Content Creators Potential Diminished by Aggregators?

Slate reports on how the freedom of choice online has allowed readers to choose only the news feeds they desire:

“But given a choice, and the economic means to make a choice, many buyers prefer to make an unbundled purchase. Unbundling the news they want from the news they don’t want is what the Web allows readers to do now.”

Tim O’Reilly compares the value of aggregation to content creation:

“…long tail businesses disproportionately benefit the aggregator. While they create new opportunities for content providers “down the tail” who might not otherwise have been noticed, they create even greater collective benefits for the Amazon, the Google, the Netflix, who hosts the entire collection, the dog who wags the tail.”

Scott Karp sums up the content creation vs. aggregation debate:

“The result of unbundling, disaggregation, the loss of pipe control (to use Andy Kessler’s construct) — i.e. the inability to force people to consume content they don’t want — is that content businesses don’t scale anymore. That doesn’t mean creating content isn’t profitable… but the same phenomenon that allowed them to become business at all will probably prevent them from becoming large businesses.”

He continues:

“So does that mean that content creation will forever be a small business? Likely, yes, unless you can aggregate your way up to scale…”

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