A NY Times piece a few weeks ago covered how the TV business has become one where there’s almost no room for a modest success.  The case in point was the four episode run of CBS’s “Smith” starring Ray Liotta.  It’s tough being in the content business, particularly one still working on an old economy model.  If we believe the Long Tail theories, then there’s money to be made in niches.  There’s also money to be made in the mass market, at the head of the curve.  But what about in the middle?

Seems that when you’re prepping for the mass market—as is the case in film and TV–there’s no business in the middle.  In fact, now more than ever, it’s deadly.  Either stay niche and keep your marketing costs low, or go mass.  Think of it as the thrust required for your “rocket” to break into the realm of mass.  Here’s my English major’s stab at how an economist would represent this situation.   The U-shaped curve is profit, while the dotted, red like represents marketing costs.

Current_profit_curve_1

Make any sense? 

Okay, since Halloween was a couple of weeks ago, I’ll retire the economist costume.  It’s now stuffed in the drawer with my son’s Batman gear.

Posted by Rob Fields