The increase in societies online presence has resulted in a dramatic shift in the consumption of media globally. Physical media such as books, print and DVD’s have been replaced by online media sources allowing for easy access to aggregations of data. This accessibility online has given people unlimited and unfiltered access to culture and content, and audiences have begun to buy content that isn’t necessarily best selling, commonly described as the ‘Niche Market’ (Concept Drop Team 2003). This development of niche markets is explained by Chris Anderson (2004), highlighting how physical shop fronts are limited by opening hours, accessibility and the buying of only ‘mainstream hits’ due to shop space, resulting in online aggregators controlling the market with their unlimited accessibility, time, space and ability to offer mainstream and niche data.
This shift from ‘Mass Markets’, to a ‘Mass of Niches’ is described as ‘The Long Tail Effect‘ (Anderson, C 2004). This effect is derived from the power law distribution curves, highlighting how the sum of niche market sales are always greater in comparison to the smaller collection, but more popular mainstream market.
Anderson, C 2004, ‘The Long Tail’, Wired, Issue 12.10,
< http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html >
Concept Drop Team 2003, ‘Niche Markets and the Digital Age’, Conceptdrop
< http://conceptdrop.com/blog/24-niche-markets-and-the-digital-age/ >