"We've been suffering the tyranny of lowest-common-denominator fare, subjected to brain-dead summer blockbusters and manufactured pop"
reading response 1
One of the key points that Chris Anderson makes in "The Long Tail is that:
"If the 20th- century entertainment industry was about hits, the 21st will be equally about misses." Because the "misses" will be more accessible, they will also be more popular. However, probably due to a lack of space, Anderson leaves us to imagine the implications of this long tail on our popular culture. It is interesting to consider what its effects could be.
What I found most interesting about the long tail article by Chris Anderson was the social impacts the Long Tail is starting to have on our society. Americans are constantly being labeled as a fat, stupid, lazy, egotistical society that cares about nothing else but themselves. To me it is exciting to see how people have started to take other less conventional interests through the simple suggestions they receive through their purchases on online stores such as Netflix and iTunes. Potentially the most interesting outcome may have to deal with the upcoming election.
Reading Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail" has given me a glimpse of the evolution of a market that is of paramount importance: music, videogames, books, and movies (amazing how college student priorities seem so strange when put into writing). As noted by Anderson, the primary limitation on movie theatres, rental stores, music stores, etc. is the profit margins of their products. In order to have such products available, the products have to pay for shipment, staffing, space and other random costs.
Among the interesting elements of Chris Anderson's article, "The Long Tail," is the current electronic mode of music and movie exchange. The internet, while fulfilling the dream of information on demand, has made art equally available. The market has been opened, and vast quantities of both news and music are now accessible from anywhere at anytime. This facile, connected "web" is both the Internet's strength and its downfall for the traditional record labels, television networks, and production companies.
After reading Chris Anderson's "The Long Trail," it makes me wonder as to when this great revolution will take place where the days of the hit movies, music, books and other media will be a part of the past and media that I would find more entertaining would be produced. It seems that it could easily become reality but also just become a small trend on the internet. What seems to be the largest obstacle is that of the three rules that Anderson mentions, only the first rule could really be implemented without significant difficulties.
"This is the world of scarcity. Now, with online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance. And the differences are profound."
Customizing entertainment according to the consumer's taste has become the guideline for online distribution and retail companies. According to Chris Anderson, companies such as Netflix expand markets by drawing buyers to the Long Tail of DVDs considered nonhits in the mainstream. Whereas "the average Blockbuster carries fewer than 3,000 DVDs--a fifth of Netflix rentals are outside its top 3,000 titles." The power of online sources of entertainment gets rid of barriers formed by distance and inaccessibility.
The first thing that struck me while reading the long tail was this idea that suggestions given by internet resources would help individuals expand their knowledge of books, music, and movies away from the limited mainstream world. I wonder, though, how much their direction really achieves this. Yes, one can get from an artist like Britney Spears (if you want to cal her that) to an obscure, close-to-lost, eighties band in a few clicks, but how much is this really an independent decision?
After reading Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail", I immediately recalled an experience I had a few years ago that confirmed the existence of the "Long Tail". While on a trip in Kenya, I met a student from Britain who I quickly got in a conversation about movies with. One of his favorite movies happened to be an obscure Japanese movie I had never heard of. After returning to the United States, I searched for the title at the Blockbusters and media stores around my area.