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Are Demographics replacing Genres?

We all like a little spice in life...some just like scalding hot peppers and some like tarragon! ;-)

The same applies to market segments. Women don't only like slife of life dramas...they also like action adventures that respect women, they like comedies, they like nature, they like issue documentaries...etc. And the same spicey profile can be applied to every demographic in the marketplace. Seniors. Teen boys. Urban professionals...you get the spice!

As opposed to the rest of Hollywood’s alignment of their theatrical and home video divisions along genre lines (Foreign, American Independent, Horror, etc.), Fox is throwing that paradigm out the window by aligning them along demographic lines, first with Fox Atomic, and now FoxFaith. It’s doesn't seem like much of a stretch to imagine a FoxAsian or FoxWomen specialty unit. After all, this model has been put to the test via specialty cable networks for several decades, but the web has given the model even more promise. With the lower cost of marketing to a known cohort, the centralization of these communities in online social networks, and the ease of building up reusable grassroots databases over time, Fox may have discovered a winning formula for combating the fracturing of the mass audience.IndieScene This new look at genre and demographics makes sense from a marketing strategy direction because it gives the storyteller more breadth...they are now telling a story to an audience, rather than cooking a new but different recipe that fits a genre.

Now if we can move that philosophy to the theatrical and other marketplaces for movies...people will have a "children's movie shop", a "women's movie shop" and a "hip and visionary shoppe".

We will once again segregate by lifestyle, by gender, by stereotype. We will see our audiences as cohesive communities with diverse and changing interests rather than seeing movies as cohesive groups.

Television and cable has been the reluctant innovator in this new way of delivering content. When there were just three networks, they were genre driven. You had the Thursday night movie for families. Friday night movies were for date night. Saturday mornings were for kids.

Then there were 100 cable channels...and you have a channel for kids. A channel for women. A channel for cooking. A channel for travel.

Then there were cable packages that tried to carefully segregate shows of interest to each group of viewers ... so they would have to subscribe to more than one group!

And then DVDs took over...and every individual could pick and choose according to their own preferences.

And now...movie distribution is having to cope with all these rebellions and diversifications. Theaters have been the last to catch onto the personalization revolution.

They still offer a wide variety of genres...except for a few brave art houses. They take whatever comes down the distribution river. And people are staying home in droves because so few things interest them in the widely fluctuating fare that has no cohesive theme that's made easy for them to enjoy.

The marketing lesson to learn here is, "KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE". When you go to a showing...take notes. Ages, gender, families, couples, singles, gangs of singles, etc. If you make movies that appeal to your group of supporters, you will get repeat business. If you skip around from group to group, you'll spend all your time marketing...and get no repeat sales which add up to profitability.

Become part of your community. Hang out where they do. Learn their urban myths. Learn their habits, their hopes and dreams. This is the stuff in which creative magic sprouts!


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