It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
For the last several years, my “holiday tradition” has consisted of binging on trashy TV.
By the way that’s more a term of endearment than it is derogatory. Obviously, I think the shows have merit, or I wouldn’t spend days on end watching them. In fact, the story arc is absolutely incredible on most of these shows, and they have cliffhangers down to a science.
Anyway, it wasn’t very long after I started my annual binge that I noticed the trend that is going to hit the industry really soon. It’s actually already underway and still concentrated at the very top levels, but it’s about to go mainstream.
Here’s where you come in…
Earlier this year, I told you that the big networks were at risk and that moves were being made by tech companies to acquire them.
What happened then? Facebook launched its streaming service. This is seen as a precursor to an acquisition, as FB is moving to take market share and devalue the studios prior to bidding.
Stick with me for a sec, it’s about to hit home but you need to have some context…
Fast forward and Disney’s acquisition of Fox was just announced a few days ago.
Here’s why that matters.
This move is solely intended to give Disney control over content, and to give it access to content that is made specifically for online distribution. This will put them in direct competition with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the other streaming providers.
We know the future of TV and films is online, right?
In case you didn’t notice this year, AMC (the movie theatre chain) launched a desperate and ambitious multibillion dollar project to renovate their theatres with plush recliners, more privacy, and a few other amenities.
At the same time, the box office had one of its worst years on record, because more and more people are choosing to stay home and stream the movie when it’s available.
Earlier this year, I also told you that Gary Vaynerchuck, social media engineer to the stars and the Fortune 500, declared that soon “the networks” would no longer be ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX. Instead they would be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube.
During my binge I noticed that the D-level quasi celebrities I was watching were being used all over the place to promote new shows, new films, and new products.
They were engaging in “influencer marketing.” More on that in a bit.
I did some quick digging, because this is huge. I found that one of the shows had a viewership of around 500,000 pretty consistently.
Not bad at all.
Yet, the main cast of that show had over 10 million followers on Instagram alone!
Most of their posts received more views and more attention than the shows they’re on.
Wrap your mind around that for a minute.
Which came first the chicken or the egg? The TV show or the followers?
Remember the “Cash me ousside how ‘bout dat” girl? Her memes and parodies of her penetrated every corner of the industry and the internet.
On average the show she was a guest on, Dr. Phil, will get around 3 Million viewers. Danielle Bregoli, his guest on 1 episode, however has nearly 12 million followers on Instagram alone.
She has also, apparently launched what turned out to be a surprisingly successful music career.
You know what’s next?
Let’s just say she’s been seen around Hollywood a lot lately, and has been on the lot.
Here’s why this is important to you.
To be successful in the industry it takes more than talent alone. You used to have to know someone.
Today you have to be someone.
The people that are crossing over from online platforms and being granted opportunities that they may or may not be ready for, are quickly shrinking the pool of projects available to actors who earned it.
You may not see it, but we’re in a revolution of sorts.
The studios and networks are losing big time to online content and they haven’t figured out how to make the business model of streaming content work for them.
That’s why you see them turning to the proven business model of influencer marketing. See, they know that if someone with 1 million followers gets put on a show a good chunk of those followers will watch the show.
What it has evolved to from there has taken the influencer model from social media, where influencers (people with a lot followers) are sought out for product promos.
They’re not just using these D-listers (BTW use that term lightly, as they are quickly becoming the new A listers) for commercials, that’s too obvious.
When you see the cast of Vanderpump rules pouring beers into Yeti travel mugs and talking about how it keeps the drink ice cold all day, even during hot LA summers, that’s influencer marketing. When the same cast does a Christmas themed a cappella video that randomly plays after the cliffhanger and promotes Pitch Perfect 3, that’s influencer marketing and an implied endorsement to go see it.
The part that impacts you and your career is that the next evolution to take place (or pick up steam since it’s clearly underway) is for them to actually be cast in the movie.
Remember this is a revolution in a sense and you can’t sit idly by. If you’re not doing anything different, then you’re moving backwards.
You need to counterstrike (professionally-be cool!) and the great part is…it’s simple.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that all you need to do is build a great social media following to be in the conversation.
To eliminate those I referred to as the D-listers from the competition you just need to have a stellar industry reputation. Here’s where to get that.
You then become a triple threat with your Marketability, Reputation, and Talent. They won’t be able to compete with you, because it’s not what they do. They are castable for bit parts.
Think Kim Kardashian in Disaster Movie. You on the other hand are an actor and that opens up the entire world.
So, as I reach from a half empty bag of Cheetos and my remote, bravely pushing through the self-inflicted heartburn LOL, I leave you with this to think about grasshopper…
“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” -Wayne Dyer.
In regard to your career, will you keep rehearsing or play full out? If you’re thinking that one day you will get to the social media thing, or that you will work on your reputation once you have more credits to work with, or that you will meet the right people when the time is right, then you’re destined to stay in rehearsal mode.
As for me and the tribe, we’ll be playing full out. As if each line is our last.
I hope you have a magical holiday season, and I hope to…
See you at the top,