Ed Driscoll

Life In The Long Tail

Britain’s Independent dubs 2007 “The Year of the Comeback“, with Indiana Jones and Stallone’s Rocky reappearing at your local multiplex, and inside your nearest hockey arena, The Police, and the best-selling Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks line-up of Genesis. While it will be fun to see some of the old boys back in action, it’s also a reminder of how the Long Tail has radically impacted mass culture. As Jonah Goldberg wrote a few years ago about American network TV and the proliferation of seemingly innumerable spin-offs of Law & Order, CSI, and other sclerotic video franchises:

The networks can’t let go, because every time they cancel an established show, the viewers, particularly the younger ones, vanish. No one thinks it’s worth investing in a new show. The rise in reality shows has been cited by many as a sign of creative exhaustion on the part of Hollywood

In an era where mass culture in toto has been fractured into dozens and dozens of niche markets, the same holds true for the movie and music world as well.