When The Internet Deletes Hype

May 29th, 2012 | daybook, researchmaterial

Editor and writer David Hepworth:

You can’t hide. I was talking to somebody in the record business recently who pointed out, rather mournfully, that it was no longer possible to hype people. What he meant was that it was no longer possible to convince them that something was more popular or widely adopted than it actually was. You no longer went into Radio 2 and told them that they should be playing a record because it was going to be popular among this or that demographic. You simply sent them a link to the You Tube page where they could see how many people had streamed the video. Digital is its own audit. This is something magazines are going to have to get used to.

“Digital is its own audit.”  That’s really kind of interesting to me.  I’m used to unique counts being obscured and lied about.  But I hadn’t considered the open-count public services.  And, of course, this is what Likes and RTs and +1s lead to.  A world where we encourage everyone to vote on everything (an element of more than a few sf pieces).

Cultural voting, of course, leads to the triage suggested in the quote: following counts leads inexorably to media that play only the things they already know people like.

Which makes me prize things like Mary Anne Hobbs’ Saturday night show on XFM all the more: because I know that for three hours I will hear things that I have never heard before.

Still.  Interesting point.


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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis