Ryan Lawler makes the classic argument that video creation tools and cheap distribution will empower long-tail content. When we talked about the topic in the office, we agreed that middle-tier networks would feel the most pressure but that discovery remains a challenge. (Neither of us think the big TV networks are in much trouble.) People like hits, and popularity reinforces itself, especially via social media. Even long-tail aggregators like YouTube and Netflix pay the bills with hits; no one’s shown a business model that succeeds by offering only the tail. Is Food TV really in trouble? The DIY shows are very sponsor-friendly (even on PBS) and big brands like dealing with known quantities. Sure, YouTube may throw some funding at startup creators, and Google’s ad networks can monetize aggregations of lots of small sites. But those long-tail creators? That’s what we call amateurs.