The Attention Economy

The Attention Economy

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NEVER PROMOTE BEFORE AVAILABILITY

You’re lucky if someone’s noticed, if they’re aware of what you’re advertising/promoting, in a world of endless messages once you’ve got someone hooked you need to allow them to click through freely to purchase/experience your wares, this is why Amazon introduced One-Click shopping. You want to reduce friction, you want instinct to take over, once someone thinks about spending their money or not, you’re lost.

NO ONE’S GONNA REMEMBER

Which is why if you’re a known quantity you want your publicity front-loaded and if you’re unknown you want to wait until you have traction. If you’re someone and your new project doesn’t come out of the gate roaring, it’s a stiff, and no amount of sycophantic old media press will resuscitate it. If you’re no one, the instinct is to promote to overcome ignorance, this is a mistake, you waste your budget, you burn your relationships and everyone is frustrated and depleted. Now, more than ever, you start small and develop a story. You’re selling the story, not the project. That’s what hooks people in today’s cacophonous society. Not information so much as ANALYSIS! We all see the headlines, but we rarely go beyond that. We do when there’s a genuine hook. A real hook is not “This is my latest project, it’s the best one I’ve ever done and let me tell you about my favorite color.” Nor is it the classic “I’ve experienced tragedy and I’ve distilled it into this work.” No, it’s more about the reaction of the audience, your experience in slogging it out to get ahead. Where you won over the audience, where you didn’t. Ink without story is worthless, there’s just too much of it. And only a few may actually read, but those people will be bonded to you and spread the word. You’re not speaking to everybody, just somebody. Broadcasting is passe, just look at TV ratings, you’re narrowcasting.

ATTENTION IS EVANESCENT

Just because you’ve got ’em today doesn’t mean you’ve got ’em tomorrow. In a world where what happens in the morning is already passe by the evening you’ve got to keep the story rolling, you need new product, more music, more YouTube clips… You satiate the core and when the looky-loos finally come on board there’s a plethora for them to experience,

ATTENTION IS OFTENTIMES QUANTIFIABLE

There are no turntable hits. You check the Spotify streams and the YouTube count and if’s not reacting forget about it. Never lie, people can check the truth instantly, and then you’re dead in the water forevermore.

THE PUBLIC IS IN CONTROL

Never ever try to bend people’s will, follow them, or get ahead of them in unknown territory, which is how Spotify won, people didn’t even know they wanted streaming. We live in an on demand culture. Put up hurdles at your peril.

GIVE UP THE GHOST

Spielberg believes movies must open in a theatre. Yeah right, so they can be ignored there and forgotten when they hit the small screen. Be thrilled anybody’s watching/listening to your stuff at all. When someone starts speaking about protection, stop listening. Windows are impediments. Critics have been superseded by the wisdom of the crowd. The music business woke up, the holier-than-thou movie business is way behind the curve, as are network and cable television. Sure, it’s about the content, but if it’s not easy to consume whenever and wherever I want, I’m not watching.

DISTRIBUTION IS KING

Think about the outlet. If you’ve got a choice, sacrifice payment for eyeballs. You don’t want to be the guinea pig at Apple television, no matter how much they pay.

OLD MEDIA IS A CIRCLE JERK

Everybody involved is backslapping, believing they’re fighting the good fight, when the audience has completely tuned out. Youngsters don’t read the newspaper. And they go straight to rottentomatoes, as do I, why should I waste my time, which is so precious!

YOU’RE A HIT OR YOU’RE NOT

Fewer projects are ubiquitous and ubiquity ain’t what it used to be. If you don’t hit right away, give up or be in it for the long haul. No one wants to listen to your sour grapes.

MONEY GROWS ON TREES

That’s right, there are so many ways to monetize success that to get hung up on the old ones is a major mistake. The biggest rappers give away their music. People buy merch they don’t wear or play, just to feel involved.

YOU’RE BUILDING A BOND

Be human, have frailties, whether it be in your art or personality or both. Rough edges hook people. Which is why “The Voice” stars never translate to Spotify. We’re looking for vulnerability, originality, we want to identify. Plastic surgery just makes you look like everybody else. Stop feeling inadequate, own who you are, it will pay dividends.

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