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The Long Tail 1) What is The Long Tail?

Chris The idea that smaller websites or niche market media for example, less popular books, will be viewed or sell collectively the same amount as the main blockbusters. This model was promoted by Chris Anderson in 2004 in Wired magazine. 2) What does the curve mean? Nicola Known as the pareto principle, it separates the top 20% of causes from the 80% of effects. So in a Spotify case study, the top 20% of artists (causes) will inspire listeners to access the remaining 80% of artists (effects) through recommended artists features dragging them down the curve. 3) CASE STUDY GOOGLE et al Naomi Taking a quote from the OReilly piece, he suggests that the long tail in this manner is the collective power of the small sites that make up the bulk of the webs content. In other words, the smaller sites will always outnumber the more popular sites, even though they receive less traffic yearly. 4) CASE STUDY GOOGLE et al Jordan Advertising on more popular websites is often powered by Google, and this also drags people down the long tail. Banner ads encourage users to access less popular sites as do pop-ups, pre-YouTube video ads and sidebar ads. Without this, smaller websites would probably not receive any traffic at all, and would not make up the bulk of the internet. 5) CASE STUDY - AMAZON - Chris In a way, Amazon pioneered the long tail in media, in particular, books. The what other users bought feature showed users a unique list based on past buys. This started the movement down the long tail by showing more niche books that are similar to the popular buys. Whilst the average Barnes and Noble store carries 130,000 titles, more than half of Amazons sales come from titles beyond the top 130,000 titles. 6) QUOTE - Jordan - For too long we've been suffering the tyranny of lowestcommon-denominator fare, subjected to brain-dead summer blockbusters and manufactured pop....Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching - a market response to inefficient distribution. 7) EXPLANATION - Nicola - What Anderson is saying here is basically we are victims of hit-driven economics - a culture focusing mainly on blockbusters and manufactured artists rather than smaller artists who can deliver to us a much more eclectic range of media - broadening our horizons and taking us, again, down the long tail. 8) WHY IS IT HIT DRIVEN - Naomi - Constraints on bricks and mortar retail means stores can only carry titles which sell a minimum of two copies per year. This is because they need to cover their financial overhead and two copies covers the cost of a half inch of shelf space.

9) WHY IS IT HIT DRIVEN #2 - Jordan - Not only that but physical constraints also mean that hits get more airtime, for example on radio, because it can only carry an limited number of stations, and also theres only 24 hours per day of broadcasting time - so you cant play all types of music or shows each and everyday. 10) CRITICISM - Anita Elberse - Nicola - Anita Elberse criticised Chris Anderson, stating that whilst she agreed with his points there were two other patterns. One was that whilst the tail is long it is extremely flat selling barely anything towards the end of the tail, and also the heavy users of the tail are still attracted to hits as much as the lighter users of the tail. IMPROVISED 11) JORDANS VIEW 12) NAOMIS VIEW 13) CHRIS VIEW 14) NICOLAS VIEW - I agree with Chris Anderson because I think that his model is applicable to all types of media. Wherever there is the potential to have links to more niche media I believe consumers can be dragged down the tail, detracting away from hit-driven economics. 15) CLOSING COMMENT - Naomi - Whatever is said about the long tail there will always be split opinion. Smaller companies will benefit from the long tail whereas it acts as a hindrance to conglomerates and larger companies who rely on mass sales or hits. SOURCES ANDERSON, C. (2004) The Long Tail [WWW] Wired. Available from: [Accessed 10/11/11] BRAUNER, L. (2008) The 80/20 Rule. Online Social Networking. Weblog [Online] 28th September. Available from: [Accessed 10/11/11] CAMPBELL, A. (2008) Is it Time to Chuck the Long Tail Theory?. Small Business Trends. Weblog [Online] 8th July. Available from: [Accessed 10/11/11] ELBERSE, A. (2008) The Long Tail Debate: A Response to Chris Anderson. Harvard Business Review. Weblog [Online] 2nd July. Available from: [Accessed 10/11/11]