I attended the Churchill Club seminar under the same name. Interesting speakers were Chuck D (Public Enemy), Roger McNamee (Integral Capital Partners, Silver Lake Partners, Elevation Partners), and Blake Ross (Firefox creator).
It is becoming clear that the old rules of how to create or tap into large media markets have changed. To own these markets, one must provide a large selection. MP3 music sharing has given listeners a taste of virtually unlimited supply they are not willing to give up on. The Long Tail roars its head yet again.
Tivo1, Mike Ramsay added that 50% of programs recorded on Tivo are non-popular programs. Roger quoted the Death of the Pareto principle. The Palo Alto library has known this for many years; more than 75% of its purchasing budget is for non-popular selection. Mobility and locality were mentioned as important side effects of Long Tail markets. The ability to serve up that wide selection on a wide variety of devices is crucial. Arbitration of content (the way record companies enforce The Pareto principle) is no longer accepted by buyers.
Buyers want to find any creative material they are interested in, and in some cases, want to have the ability to get in touch with the artist directly. New search capabilities become important to weed through large selections; Google capabilities were considered insufficient. Scanning type search, “I know it when I see it,” provides interesting new browse capabilities for buyers. Blake added that as a technology industry, we have the responsibility to make things easier to use before we move on to another golden opportunity.
We agree with Roger that media should become the new Consumer Packaged Goods.