Was just reading through my “Wired” RSS feed and skimmed through Adam Penenberg’s Media Hack column of the week, when he refered to something written last year by Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired Magazine – called “The Long Tail.”
Adam was drawing parallels with the ubiquity of blogging and it’s effect on the free market of intellectualism.
It’s really no wonder so many people are scared shitless of free knowledge and free markets. Hell, I’m scared – because all of these ideas of meritocracy and people actually deciding what something is worth based upon it’s quality means that either my shit better be good or I will perish (figuratively speaking, of course). This more than any other issue is what’s got all the music and film and television people running around in circles tearing their hair out trying to figure out what the “next big thing is.”
But here’s what I think – the next big thing, is not a big thing at all. In the power of the free market, it’s all about the small things….and how many of those small things you have to sell to make a living.
But here’s the hard part; I’m deep in a business where it is very expensive to create content – even at the independent level.
So here comes the challenge. According to “The Long Tail” we have to be prepared to make possibly more sales than I might have previously forecast, but over a far far longer period of time. This is good for long term revenue, but very bad for cash flow. If it turns out to be true – the studios will continue to need larger and larger pictures to prop up their enormous and bloated overhead costs, and the indies will need to find a way to reinvent their business.
It’s gonna be interesting.