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“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Barry Diller’s recent Web 2.0 appearance & the “Long Tail”

Posted by direwolff on October 19, 2005

I just received this link to an article on Barry Diller's thoughts on why quality content still has an advantage over that of the unwashed masses as in blogs and other user generated content. It's an interesting set of comments which I would agree with and you can read about it here.

On a related note however, the whole idea of making the Long Tail of content available to people also means that the amount of money being made by the entire content industry may rise or stay the same, but that average per content producer should go down. Sure some may make more and others less because new ones are more easily discovered and existing ones begin to loose some marketshare. When you consider that people will spread their attention to more properties because of accessibility and availability, that means that people will no longer focus as much of their time on the few selections that used to be available. Hence, if I only listened to Top 20 music, now with access to anything at any time, this broader selection means that I'll spend less time wanting to or listening to simply Top 20 selections. Same with movies, now I can go download productions that tailor to more niche subjects, same with books, etc. Hence, even the hits should yield lower returns since not every one's attention will be focused on this spectrum of the market alone.

Per Diller, I do agree that the top hits will continue to garner the lion's share of the attention, and per the follow-on comments I also agree that more unknowns might become discovered with so many more ways of gaining access to distribution. But none of this will help the average content provider revenue rise. Call it the socialization of the content business, where more people will get to enjoy the spoils by the reduction in the choke points of distribution.

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