anticipating audience’s behavior

if like most of the members of our community, all you want to do is make movies, then you probably don’t like to think a lot about your audience. probably the younger you are, the more likely you are to be comfortable with strong ties between yourself and the people you admire, but for those of us born before the 80’s, the walls between ourselves and our celebrities still tend to seem like the Rocky Mountains.

meerkatthe fact is that the circles of celebrity influence – though global in geographic scope – are constantly shrinking in terms of overall numbers, and that’s frightening to companies and brands all over the world, in every sector of business and at all levels. the only companies which benefit from that growing segmentation are those which are most privy to that vast ocean of data, and who’ve figured out a way to either sell that data or analyze it intelligently and invest accordingly. the key to the latter is whether or not their analysis is accurate. in other words, does the analysis accurately predict consumer buying trends.

for instance, if you had money and somehow knew that people were going to buy shit tons of a particular brand of toilet paper next year (pun intended), then you would invest in that toilet paper. if the margin was high enough, and you were that certain, you might even put every penny you had into that investment.

we live in the Information Age. data swirls around us like ocean water to fish at sea. having the skill, intelligence and talent to analyze that data to determine what people are about to buy more of is extremely valuable, even to artists – especially for artists! because we cannot survive without our audience, and if we can’t guess what they want to see, we won’t be able to give them what they want.

this might seem like the kind of thing that only studio execs need to know, but it’s becoming more and more important for performers to predict coming trends and act accordingly than it ever has been before. i can tell you without a doubt that if most of my friends had any idea that YouTube would today be generating the kind of money that it’s generating for so many independent artists, we would have pooled our resources and started posting content to YouTube years and years ago. hundreds and hundreds of people who for whatever reason started posting content to YouTube years ago are now making a living doing it and that’s wonderful, but what will be the next YouTube? will it be Meerkat? maybe it’ll be something we haven’t even seen yet, but the bottom line is you need to start thinking more about where YOUR audience will find you, and you need to either get there right now or be ready to get there the second it arrives.