The Short Tail

David Poltrack, head of research at CBS, says technology is helping hits to attract even bigger audiences. Now that it is so easy to record TV programmes and to find them online, the big shows scheduled at peak viewing time are freed from direct competition with each other. Faced with a choice between two programmes at 9pm that they want to see, viewers will often watch one show live and play the other one back an hour later. So strong is the competition from recorded shows that it has become hard to break a new show in America at 10pm. [...] Relatively, the hits are becoming bigger.
That's from an Economist article about TV in times of new media. Whole thing (via Kottke) recommended. My own take is that the continuing popularity of TV and radio has a lot to do with the comfort of other people making choices for you. Heck, you could make a social theory book out of that phrase.

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