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Can you get money out of the long tail?

May 20, 2007

Techcrunch has a post about a new online media company Next New Networks that plans create new “micro networks”. However, it appears that many of its channels appear to fall into fairly macro topic areas-

There’s an indy film channel that will find itself going head to head with Sundance and IFC

A couple of auto channels that will be up against, every newspaper in the country, Autoblog, The Speed Channel and Discovery

To quote Techcrunch-

“The content is niche targeted so it’s not going to appeal to everyone.”

That’s exactly the same proposition as all of Next New Networks competitors. The problem is although the “Long Tail” is all about lots of quality niche opportunities, advertisers and their agencies, can’t with the odd exception, get beyond the idea that quantity is the only thing that matters.

That’s the problem for all these new niche media opportunities; it’s easy to find the niches, monetizing them is the tricky part, so you end up ratcheting up the subject matter to get a broader audience and find yourself competing with “big media”.

This trend will continue until people can find a way to think differently about media value.

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