I’ve had a couple of people drop the phrase “the long tail” on me recently. One person asked specifically if I read the article in Wired and promised to send me the link. It’s hard, sometimes, you know, to keep up with everything I SHOULD know about.
The basic premise — That dispersed and inexpensive media/production makes possible for every taste to match with every product ever produced — strikes me as true. There’s something out there for everybody, and for everything there’s an everybody to buy it or download it. The reason I think this is true is purely anecdotal. We’re a household that never goes in for the top 40,000 CDs on Amazon. We’re usually digging much deeper than that.
I think purveyors of homegenized hit lists, be they radio (threatened by XM Radio), traditional record stores (Amazon, of course) or Columbia House, should be very, very worried. The tail is only going to get longer. Business models based on scarcity just aren’t going to cut it.
The article that started the buzz here.