MUST READ ARTICLE: Internet Creates New And Profitable Niche Marketing Opportunites

“Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.”

A Wired article that has been a hot topic since it came out in print has recently been posted online.
This must-read piece from Wired’s Chris Andereson describes how the Internet alleviates the physical contraints of the marketplace, allowing the entertainment industry (and others) to profit from niche audiences that are at the end of “The Long Tail.”

He writes “Hit-driven economics is a creation of an age without enough room to carry everything for everybody… This is the world of scarcity. Now, with online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance. And the differences are profound.

“We’re stuck in a hit-driven mindset — we think that if something isn’t a hit, it won’t make money and so won’t return the cost of its production. We assume, in other words, that only hits deserve to exist. But… executives at iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix, has discovered that the ‘misses’ usually make money, too. And because there are so many more of them, that money can add up quickly to a huge new market…

“To get a sense of our true taste, unfiltered by the economics of scarcity, look at Rhapsody, a subscription-based streaming music service (owned by RealNetworks) that currently offers more than 735,000 tracks… Not only is every one of Rhapsody’s top 100,000 tracks streamed at least once each month, the same is true for its top 200,000, top 300,000, and top 400,000. As fast as Rhapsody adds tracks to its library, those songs find an audience, even if it’s just a few people a month, somewhere in the country.”


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