My phone buzzed.
“Are you ready for your photo shoot with Kim Kardashian?”
I had downloaded Kim’s newest addition to her ever-expanding line of products: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. A mobile game where players rise through the ranks of L.A.’s social scene with Kim’s help until they eventually receive celebrity status. The game is download for free on both iOS and Android, but eventually purchases must be made to attain higher status quicker.
A photo shoot with Kim, an introduction to her manager Simon, a few wardrobe changes and I quickly made it to level five. After meeting Simon, I had to wait 59 mins on a call regarding an important new gig. To kill some time, I accepted a blind date. I met Kim’s friend Stephen at a trendy Beverly Hills restaurant, flirted and ate dinner. I must have come out of the gate a little too strong because halfway through the evening I ran out of energy. To not appear “lame” the app suggested I purchase more. It was only 99 cents. Seemed like a good deal.
“Getting new clothing, cars and homes can increase your star power for love and work,” my next notification suggests.
The game released in June, 2014 to $1.6 million in revenue in the first 48 hours and $64 million in the next 60 days. It’s estimated that it’s currently pulling in $700,000 a day. Shocked? I wasn’t. It’s the Law of Attention.
THE LAW OF ATTENTION says, if you have attention, you can get anything you want. Michael Goldhaber made it popular in his book The Attention Economy. He noted, “We are heading into the attention economy. If you have attention, you can get anything you want.”
In case you didn’t know, Kim has plenty of attention. 23.5 million Twitter followers, 23.3 million Facebook fans and 18.5 million Instagram friends (current figures at the time of writing). As far as attention goes, she can literally do whatever she wants. Create a perfume? Yep. Design a clothing line? Sure. Launch a mobile game? Why not.
We’re once again reminded of the power of social media. If you’re an author and have 5 million followers, you can release a book and be guaranteed a certain number of sales. You could try to promote it through the typical publishing channels, but chances are it wouldn’t do as well.
Attention beats distribution.
Want to develop a new product, start another service, communicate a limited-time offer, raise money for a non-profit? The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to do it is through the attention you already have. Social media followers, email lists, blog subscribers, address databases. People that have opted-in to receive communication from you are the ones that can launch your next big move.
Let’s talk about Miley Cyrus again. “Wrecking Ball” was a Billboard number one hit in 2013 for the weeks of September 26 and October 5. Any guess on why those weeks are important?
It was immediately following MTV’s Video Music Awards where she captured the attention of the nation with her “coming of age” performance. Interesting, right?
Follow this: She releases “We Can’t Stop” and as a result is invited to the VMAs to perform. Her VMA performance shocks the world and captures everyone’s attention. She immediately releases “Wrecking Ball” which goes to number one.
Sounds very strategic.
Release a single, get invited to the VMAs. Shock the world, get a number one single.
Sounds like someone thought this through.
When you have attention, you can perform on the VMAs. When you have attention you can be Billboard’s top song for the week. When you have attention you can make millions from a mobile game. That’s the attention economy.