Scarcity Is for Losers

Ian Rogers, VP Video and Media Applications at Yahoo, spoke at the Creative Artists Agency conference in Aspen recently.
Here’s a small portion of what he said:

There is more opportunity in leveraging the scale of the Web than trying to create scarcity. We’ve all been engaged in many attempts at creating scarcity in digital music and none of them have worked. Meanwhile, others have been leveraging the scale of the Web with great success. We should learn from this pattern and apply our energy appropriately.

It only gets deeper from there.

Today users are creating tremendous value and for the most part we’re ignoring it. They’re writing blogs about your artists, putting bios on Wikipedia, documenting last night’s concert on Flickr and video sharing sites, showing what songs are most popular by their behavior on, building “box sets” on community sites, etc. How has the music industry leveraged this? What tools have you created to enable or encourage it?
Nothing and none, and what we’ve done is forced a disconnect between content and context. As I mentioned in my October presentation, iTunes is a (mostly) context-free content experience and the Web is a (mostly) content-free context experience. Whoever puts the two together wins.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.