Doug Kaye, impresario of ITConversations and author of a recent essay called "The Future of Public Radio" to which I linked, has been engaged in a weblog dialog with Mark Ramsey, founder and president of Mercury Radio Research. The dialog is worth reading for broadcasters because it neatly gathers most of the "hits vs. niches" arguments raised since Chris Anderson's The Long Tail article gave birth to this new meme.
Doug began this dialog: "I don’t normally comment on individual IT Conversations shows here on my blog, and it’s even rarer for me to take exception to what one of our guests has to say, but I found Rob Greenlee’s interview with Mark Ramsey of Mercury Radio Research so fascinating that I can’t help myself. In less than 45 minutes Mark managed to highlight almost everything that big-media broadcasting doesn’t understand about participatory media. I don’t want to pick on Mark, who I’ve never met and who is probably very good at what he does, but some of his quotes are true classics of a way of thinking that will ultimately be the demise of traditional large-scale media. Consider, the following from this show:
“[Podcasts should be] original, unique and broad-based, compelling content…Star content is what drives everything…If I podcasted with any zeal…my greatest hope and desire would be that I would be discovered by radio and put on a radio station or a network that has reach and distribution. That’s what it’s all about.”
This guy needs to read about the long tail and get a clue what makes most of us tick. ..." Link: Blogarithms.
Mark continues it: "...Why all the mud-slinging? Because I did an interview with Rob Greenlee of IT Conversations where I diminished the enthusiasm of the indie world of podcasting and predicted that the big names in entertainment would coopt podcasting as they coopt all other aspects of the entertainment universe (and this was BEFORE iTunes carried Podcasts and the big Radio names jumped into the market). ¶ The indies don't like that opinion. ..." Link: Radio Marketing Nexus.
Most recently, though perhaps not finally, Doug has a rejoinder to Mark's reply: "... Mark’s idea of a revolution is apparently one in which mass can only be built by the combination of a small number of large players. But the same mass can be built by combining a large number of small players. There will be 50,000 podcasters by the end of 2006, and together – not individually – they will be significant. ..." Link: Blogarithms. --Dennis