Long Tail TV: Part III

The Long Tail: Long Tail TV: Part III More from Chris Anderson on the history and what coninues to promise to be the fragmentation of television viewership away from network television and “hits” and movement towards niche programming.

The availability of this niche programming that will arrive in the next few years will truly be exciting. Chris compares the expansion of television programming to the historical printing press which allowed an inexpensive way for anyone to publish and thus the birth of niche written content.

I agree with Chris.

1. Networks were the only thing on TV and had massive market share.

2. Cable provided alternative channels, networks lose market share to alternative cable content.

3. The internet comes along. Networks and alternative cable content loses ground to folk’s “computer time.”

4. PC’s merge with TV’s making niche content more accesible to everyone in the living room, more ground will be lost to network programming.

The simple reason why this is happening is that in many ways we are all fans of something that is relatively small.

If today I watch CSI Miami, but on my weekends go out hang gliding and am a huge hangliding fan, when the California hang gliding championships end up being broadcast through a microcontent platform I will end up watching that instead of CSI.

If today I watch some network television but even more than my network television I love reading author Hunter S. Thompson, and my microcontent platform brings me a talk by Hunter S. Thompson from the University of Wyoming I will end up watching that instead of CSI.

If I am 16 and my favorite band is not what hits the charts but rather the latest skate punk music thing, then the custom skate punk music shows that can easily be created and delivered to my microcontent platform will be much more interesting to me than American Idol.

Although much of this content may already be out on the internet and is slowly being digitized into mpeg files and the what not, what is needed is the first major player to take the next step and aggregate, organize, sort, slice, dice and chop up this microcontent every which way from Sunday and bring it to the American public. This feature will be a way for the hardware/software/broadband/cable/satellite/computer companies that are scrambling to capture this business to truly differentiate what they bring to the table.

At present let’s see ok, I could get a TiVo, or I could get a Microsoft Media Center PC, or I could just use the new Comcast Foundation PVR box, etc. OR if I’m a huge fan of any of the above I can get my PVR to include my favorite microcontent.

The ads will look something like this:

“Sure your cable company lets you pause live TV… but.. if you want to watch that interview with Hunter S. Thompson right after your grandson’s televisied Little League game and right before the San Jose 2007 classic car show then Microsoft’s Media Center PC might be just the thing for you.

Media Center. Television Your Way. Who you want, What you want, When you want to see it, How you want it (did we mention without commercials?)… Why would you want anything else?”

The ads will interchange different micro content and will use actual micro content available on the respective platforms. Replae the Microsoft name above with TiVo, DirecTV, SBC, etc. and it still works.

The question is who will be able to run these ads first?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Isnt this concept the EXACT strategy of the TiVo Tahiti initiative announced at CES?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I commend TiVo on the Tahiti strategy but from the limited news releases that I saw via CES I’m still not 100% sure how they envision this service working. Will they be hiring editors, building aggregators?

    I had originally articulated this strategy back on October 20th.


    I’m looking forward to seeing what TiVo comes up with in this regard and am encouraged by the direction. I’d love to hear more about their vision on this.

  3. […] I’ll end by once again quoting Thomas Hawk: If today I watch CSI Miami, but on my weekends go out hang-gliding and am a huge hang-gliding […]