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The Long Tail

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On July 13, 2006 @ 7:44 am In Data Analysis,Film,Markets,Media,Television,Weblogs | Comments Disabled

So last nite was a Kudlow & Company appearance; Larry was absurdly complimentary on my "Avoid BIg Cap Tech like the Plague" call. They asked about my cash position (93%), and very amusingly ran video showing mattresses (get it? stuffing cash in mattresses) It was funny.

My one complaint about the show was that that Tim Kane, economist at The Heritage Foundation, trotted out the tired old Household versus Establishment survey argument [1], and I didn’t get to rebut him. Robert Shapiro, former Clinton undersecretary of commerce/co-founder and chairman of Sonecon, did explain why 75% of the country is worse off than they were 10 years ago.

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After the show, I went to Wired’s The Long Tail [2] party in Tribeca — I’m about 2/3rds of the way through the book, and enjoying it a lot. Its much weightier than Blink [3] or even Freakonomics [4]. (There’s a podcast interview with author Chris Anderson by Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds here [5])

I only know Chris Anderson virtually, and we finally got to meet in person tonite. He must have been surprised to see me, cause he gave me a great big hello — that surprised some of the nearby guests (more on this below).

I got there right after K&C, at 6:30, so I was somewhat early, and the place hadn’t filled up yet. I had a few minutes to talk to Chris, and we were discussing the music industry — my idea is to overlay pricing issues to the Long Tail and see the results. The name I worked for this study is so amusing, I can’t wait to release it (its a play on the Long Tail). Just as I was telling him about this economics variation of the Long Tail, Talking Head David Byrne walks by — so I reach out and literally tap him as an example of alternatives to the recording industry (along with Chris’ hello, it certainly got Byrne’s attention). 

Afterwards, I spoke with Byrne for 20 minutes — he is unbelievably cool, and I continually apologized for monopolizing his time. It was all I could do to not gush like an idiot fan.

I suspect he is rather frustrated by the recording industry’s more foolish behaviors (se this for example of their stupidity [6]). We marvelled over why the 2 hour audio video DVD of Stop Making Sense [7] cost less than the CD [8]? Also, his website’s streaming radio has continually run into permissions issues and the mandatory (anti-streaming) license fee problems. Why does a non-commercial station get hit with $20-30k per year? Makes it an expensive hobby. The only way around this is to either sell subscriptions or get an advertising sponsor.   

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The funniest thing was the only other guys I met in suit & tie were two agents from the William Morris Agency, which has the coolest business card logo ever.

I swear this is true: I pitched them on "The XXXX Show" — a young Rock-n-Roll hedge fund manager turned media personality who does on the street TV interviews — they said "We’ll get back to you," but I have my suspicions otherwise . . .

Anyway, very very cool evening.


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URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2006/07/the-long-tail/

URLs in this post:

[1] Household versus Establishment survey argument: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2006/07/redux_household.html

[2] The Long Tail: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1401302378/thebigpictu09-20

[3] Blink: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316172324/thebigpictu09-20

[4] Freakonomics: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006073132X/thebigpictu09-20

[5] by Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds here: http://instapundit.com/archives/031380.php

[6] example of their stupidity: http://www.eff.org/IP/faq/

[7] DVD of Stop Making Sense: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000021Y7X/thebigpictu09-20

[8] CD: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000K3G8/thebigpictu09-20

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