This Week’s Insights: Tapping in to fan culture… How streaming has revolutionized what makes the pop charts… TV’s new season lands with an ratings thud… A Scottish theatre’s unlikely(?) compelling audience formula… Video games and the global culture.
- Fans Are The Most Valuable Audience: Duh. Of course. We all love people who love us. But what about fans who love somebody else? Fans are a kind of super-audience, and they can be obsessive in supporting the things (or artists) they love. And here’s the thing – being a fan is a skill, a character trait, a way of relating to art and artists. And its’ transferable. More adventurous audience cultivators know that injecting yourself into a fan base can be a good strategy. Take Opera North, in the UK: “Opera North is great at delivering obscure fan references, classical music in-jokes and offering a creative approach to backstage insight. In recent years its online and offline communications have captured the spirit of life behind the curtain.”
- There’s Been A Revolutionary Change In The Pop Music Charts: The kinds of music topping the charts are different, of course. Pop music has always evolved with the popular taste. But today’s charts have taken a major turn, and the culprit is streaming. An on-demand culture, with music primarily listening through earbuds, is changing the ways we relate to music. One odd result? Women pop artists have been largely shut out of the charts in the past year. So why? This Atlantic piece offers some ideas.
- More Confirmation Of Broadcast TV’s Decline: The beginning of the fall TV season has delivered some really bad news to broadcast networks. Audiences are down. Way down. How is it possible in the era critics label a Golden Age for quality television, that audiences aren’t flocking to the good new shows (or at least checking them out)? Maybe the TV market is finally too saturated. Maybe cord-cutting is taking its toll. Or maybe fragmented attention is finally engulfing TV the way it has every other art form.
- Full Service Theatre (Includes Alcohol, Food And Friends): The most popular theatre in Glasgow isn’t just theatre – it’s a full-bore experience. Òran Mór is an unlikely lunchtime theatre experience launched in 2004. “Nobody could have predicted its popularity back then, but today is typical. They line up like this six days a week for 40 plays a year (plus summer and winter pantomimes), almost all of them new with just a handful of classical adaptations. The tally to date is in excess of 400, making A Play, a Pie and a Pint a bedrock of the Scottish theatre industry.”
- The Latest Manifestation of Culture As A Global Market: It’s been a long time since the primary market for music and movies was the United States. Movies, for example, make so much of their money in other countries that the movies Hollywood makes are increasingly driven by global appetites. The result: a string of blockbuster superhero movies that are easily translatable. Now video games. “The size and spectacle of the international gaming shows underline how the video game industry is less and less American-centric. The global games market is $105 billion, according to SuperData Research. Asia dominates with a 47 percent share, according to the video game researcher Newzoo, while North America makes up 25 percent and Latin America s 4 percent. Latin America, however, is growing the most quickly, according to Newzoo.”