Who is the “Entertainment Strategy Guy?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. (Kind of, since I’m still writing anonymously...)

I’m a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of top tier business school. At B-School, I took any class with “numbers” or “entertainment” in the description. And I graduated at the top of my class—not near the top, the very top—and won several awards.

While at business school, I started working at a number of entertainment companies—some of the biggest and most well-known in Hollywood—starting as an intern then working my way up. These companies have run the gamut, from giant studio conglomerates to a major streamer to independent production companies in both television and film.

I’ve held roles ranging from “strategic planning” to “business development”. What does that actually mean? It means I analyzed data, finessed power points, built excel models, and wrote strategy documents, along with sending plenty of emails and attending tons of meetings. And, hopefully, I helped senior executives make the right decisions. (Sometimes yes; sometimes no.)

Along the way, I developed a love of writing. Under my real name, I’ve been published in professional journals, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

What is the Entertainment Strategy Guy Website?

Working at a streamer, I felt that there was a gap in the media coverage of the business of entertainment, emphasis on “business”. That gap grew over time, as many of the major trade publications focused more on the gossipy side of the industry (who got cast in what; what executive said what about whom) and less on the business of the entertainment business.

My solution was to launch the the Entertainment Strategy Guy website on May 8th of 2018, analyzing business strategy in the entertainment world, mainly focused on Hollywood, film and TV, anchored around my “Most Important Story of the Week” feature.

My writing has been featured in publications such as Decider, What’s on Netflix, Athletic Director’s U and The Ankler. Since the fall of 2021, I’ve written a weekly strategy/data column for The Ankler, Hollywood’s most feared and fearless newsletter.

Earlier in 2021, I started publishing a weekly “Streaming Ratings Report” newsletter, focused on answering the actually answerable question, “Who is winning the content battlefield of the streaming wars?” This report is the most comprehensive, regular and insightful look at how content is performing or failing in the streaming wars.

Starting in June 2022, that feature will be behind a paywall. To learn more, please read this explainer for what the streaming ratings report is, why it’s needed, and why we need you to keep it going.

If you’d like to  support the Entertainment Strategy Guy, please subscribe!

What is The Streaming Ratings Report?

The Streaming Ratings Report summarizes streaming ratings data for the U.S. each week across film and TV. This report is…

1. Regular (Weekly)
2. Comprehensive, yet concise (around 2,000 words, covering both TV and film)
3. Rigorous (Featuring regular reporting, not haphazard anecdotes)
4. Insightful (Beyond just numbers, I explain the historical performance and context.)

While my report heavily uses Nielsen’s weekly ratings for the U.S., I also utilize IMDb ratings, TV Time weekly charts, Samba TV household numbers, Google Trends search interest, Netflix’s global data, and more. And I put it in context in a way no other trade outlet can match. And I’ll keep adding data sources.

Each week the streaming ratings report will cover:

Where: The U.S.A.
Who: Streamers
What: Viewership, measured by total hours or subscribers watching content.
What: TV and film
When: From 2020 onwards

I’ll be sending a Substack Newsletter (at Entertainment.Substack.com) to subscribers once or twice a week. The newsletter will have two major parts, Film and TV, with smaller subsections like “Anecdata” and “Competition”.

The report delivers insights that can be used by producers, creators, development executives, talent, reporters and more to know what’s successful and what isn’t on streaming platforms.

I’m using Substack because I already have thousands of subscribers and migrating everyone to a new platform would be too much of a headache. I’ll still keep my own independent website and some full articles will be hosted there.

Contact

The best way to reach me is to email me at info (at) entertainmentstrategyguy.com. I always love feedback on my writing or tips from my audience. I don’t know it all and the recommendations/thoughts/insights from my followers have been invaluable. My one caveat is that while I read everything, be warned I do not have time to respond individually to every email, and often when I do, I’m very tardy on responses.

If there are any customer service issues with the Substack newsletter, those will be addressed within 48 hours, probably leveraging Substack’s expertise.

If you’re a subscriber to the Streaming Ratings Report, I can promise that every email will get a response within one week. (But I can’t promise a response to non-subscribers.)

If you’re a journalist, I am happy to comment on articles either via phone calls or email to provide my perspective and insights. If you’re interested in meeting–and willing to keep my identity confidential–send me a note and we can do coffee, drinks or a meal. (Why journalists only? Call me old fashioned, but I believe in the journalism code of ethics.)

Working with the Entertainment Strategy Guy

If you’d like to work with me, feel free to reach out to discuss opportunities. Again, my email is info (at) entertainmentstrategyguy.com

As a warning, consulting work can take up a lot of time, which takes away from the website and my writing, but I’m open to any offers.

In particular, I think I can provide a great service helping independent producers, agents, managers, actors, writers, filmmakers, show runners, and whoever figure out what their TV show or films’ ratings mean and putting them in context.

Subscribe to The Entertainment Strategy Guy

The best writing on entertainment strategy including a weekly "Streaming Ratings Report", unpacking what shows and films are winning the streaming wars.

People

A former exec at a streaming company, the ESG provides regular thoughts and analysis on the business, strategy and economics of entertainment.