Block­busters

Anita El­berse Scribe, $ 32.99

The Australian - The Deal - - Books - Paul Cleary

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?

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