It’s the holiday season and mine has been filled with a lot of Bing Crosby. I’m one of those people that will Wikipedia anything new and came across this sentence that describes his popularity:
“Also in 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music”
This reminded me of another celebrity from that era, Charles Lindbergh, and his popularity:
Between July 20 and October 23, 1927 Lindbergh visited 82 cities in all 48 states, delivered 147 speeches, rode 1,290 mi (2,080 km) in parades, and was seen by more than 30 million Americans, one quarter of the nation’s population.
It’s quite amazing how concentrated attention was in those days and how much of a long tail there is now. We see the impact everywhere. On one hand we see the Superbowl starting to see a decline in viewership. On the other hand, we have YouTube celebrities launching nationwide burger chains overnight. Substack plays into this as well by leaning into this fragmentation and giving independent writers a way to monetize and own their destiny. TikTok is also giving people the ability to blow up like never before by bypassing existing social capital and leveraging the algorithm.
We’re still at the early stages but I can’t help but think that this is the future - a hustle combined with the ideas of a gig economy that lead to a new world.