Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Entertainment Pyramid

In my previous post regarding a new "entertainment pyramid" The Gamut asks the question "What do you mean by the pyramid?"

What I mean is that in today's market - especially the theatrical motion picture market - the studios are making fewer and fewer movies for higher budgets. They would be the tippy top of the pyramid, because not only does it cost a lot to produce the motion picture, it costs a lot to distribute it. I would also add that it costs a lot ($14 at Arclight Cinema here in Hollywood) to go see the movie.

So, a film's release into the marketplace of ideas is very expensive - similar to what the author was discussing in the Wired article regarding computer technology - initially very expensive and limited.

As the "movie property" progresses further and further down the pyramid - through VOD, DVD, Cable, Free Television and so forth - it gets less and less expensive to see and access.

(and to be sure, the pyramid is slightly misshapen. In my discussing the phenomena/theory with Shawna the other day, she likened it to an hourglass that needed to be inverted every now and then to re-feed the process. I'm sticking to pyramid for simplicity's sake)

At the bottom of the pyramid are all the people on the web inspired by the movie. They are creating web pages and video mashups and other "original" material that was sparked at the top of the pyramid. They are also creating more inexpensive original material and interacting more at the bottom of the pyramid.

So my post was to bring to the fore the ideas that: a) as the economy tenses and twists, more and more people are going to be seeking more cost-effective, accessible levels of entertainment, b) the instruments are in place to entertain (and interact) with those folks in a cost-effective manner and c) this is going to change everything as it IS going to invert the pyramid. Cheap entertainment is going to work its way up - from interactive mashup or original video and prose - to "higher" levels on the pyramid. Again, changing everything.

At least I hope it's going to change everything. The inversion of the pyramid certainly didn't hurt this company.


1 comment:

TheGamut said...

Ah. Thanks! I think I get it now.

I like the hourglass analogy. It compensates for the bottleneck of people working their way up, but I think it's more like the pyramid has become shorter. Things seem to become distributed more quickly once released than ever before (reaching the bottom as it were). People are realizing that big budget doesn't necessarily mean better, lowering the bar on budgets. The distance to the top doesn't seem nearly as far and more people are willing to try to make the climb. Once people start getting back on top, the pyramid rises again.

Of course, that's just a two-part analogy of the products being handed down and spread among the pyramid of people and the people trying to climb up at the same time. (That allows for people to make something anywhere on the pyramid, but it only goes down and spreads out.) Since I am not remotely anywhere near the industry, I'm probably off-base. (Heh. No pun intended, but I like it anyway.)