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Focus on: Proposed Sirius-XM merger – part two December 29, 2006

Posted by William Spear in >> Focus on ..., >> Out Basket.

Included in the article titled “Post-modernism is the new black – How the shape of modern retailing was both predicted and influenced by some unlikely seers,” (The Economist; December 19, 2006) mass-market retailing is discussed in an era of endless market fragments.

The article presents London retailer Selfridges & Co. as a survivor and embodiment of the chaotic and interwoven nature of modern retailing. For a century, the company offered “… order, formality and stillness …” in its stores and nearly went out of business in the process. Selfridges, and others successfully navigating new markets, have tossed out their formality of the past and are building “new huge empires based around one niche”.

Perhaps that is another part of the message for Sirius and XM. In “Focus on: Proposed Sirius-XM merger,” (Lit Between the Ears; December 27, 2006) Sirius and XM were encouraged to develop compelling and differentiating portfolios of programming before merging the two firms. As markets continue their fragmenting into smaller and smaller niches, there is an audience of existing literate and economically empowered patrons to support radio drama on Sirius and XM.

Quoting The Economist:

’In “The Long Tail”, an analysis of the impact of the internet on the music industry, with wider ramifications, Chris Anderson describes the “shattering of the mainstream into a zillion different cultural shards”. The post-modern “fragment” becomes a “niche” and the mass market is “turning into a mass of niches”. “When mass culture breaks apart,” he writes, “it doesn’t re-form into a different mass. Instead, it turns into millions of microcultures which coexist and interact in a baffling array of ways.”’

Long live The Long Tail. Long live radio drama.

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