DIGC202

Arr me long-tailed hearties!

Ever turned on the radio, listened to a song and thought “haven’t I heard this before?”.  It’s not uncommon – after all, most modern music is a blend of four chords, a buildup to a beat drop and a generic, auto-tuned voice.  If you’re wondering why record labels would continue to sign artists that sound the same, it could be due to the long-tail effect.

Basically, older media industries (known as legacy media) had to appeal to the masses in order to be successful.  Appealing to niche markets would not be beneficial as the cost would not pay off.  This still applies to industries today that deal in physicalities, such as record, CD and DVD stores.  These similar, easy-listening tunes that everyone likes will sell much better than an obscure genre that only a few will be interested in.

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Now compare this to the internet – a medium which works without these limits.  Youtube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and more can store infinite songs, create an infinite amount of copies of those songs, and appeal to both mass and niche genres.  In fact, it’s more beneficial to target niche markets as it makes you unique – a quality that is highly valued in a world of infinity.  So if you want to make Scottish Pirate Metal songs, go ahead!  Your unique qualities can create a market of your very own.

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3 thoughts on “Arr me long-tailed hearties!”

  1. I liked how you incorporated the title though to the example explaining the long tail effect. “In fact, it’s more beneficial to target niche markets as it makes you unique – a quality that is highly valued in a world of infinity,” – or niche Scottish Pirate Metal Songs! The following video looks at the effect using Amazon as an example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNzPlcmgTpk

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