Bottomless channels

Bottomless channels

: Seth Godin talks to a TV guy about a world with ever-more channels:

What happens, I asked, when Tivo has Java and TCP/IP and there’s a million channels?

The people in the TV business can’t imagine this. They can’t imagine a world where there might be 20 A&E networks, or where there might be a channel just for shows on how to build a model airplane.

XM radio and the Net just increased the number of radio stations by a factor of 100.

And today the NY Times reports that 175,000 books are published every year. And rising.

And we just hit 3,000,000 blogs, up from 100 five years ago.

The number of channels for just about anything keeps going up. The number of GOOD channels, where good means a built in high traffic audience that is non-discerning, keeps going down. The number of good newspaper PR outlets is down to a handful. The number of retailers with shelf space that really matters is tiny. Yes, you can get your thing out there. No, you can’t expect that distribution (or carriage, as they say in TV) is going to make you successful.

In other words, owning a printing press is not such a big deal. Knowing the buyer at Bed Beth & Beyond isn’t much better.

In Detroit last week, I called blogs the scarcity killer.

  • Kevin

    Bed Beth and Beyond… another Howard Stern reference?

  • Charlie Sierra

    One of the truisms of the Internet is that power migrates to the edge, ie the consumer, the subscriber, etc.
    And after decades of abuse by the centralians, ie the TV/media people/etc., I dare say these folks are in for a rude (not a reference to Stern!!!) awakening.
    I’ve been watching, planning and waiting for almost 4 years for this shift to actually happen, and it finally seems as if the stars are coming into alignment.
    One thing to do as preparation is to hire people are have a track record of success working at non-dominate firms.
    Have you ever known a TFB (trust fund baby) that goes broke? Its really sad, those type of people get real desperate. Centralians are the corporate verison of TFBs.
    One of the key/seminal? events that will spell out just how exciting this new era of new media will be is the upcoming NFL TV contract. Lots of cool stuff and mad jockeying about to gain the upper hand on this mega-deal.
    OLT, Jeff, keep up the great blog.