The 80/20 Rule

Pareto’s 80/20 rule, hypothesises that 80 percent of revenue or reward in general, is produced by 20 percent of the given instigators. For example, 80 percent of company profits are produced by 20 percent of the employees. Seemingly relevant to many aspects of reality, the 80/20 rule defines a structure that conceptualises the input to return ratio of any media. The 80/20 rule can be associated with the ‘long tail’ theory when referring specifically to online media. The long tail theory suggests that due to the cost reducing affordances of web 2.0 regarding storage and the nature of the contemporary online spectrum, a product will be more profitable by being popular among the minority (the 20%) for a long stretch of time (theoretically infinite) rather than being popular among the majority (80%) for a finite period of time.



© Barb Lauer

This demonstrates a shift in the way audiences are imagined, highlighting the importance of creating new media with recurring possibilities.

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