“Inspired.” “An engaging read.”
The critics gushed over the new book by Robert Galbraith.
Imagine the author’s disappointment, then, when after three months, his book had sold only 1,500 hardcover copies.
Until one day.
That was the day the book shot from #4,709 on Amazon’s bestseller list to #1.
What happened to make this dog into a star, and so suddenly?
This was the day that Robert Galbraith’s secret identity was revealed. He was also known as J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter juggernauts.
And so we can understand the most recent move by Facebook – it’s contracts with nearly 140 media companies and celebrities to create content for Facebook Live:
The company has agreed to make payments to video creators totaling more than $50 million, according to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Its partners include established media outfits like CNN and the New York Times; digital publishers like Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post; and celebrities including Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, Deepak Chopra and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson. The arrangements are a way to encourage publishers to produce a steady stream of high-quality videos until Facebook figures out a more concrete plan to compensate creators, such as through sharing of ad revenue.
In other words, Facebook is not betting on Robert Galbraith, they’re betting on J. K. Rowling.
They’re not counting on non-stars to evolve into stars, they’re counting on stars to attract audiences.
Facebook believes that stars and their own social followings are key to establishing Facebook Live and to unlocking the ad revenue that stars are built to attract and generate.
But this is not only true for Facebook or Facebook Live. It’s true for any media platform with reach. Stars have always been that scarce beast with the outsized gravitational attraction. And they always will be.
As long as there are choices and as long as consumers have the power to make them, stars will matter.
So who are your stars, radio? Where’s their exclusive content on your platform?
Are you doing deals for the biggest names with today’s audiences? Or are your deals limited to the biggest names in radio’s history?
How many of your stars are famous outside of radio? How many of your stars are famous among consumers under age 40?
Make your deals before the future escapes you.