This week Chris Anderson had the book launch for “The Long Tail”. My review copy arrived this week. I’m off to Dublin for the weekend so I’ll read it while traveling. Yesterday also saw a report from CNN that the previous week had the lowest TV ratings ever. All the networks are blaming the holiday weekend and so forth but how many actually realise it could be the Long Tail in action?
There were 20.8 million viewers during the average prime-time minute last week in the US. Compare that to how many hits mySpace is getting and it’s a tiny number. But compare it to how many times one YouTube video is watched and it’s back to being a large number. However aggregate all those hits and you’ll probably notice YouTube is getting more eyeballs. RocketBoom’s 250,000 daily viewers might seem nothing to the networks who can get 20.8 million viewers but there’s going to be more and more rocketboom type shows over time.
BitTorrent networks are jammed with people downloading TV content amongst other data. Look at the number of people downloading TV shows via BitTorrent networks. While a TV show might not get the same number or order of magnitude on a BitTorrent network, when you look at the long tail of shows being shared and downloaded the numbers when added up become quite significant. Yet the networks and content producers don’t seem to know how to exploit this newly discovered pattern in consumerism. Maybe to start with, buy the Long Tail book.