Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Marveling at the Market

This is a fun concept that really pisses off government idealists: a free market economy is more democratic than any political system. Just watch Adult Swim—shows on Cartoon Network aimed a mature audience. They occasionally show their ratings. They’re also lucky if a half a million people (a whopping 0.17% of the entire country's population) watch their top show. When less than 1% of the nation wants a product, they get it. When 49% of the voters want a candidate, they get ignored.

Who says corporations don’t care about the people?

5 comments:

Chris said...

Hooray for Adult Swim and for Family Guy and Futurama and Aqua Teen Hunger Force!!!!

Mike said...

Sounds more minoritarian than democratic.

David said...

Ah but if it was minoritarian, the wants of the minority would crowd out the wants of the majority, which simply doesn't happen here. This is more like (brace yourself) proportional representation with a very, very low threshold.

-Ron said...

I could not agree more with David. Niche television is a wonderful example of the market at work. I admit it. I love HGTV. I could watch Landscaper’s Challenge all afternoon. Special interest channels such Food Network, SciFi, History, and Soap Network have only emerged in the last decade. It’s not that the interest wasn’t there before, but broadcast regulations made it impossible for content producers to market to those kinds of limited audience. Only the advent of cable and satellite technology (itself a primitive form of peer-to-peer sharing) allowed content producers to bypass onerous regulations and finally get their product to market. And having done so, the market has proven that if you air it, they will watch. And as DVD sales confirm, producing for the niche market is far and away more profitable than the mass-market network shows. You have to love technology that puts the government regulator out of business.

Mike said...

David is right, I used poor terminology.