Monday, March 13, 2006

Tuning in to the potential of 'slivercasting'

Tuning in to the potential of 'slivercasting' - Technology - International Herald Tribune: "Andy Steward, a successful London computer consultant and sailboat racer, became exasperated when trying to watch his favorite sport on television. There were a few half- hour recaps of some major sailing races, but they were always shown late at night.

Steward looked into creating a sailing channel on the Sky satellite service in Britain, but his idea was soon dead in the water. He would have had to pay £85,000, or $147,000, to start the channel and £40,000 a month, as well as the production costs. That was a lot of money for an untested concept.

But in January, he did introduce a sailing channel, one that is rapidly filling with sailing talk shows, product reviews, programs on sailing techniques and, most important, intense coverage of the sort of smaller races that do not make it onto traditional television.

In 2004, Wired magazine popularized the phrase "the long tail" to refer to the large number of specialized offerings that in themselves appeal to a small number of people but cumulatively represent a large market that can be easily aggregated on the Internet. Plotted on a graph along with best sellers, these specialized products trail off like a long tail that never reaches zero."

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