Anita Elberse Scribe, $ 32.99
Elberse teaches courses at Harvard Business School on marketing in creative industries and the business of media and entertainment, which is the focus of this debut book. She argues media businesses have to crash or crash through by betting on big winners. The new media market is a place for the brave and not the timid who might be more focused on margins and product diversity. This thesis demeans taking “more shots at goal” with low-cost products and urges businesses to gamble big-time. It’s a risky strategy in a fast-changing marketplace, as Elberse acknowledges: “The bets made by content producers are becoming riskier – only those titles in greatest demand have a shot at earning back their production and marketing costs ... What we end up with is a world still dominated by blockbusters, but one that is possibly even more lopsided.” Some of this strategy sounds a lot like the Fairfax digital-first approach, which is taking a big punt on what is yet to be a revenue-winning model. Surely the balanced portfolio is a sounder way to deal with the greater risks that Elberse acknowledges?