A lot of people think Bob Lefsetz is a fatuous blow-hard, and there are times when he confirms those detractors’ derision. But in the past few days I’ve seen a couple of posts to his blog that I think are very insightful and speak directly to the Big Shift in how culture and entertainment are experienced in the digital era.
For example, writing about Steve Jobs recent appearance to announce the pending arrival of a new iPhone operating system, Lefsetz affirms the basic principle I described in the “Music 3.0” essay that launched this whole enterprise:
Except for a few jokes when he put up fake ads to demonstrate iAd, Jobs was so serious as to establish a divide between himself and his audience. And this is death in the Internet age, if you’re not willing to come down off your pedestal and ingratiate yourself with the hoi polloi, you’re at risk of ridicule.
That’s precisely the dynamic I saw unfold in the movie “Any Day Now” about the “10 out of Tenn” tours. The “performers” came down from the stage to lead the “audience” in a final song. At that moment, there were no “performers” or “audience.” There was only the “tribe.”
When fully realized, in the new paradigm, there will be no “stars.” The best you can hope for is to be the “chief’.”