Monday, January 25, 2010

Long Tail Analysis

I enjoyed the piece by Chris Anderson although it seems a bit lengthy. He discusses this world we live in with so much technology, like the internet. It is questioned whether it is beneficial or havoc for the not only the consumer but the producer as well. The Long Tail is what he decided to call the article. I am not sure if I fully comprehend what he means when he says a “long tail” but, to me, my interpretation seems to work well. The contrast to a long tail is a short one. A short tail is just that, short, but it also is limited in what it has to offer. So the key to being successful in Anderson’s eyes is that producers need to have a long tail look at their advertising and marketing. Through the internet, much more is to be offered to a far more grand audience. Many think offering hits and hits only is the best to have more profitable sales. Although that may work in physical stores since shelf space is so limited, it only accounts for a small percentage of sales. The internet is a place to fulfill the needs of those who are interested in music, television, books, etc. that may not necessarily be hits. Through the internet, what is thought of to be unpopular and/ or “long lost” becomes found. This is because the internet produces a long tailed method of providing entertainment.
The ability of independent production and the ability to reach niche audiences change the way these media outlets operate because they allow consumers to feed their personal, individual needs that make them the way they are. Today, producers create culture that they want to be popular, so they suffocate consumers with images, sounds and various other materials to influence what consumers want. In actuality, as a consumer, I like variety. I don’t like the feeling of producers deciding what I listen to and watch on television; it seems like they are taking away my freedom of choice. For this reason, I expand my resources in other outlets, such as the internet. It funny we have this assignment because recently I have been noticing that I become so frustrated when listening to the radio. It seems like all the radio stations play all the same songs, and at the same time in many cases. I find myself popping on my iPod and connecting it to my stereo because it is agitating. I also notice that my favorite songs are the ones from CDs that had no radio play time. Various media outlets give consumers back the freedom to choose entertainment one their own and not be geared toward a particular “hit.”
Infinite shelf space can in a way be both helpful and hurtful. It is helpful in the aspect that it is much cheaper and at most times free to have information stored online. Before, we were just allowed to upload music from sites but now there are websites that allow music to be simply heard. That need to have space to store it on the computer is no longer needed. I can’t help but believe that the internet has to take away consumers in our physical world by allowing the same thing, virtually. Let’s take music for an example. If everyone is solely downloading music files online, it would become no need to have music physically in stores. This reduces sales, which reduce profit for the store. The stores may result in closing down or not needing to have so many employees. A series of bad things can occur.

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1 comment:

  1. Seems like you have a decent understanding of the Long Tail. It would be nice to see images integrated within the article. Think about how The Long Tail impacts your life and how it might impact independent content providers (whether they are journalists, photographers, TV show producers, artists or musician).