Long tail and blockbuster strategy might be terms you have heard before, or they could be completely new to you. Both are very important to understanding how companies determine how to spend and invest in products or movies.
Long tail can be used in the marketplace for almost everything, including the retail world and media industry. Long Tail is a novel written by Chris Anderson where he discusses that term. He explains that a long tail is selling a large amount of a few items and then selling a very small amount of many items. Companies are investing in a larger quantity of product in hopes to sell less of more. Below is an image of a dinosaur displaying how the long tail works. As you move down the tail, the product becomes more niche, and unique to the customer, the head of the dinosaur is the more popular items or movies.
Blockbuster strategy is the opposite of long tail. According to Anita Elberse, in her book Blockbusters, investing a lot of money in a few movies or shows in hope for a hit is the strategy the movie industry follows. Unlike in long tail, where spreading money across many products is the strategy. There is no telling what will and what will not be a blockbuster hit, but there are strategies used like picking an A-list cast, releasing the movie during the right time of year, and picking a genre well liked by a large audience. Below is a list of the current movies in theaters, and the amount of money they made the weekend the movie was released, along with the total amount made thus far. Do you see any huge hit blockbusters? Can you determine why they were successful?
|Gods of Egypt||$14.0M||$14.0M|
|Kung Fu Panda 3||$9.0M||$128.5M|
|Eddie the Eagle||$6.3M||$6.3M|
|How to Be Single||$5.2M||$39.6M|