University of Twente Student Theses


The blockbuster strategy of entertainment

Lietz, E. (2022) The blockbuster strategy of entertainment.

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Abstract:The restrictions placed on society due to the COVID-19 pandemic have propelled internet services enabling entertainment media consumption disproportionately. Agents of digitalization must be taken even more seriously than previously assumed and the time corporations have to adapt is shorter than anticipated. This means that it is important to properly understand and learn how to exploit these factors. The aim of this paper is to showcase in what way the blockbuster strategy, which is of high renown in the distribution and marketing of entertainment media, interacts with agents of digitalization. As such the research question of this paper is how have digitalization tools changed the entertainment media industry regarding the blockbuster strategy? A literature review was undertaken. Said review focused on the blockbuster strategy by itself, as it was conceived in the 1970s. It contrasts said strategy with that of the niche product, focusing on Anderson's long tail distribution, which he claimed would occur as digitals stores would be able to store more products. Further network effects, social media and recommender systems are put into focus, to shine light on the underlying mechanisms and impulses these systems give and how they may affect the average customer. Lastly, the synergetic nature of these is analysed. The thesis concludes that for producers, the blockbuster strategy and digitalization work well together. The interplay of networks and especially the star power of the blockbuster strategy create a ripple effect of anticipation, which is largest on social media. Based on the power distribution and fast paced nature of social media, the buzz marketing of the blockbuster acts in favour of big stars, whose social media success in turn aids the media piece. Recommender systems highlight those media pieces that have a large amount of highly positive reviews, which further highlights the blockbuster with its easy to grasp concept aimed at the largest possible audience. All of this leads to the blockbuster still being the preferred strategy for producers. Platforms gain from having a “full shelf”, meaning a purely blockbuster strategy is not beneficial for them. Further research is advised in regard to “franchise fatigue” and the rising amount of criticism towards the blockbuster by both the general public and creatives working in the field.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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