I love the long tail!

I was just sitting here surfing the web and thinking about what my next blog entry should be about, when I stumbled across a small article on a Norwegian band, who thanks to a very decent review at Pitchfork, got a bunch of record-deal offers. This got me to think about The Long Tail, and how happy I am about what the internet has done to the different markets such as for instance the music, movies, books and in essence all types of entertainment businesses.

Chart illustrating the long tail.

If you’re not familiar with the term The Long Tail, it’s a concept Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, introduced in 2004. It’s supposed to illustrate the effect the internet and the globalisation that has come of it has had on different industries. Basically it says that because of the globalisation, markets are now more varied, and it is easier for the “small players” to get a foot inside the door. As a result of it, the “big players” sell less, and the number of small players increases drastically (and make the long tail).

Now to my point: I love the long tail. I mean, how can somebody not? Well except for the big corporate companies that are losing money on it. For consumers it is a dream come true however. With very little effort you can open a whole new world of products, which are there right at your fingertips, and you don’t even have to go out of the door to get them. Yeah I know, that last sentence is a little 2001. I’m just still amazed by it, especially since I’ve just discovered the joys of buying clothes online. If you live in an expensive country like me, you can even save quite a bit of money on online-shopping as well, in addition to getting clothes that aren’t as often seen in the local community as those you buy at the stores in your city/town.

Not to mention how much I’ve expanded and refined (to use a fancy word) my music taste thanks to the online world. I’ve discovered bands more or less unheard of in my circles, and even country! Before the internet became a part of our dailylives, and the long tail came into play, I’d say that our possibilities and options were much more limited and controlled by other, traditional medias, like newspapers and televisions. You could, and would, buy the records that were played on the radio and television, which were incidentally also the ones available at the record store. But now, well, I think I’ve proved my point already. I know there’s nothing new or groundbreaking about what I’ve said in this article, but I just felt like talking about it in my own words.

So yeah, Big Corporate Businesses 0 – 1 Consumers. Got to love that long tail!

PS: You can read more about The Long Tail in Chris Anderson’s blog at TheLongTail.com, which is also the source of the illustration above.


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