Over the past week, at least four films have moved to avoid TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR. Indeed, the concert film has complicated several roll-outs across town. It has also created some unique challenges for us in the film tracking space.
Tracking involves surveying the general public and comparing those results to historical data, including a carefully collected series of comps. But what happens when a film has no comps? We could compare ERAS to other concert films like MICHAEL JACKSON: THIS IS IT (2009) or KATY PERRY PART OF ME (2012), but those pre-date The Quorum. And, even if we did have that data, we try not to use comps that are that old.
On top of that, ERAS is targeting a small though rabid fan base. We can see how rabid the audience is based on the enormous pre-sales. But outside that group, interest is minimal. How do we know?
First, we asked people if they saw Taylor Swift in concert. Respondents had five choices:
• Yes, I saw the concert
• Wanted to, but the tickets were too expensive
• Wanted to, but tickets were sold out
• Wanted to, but didn’t for another reason
• No, and I’m not interest
Half the people said they haven’t seen Taylor Swift in concert, nor do they have any interest. The other half comprises people who saw her in concert (16%) or wanted to but didn’t for a number of different reasons.
We then asked people to gauge their interest in seeing TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR in theaters on a scale from 1 to 10. We consider anyone who gave a score of 7 or higher as being interested. Overall, 39% of people qualified as “interested.”
The numbers look very different based on whether the respondents saw or wanted to see Swift in concert. Among those who saw her live, 83% said they want to see the movie. Interest is also strong among those who wanted to but didn’t see Swift in concert. Only 10% of people who didn’t want to see the live show expressed some interest in seeing the film.
What does this mean? An overall interest level of 39% is on the low side. We can see, however, that interest is narrowly focused among her fans – people who saw the concert or wanted to.
In other words, the data suggests that the film is unlikely to attract an audience beyond her fans. That’s not a bad thing; it’s just the audience is relatively narrow. Films targeting a micro segment can be wildly successful as long as that segment really wants to see it. And that is the case with this film.
We don’t know if we are in the long tail of interest. In other words, has everyone who wants a ticket already bought one? Will there be any walk-up business? Will the audience grow as the film gets closer to release? These are all things we will watch over the next few weeks.