Moviegoers and television watchers today have more choices than at any time in the history of our species; and, darn it, they are exercising those choices. Just look at the math: until a recent Super Bowl, the largest television audience in history tuned in for the 1983 series finale of "M*A*S*H*" - 50 million viewers, a 77 percent share of the total television audience. During the week of May 7, 2012, you'd need to add up the audiences for "NCIS" (18 million), "Dancing with the Stars" (16.4 million) and "American Idol" (16.5 million) to get to that number (according to Nielsen). In movies, "Avatar" holds the record as history's most lucrative film, but if you analyze by ticket sales, "Gone with the Wind" eclipses "Avatar" at 202 million tickets sold vs. 97 million (according to Box Office Mojo). And that's not even taking into account alternative entertainment choices like video games, streaming home video and the internet itself across a widening palette of screens like smart phones and tablets. In today's insight address, Brad Berens takes us on a high-speed tour of the frenetic modern entertainment audience yesterday, today and tomorrow, and argues that marketers are paying attention to the wrong things in today's cluttered landscape.
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