How To Hustle Content Like A Movie Theater

This post originally appeared on The Phat Startup a while back. I thought it was still relevant, given the heavy focus on content all brands are now pushing towards. So, time to give it new life!

I had a great conversation with The Phat Startup co-founder James Lopez about Jay-Z’s ownership with the Nets. There were people criticizing him as if his position with the ownership club didn’t mean anything financially. Well, they were wrong. Jay has pulled a classic move that we jokingly coined the “movie theater hustle.” Give away the movie for little or nothing, and just make money selling the popcorn. Even though we were kidding around, its really a unique analogy for delivering value.

Jay-Z may have had just about 1% of the Brooklyn Nets. But according to Business Insider he benefits from:

1. The Net’s new arena, Barclays Center, opened with eight sold out Jay-Z concerts
2. The arena’s most exclusive “Vault” suites, for which fans will have to shell out $550,000 a year to have access to, will offer patrons Armand de Brignac champagne. Jay-Z “promotes” and “holds a financial interest” in Armand de Brignac
3. Jay-Z’s 40/40 sports bar/club will open a new location at the Barclays Center
4. Rocawear, Jay-Z’s clothing line, will have a store at the arena
5. The Nets employ an advertising agency, Translation, which is half-owned by Jay-Z

Jay pretty much leveraged his brand and his other businesses to gain financially from the ball club.

So when it comes to creating content we should think of our business as the popcorn. Movie theaters hardly make any money from the blockbusters you see promoted so heavily. Because of a massive split that goes to studios in the opening weeks, theaters rely on concessions to make money. So give away blockbuster content, then like Jay-Z leverage that to sell your product.

For further resources, you should really check out this Jason Fried clip.