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He Said, She Said.

April 19, 2008

The idea behind the role of filters on the internet is heavily stressed in Chapters 7-9 of Anderson’s The Long Tail. Post filters expose the marketplace and trades the secrets of the expose the value of a product after it has been release from pre-filters. Anderson suggests that post-filters channel consumer behavior, that they are actually the voice of the marketplace. Consumers utilize blogs, playlists, and reviews that do, in fact, amplify the market. While pre-filters spend time and money trying to formulate what consumers really want, the consumer will not be forced to give its attention to anything that is meant to be credible to anyone else’s standards but their own.

Anderson takes an extensive look at music in his book probably because it is an industry that has changed most since the mp3 ( or should I say mp4). Radio used to be the number one medium for launching new music. Everyone had a radio even if they didn’t own a car. However, today’s generation, the Y, a demanding group that desires everything in lightening speed, because of the microwave quick results of the digital age. The youth rock the online sector of the music industry, being its biggest, most risky consumer. The youth have been transformed from the quintessential boy-band grubbing, followers to the leaders of a new alternative market. The implications of this may point to this generation’s rather close relationship to the internet and the time and energy they spend using it. Pre-filters would be wise to put their product on the internet, however, many of them are still making the same mistake: trying to be a post-filter, and taking a chance with what consumers really want. Bonnie McKee failed for that very reason. While Bonnie McKee was succeeding in making a connection with young teenage girl listeners, editors and producers tried to predict her image balancing her look between the prototype popstar and rebellious punk. It didn’t work and her music didn’t sell outside of the internet environment that McKee had grown up in. Anderson provides hard numbers of the failure in this book proving that the pre-filter can’t do the job of the post-filter. Additionally, its a bad business decision to try.

Post-filters are the makers and breakers of any industry that involves consumer entertainment. Now that entertainment is available online and is being consumed from the internet more than before, consumers are creating outlets to respond to music. Blogs provide personal as well as group feedback that are more intimate than any other medium can provide. As the credibility and usage of blogs increase, the more valuable the conversations become. Post-filters have made consumers comfortable with the taking someone’s ” word for it”. A consumer becomes credible on these filters when they post alot of comments about what they do or don’t like. Its all about what he said, or what she said.

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