Archive for 2008

(Not so) Long Tail…

December 28th, 2008 by Timo Vuorensola

In 2004, a man named Chris Anderson came up with a theory he was calling The Long Tail. It was an idea of the future of shopping in the environment where shelf space is unlimited – that is, of course, online.

Mr. Anderson’s theory dictated that in the future people will start buying a much wider spectrum of products online, now that they are easilly available, and they don’t have to stick with blockbusters – suggesting that in the future the blockbusters would die, and the future of business would be “selling less of more”.

Anderson called this Long Tail, because, instead of the traditional way where people buy what’s popular, so you need to sell popular stuff in order to make money, consuming habits scatter through a much wider range of products along the long tail of the marketing curve (as shown on the graph on the left, stolen from New Scientist.)

Now, the latest results of the Internet shops claim that mr. Anderson was wrong: it is still the blockbusters that rule. For example, Internet music business, that was one of the great examples of the long tail in effect, shows that out of 13 million tracks only 52,000 (0,4%) cover over 80% of the sales made online, and rest remain virtually untouched. And the same phenomenon keeps on repeating through most of the products on the Internet.

As an example, let’s take HIM and Älymystö, and a music store owner who wants to sell great ambient industrial noise. According to the traditional way, he’d have to sell HIM instead of Älymystö, because that’s what people were buying and that’s what kept him paying the bills. Now, according to Long Tail theory, he takes his shop off the street and moves it to the Internet, and starts selling Älymystö and hundreds of other noise musicians in addition of HIM and The Rasmus, and he would’ve believed he’d make the same income by more people buying only few units of different noise musicians that are wonderfully available through his webstore.

But what happens, he still finds out it’s the HIM the people buy, and nobody buys any units of Älymystö or other great stuff he’d loved to sell. So no matter the fact that now there’s a much wider range of stuff available, people still stick to the big sellers instead of exploring the tail.

This is also shown with Levyvirasto’s recent statement of the inexistent Long Tail effect there: half of the small bands at Levyvirasto don’t sell any units.

According to New Scientist, who wrote an interesting article on this topic, it’s because buying blockbusters is, in addition of being easy way to get entertainment, a way to belong to a bigger group, and that’s what people are all about: belonging to a group. Sort of depressing, but not very surprising.

But I still believe that Long Tail effect does exist, it just takes a much, much longer time for it to actually work. The evolution of consuming is, in the Internet era, always thought of taking maximum of 5 years and after that everything is changed. I’m much more skeptic, and even most of the small changes will take at least 6-10 years to actualize. Also, I think there’s a problem in the marketing – people are still fed with this blockbuster mentality, and the idea of “start exploring” still means “oh, HIM has done other albums, too!”, instead of really getting people excited of digging deeper into the long tail.

(Via Älymystö blog.)

Energia’s Christmas present: Star Wreck: failboat

December 23rd, 2008 by Samuli Torssonen

If you are having a bad time and unhappy christmas, let us save you – laugh at our failures! Check out some never before seen Star Wreck footage – mainly  bloopers & goofing around during the 7 year production of Wreck.

Towards the Christmas

December 21st, 2008 by Timo Vuorensola

Spotted from Pelit.fi’s forums by pAuthority – somebody with wicked mind did Schwarze Sonne into a gingerbread house :)

The awesome Swastika Fortress cake

Anybody else out there to challenge The Swastika Gingerbread House with a moonnazificated Christmas *something*? :)

Something cool, something boring and something sad.

December 20th, 2008 by Timo Vuorensola

Most of the Star Wreck -team members are huge Stanislaw Lem -fans, so it’s quite natural that I’m going peanuts right now. It has been informed, via Twitch, that the director of the supposedly-very-f*cking-awesome-animation Waltz With Bashir, Ari Folman, is creating an adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s novel Futurological Congress. This is good news in so many levels I can’t even begin to describe, but first of all, I’m looking forward for a positively tedious piece of intelligent animated science fiction film, that’ll kick ass to most of the crap that’s on TVs and theaters nowadays, calling themselves “intelligent science fiction”. Yes, Sunshine, I’m talking to you.

In other news, RIAA has just informed that it has stopped suing individuals. Well, actually, what it’s doing is that it has found out that the 35000 people they’ve sued, including a single mother, a grandma without a computer and a 14-year old kid, and whose lives they’ve propably wrecked pretty nicely, didn’t scare the bad pirates away, but the piracy is pushing through the roof again. So, what they do is they put Internet service providers to do the crappy job for themselves, although nobody is suing anybody anymore, which is good. Well, unless you are running a service based around distribution of free music…

Also, Majel Roddenberry, the widow of Gene Roddenberry, has passed away. Her last role as the computer in Star Trek will be heard in the upcoming JJ Abrams’ Star Trek -film.

Well, that’s it for now.