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I linked to Erick Schonfeld in the post below and now just see on Anne Thompson’s blog this link to a new piece of his, “5 Ways to Fix Time Warner.” It’s a very interesting piece with ideas that should be considered by anyone distributing media today. For example, Schonfeld advocates a move away from the blockbuster to the “nichebuster”:

Once the businesses are organized around audience niches, creating blockbusters becomes less necessary. Instead, media businesses that are focused on narrow audiences will naturally give rise to the more cost-effective “nichebuster.” A nichebuster is any kind of content that becomes a breakout hit with people in a target audience. In fact, within that group, it’s a blockbuster, while outsiders might take little notice of it because it doesn’t appeal to them or because its immediate sales are modest.

For instance, Sports Illustrated might produce a low-budget documentary about street basketball with no big-name stars; it could even solicit video footage from the audience itself. The key to keeping costs low is to know the audience — in this case, street kids, street kid wannabes, and hard-core fans — and give it exactly what it wants: gritty hoop action that feels real.

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