Companies are talking a lot about the Long Tail.
They look at sales of obscure back catalogue increasing and wonder how
they can stay ahead of the consumer. They wonder why sales of CD's are
declining. They try to figure out how they can find the next ring tone
gold mine. They worry about P2P, which in spite of iTunes, still
accounts for more than 80% of the network data traffic according to
some of the industry insiders that I have talked to.
And all the time they keep applying conventional wisdom to their problems. No wonder they never find the solution.
I like jazz guitar and discovered No Idle Frets.
Its a regular podcast by Nick Carver who seems to really know his
stuff. However, he is constrained by copyright owners not allowing
music copyrights to be distributed in the podcast medium. So he only
uses “podsafe” material. This material is all music that is not
published by mainstream music publishers. It is new music, often
composed by the performers. The recordings Nick plays are all
outstanding in quality. The compositions are excellent. And I get
exposed to music that I wouldn't normally hear, because in a normal
jazz radio program, for instance, there would be a strong tendency to
play a reasonable proportion of standards.
So, because of the inability of the music publishers to understand and
respond to the innovative communications medium that podcasting
represents, they actually foster the growth of interest in new music.
Conventional wisdom and action is driving the Long Tail further and faster.