/* Code Comments */

Aggregators and what they're hiding

September 09, 2018

The thing about aggregators is: in an era of abundant supply, it’s almost impossible to know when things aren’t there.

When you need a piece of information, you ask Google. If it’s not there, it doesn’t exist.

If you want to buy something, you look at Amazon. If it’s not there, it’s not for sale.

If you want to listen to something, you search Spotify. If it’s not there, it’s not available to hear.

None of these, are in fact, true.

Google has organized somewhere between 4% and 10% of the web (estimates as of 2016 and 2017 respectively).

Amazon actively chooses which products it will stock - despite its ambition to be the Everything Store.

Spotify has deals with the big three labels, but that doesn’t mean Taylor Swift can’t pull her records off (or bring them back).

The point, then, is that as aggregators of information, firms can create their own sense of reality for their consumers and its easy to fall victim.

  • Note: This post was inspired by Mac Miller’s untimely passing yesterday. In reading about his passing, I noticed this comment on Reddit which made me realize how much of his music I’d missed by staying on Spotify.

Further reading


Stephen Weiss

Written by Stephen Weiss who lives in Chicago with his wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Follow him on Twitter!