when enough tribes come together, it’s called a hit.
These individuals and their tribes want a say in what entertainment they watch, how they watch it, what the ads are, and when they see the ads. They want to interact with both the programs and the ads, and each other. And most of all, they want to pull it rather than be pushed it. They no longer want to be passengers. They want to be participants in this storytelling mechanism.
Today, the entertainment business is no longer an evolution. It’s a full out revolution. And revolutions can be lethal. But, they can also be opportunistic. Success in this new world of constant disruption and lightning fast and three-dimensional change requires mobility, agility and sometimes, even hostility.