Oh, To Be A Consumer!

I’ve posted on this topic before, but in the last twelve hours, it’s really hit me again:  the creation and continuing elongation of the Long Tail of products and services is making it incredibly challenging to the ‘producers of product’, and providing to consumers an extraordinary explosion of 'choice.'  Last night we went to see the recent Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, The Counterfeiters (which was excellent, by the way).  I was really surprised at how few people were in the theater.  This has been a recurring theme of late when going to see indie/lower budget movies.   And this morning I read in the paper that an indie film production company, started by the guy who made a billion dollars in the garment industry (Sidney Kimmel, who started Jones New York), is scaling back big-time.  When you do the math, it’s pretty easy to get:  the indie film market has seen a huge infusion of cash from rich guys wanting to get into a new, hip area; film festivals have popped up everywhere on the planet; thus, an incredible increase in the number of really good indie films.  But, alas, supply now outweighs demand, with people having so much choice now with 'media entertainment,’ and market economics kick in.  It’s incredibly difficult to make money making indie movies.  And as a result, Sidney Kimmel Productions, the producers of “Lars and the Real Girl” and “The Kite Runner,” are cutting back. Being a producer of almost anything these days can be a tough slog.  The Long Tail at work.  Meanwhile, we are treated to ever-expanding choice:  in indie movies, in chocolates, in coffees, in sake, in EVERYTHING!  Oh, to be a consumer!