Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Long Tail: The Economics of Variety

The Long Tail: The Economics of Variety

Meh, I must stop posting snippets. There's definately a full post in a lot of the long tail media consumption stuff.

You know, all the doomladen statistics about the decline in publishing sales, cd sales... you name it. Maybe the markets have just reached maturity? After all, every minute of every day is now filled with entertainment. Even when I'm shut in a steel box for an hour fifty feet underground, I sill have a book, and hours and hours of music with me. I am never, ever, not able to be entertained - although I wonder if I am now not able to entertain myself, instead relying on media.

The problem is that all media compete with each other - mp3 with cd with newspaper with website with game with conversations. Hell, I have a job to do, I can't devote enough time to listening to the radio and working and still be good enough at Halo that I don't get my ass whooped by ten year olds on XBOX live.

It was always going to be an S curve. You can't have exponential growth forever.

1 comment:

Ian Betteridge said...

The problem with the long tail stuff that I've read is that it doesn't understand media properties. Take for example, the new series of Dr Who. Despite being the first for years, it probably won't get the overall viewing figures of many of the previous ones.
Yet it will undoubtedly make more money for the BBC, because as well as a TV series, it's books, DVDs, spin offs, and god knows what else besides. It'll reach more people, far, far more people, because of that.
The same goes for films. Cinema attendences are still going up, I think - but even if they aren't, add in the number of people watching a film on DVD and you get tremendous numbers of people seeing a particular film. And so on.
The whole long tail theory is obsessed with the media, and not with the content - but the medium, to borrow a phrase, is not the message.