Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paranormal Activity grosses $67,000,000 on a $15,000 budget!

User-generated content = crowdsourcing...Discuss! In this fourth installment from frequent guest blogger Chris Dorr, he tries to make sense of what Paramount’s innovative viral campaign for Paranormal Activity really means going forward: One “truth” that you hear quoted over and over is that there is no way to make money from user generated content. Paramount, to its delight, is currently finding out that this “truth” is actually a lie. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY will deliver to Paramount the largest return on investment (aka ROI) of any movie it has ever distributed. It could even deliver more cash to Paramount’s bottom line than TRANSFORMERS 2, its largest grossing movie of 2009. All of this from a piece of user generated content that runs 86 minutes and cost its creator $11,000 to make. But now you say, “It is not user generated content, it’s a movie!” And I respond by pointing out that if someone gets an idea, has a little money, writes a script, finds a cast and crew that works for free, shoots digitally, and creates something that lasts 1 minute, 20 minutes, 86 minutes or 5 hours—- it is user generated content. We are living in an age where the tsunami of user generated content is just beginning and the distinctions between these pieces of content and professional content will matter less and less. What matters most of all is something Paramount discovered during the release of this piece of UGC. Does someone really want to see it? If you approach your audience in a relevant way they will pay for this UGC and the number of people who will pay can get very large. And in this case the relevant way to get the audience for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was through a marketing strategy called crowd sourcing.
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