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The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
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The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More

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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  15,768 ratings  ·  569 reviews
What happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture go away and everything becomes available to everyone?

"The Long Tail" is a powerful new force in our economy: the rise of the niche. As the cost of reaching consumers drops dramatically, our markets are shifting from a one-size-fits-all model of mass appeal to one of unlimited variety for
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Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published 2006)
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Otis Chandler
Interesting Tidbits
- Three forces need to create the long tail:
1. democratize production: give average people the ability to create quality content (movies, music, blogs)
2. democratize distribution: technology to aggregate *all* the content in a genre (Amazon, Netflix, iTunes)
3. Connect Supply and Demand: filters to help people find the niche's they are interested in (Google, recommendations, best-seller lists)
- One quarter of Amazon's sales come from books outside its top 100,000 titles. T
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Scott
OK, this book gets down-graded because it is an excellent example of snake oil. Kool Aid.

Let me explain. I'm sure that some people love this book. However, Chris Anderson takes an excellent insight, then extends and extrapolates this insight all out of shape, drawing general conclusions about the whole economy that make absolutely no sense.

First, consider the source. Chris Anderson is the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. If you've never read Wired, it is a huge media cheerleader for the high
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Jake Losh
I disliked this book for two reasons: I do not believe it represents any original ideas and it is, like most business books, horribly verbose. Yawn-zilla. Yawn-a-saurus rex. Avoid.

I take issue with the idea that this book even represents a body of original ideas. The long tail concept is very cute, but after reading it, I can't stop thinking about the story of Sears-Roebuck which Anderson writes about. The notion of giving people access to a plethora of products that were heretofore unobtainable
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Brooks
I heard a clip on this book on NPR back in August and have had wanted to read this book for sometime. When I first heard about this book, we were having a conflict with one of our e-commerce customers. There SKU base kept growing and my boss kept saying they did not control their inventory. Well, here is proof positive that they did know what they were doing. The book is written by an editor of Wired magazine. The basic premise is that with infinite variety and reduced (and in many cases zero) d ...more
Sarah
I give up...I can't take any more of this horribly boring book. My economics textbook keeps my interest better than this, which is extremely sad. I'm giving it two stars instead of one only because it had a few good tidbits of information regarding the evolution of the music and publishing industries (there was some interesting stuff about things such as Myspace and Lulu that I hadn't heard before). None the less, this is another book about an idea that probably made a fascinating article in a m ...more
Lilly G
This book is an exploration of how niche markets are on the rise courtesy of better distribution. And that's a gross summary. Much discussion is given to the rise of the digital world and how it's expanded the marketplace so that there can be a Long Tail Distribution (for you statistics nerds out there)--- beyond the major hits, you can continue to sell (for example) less popular items, and lots of them. There are markets within markets.

A very conversationally written book, by the editor of Wire
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Bookmarks Magazine

In The Long Tail, Chris Anderson offers a visionary look at the future of business and common culture. The long-tail phenomenon, he argues, will "re-shape our understanding of what people actually want to watch" (or read, etc.). While Anderson presents a fascinating idea backed by thoughtful (if repetitive) analysis, many critics questioned just how greatly the niche market will rework our common popular culture. Anderson convinced most reviewers in his discussion of Internet media sales, but hi

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Martin
I’ve been reading what I like to think of as some “business-lite” books for school, pulling me (kicking & screaming) away from my beloved novels, fictional worlds, and imaginary characters. Apparently there is little or no place for novels in business. The good news is that these business-lite books are, by their very nature, super-readable and somewhat interesting. They are also (again, I guess by their very nature) the most repetitive books imaginable. While I like novels, and have even re ...more
Remo
Chris Anderson escribió en 2004 un fantástico artículo en Wired.com titulado The long tail. Sobre ese artículo construyó un blog, thelongtail.com, que luego convirtió en libro. Las premisas del autor son tres:
1.- Con inventarios digitales podemos alcanzar una oferta casi infinita.
2.- Cuando a los compradores se les da oferta infinita, su demanda se prolonga mucho más allá de los éxitos o bestsellers.
3.- La suma de todas las ventas de los productos menos demandados es un porcentaje muy important
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Kip
Apr 11, 2008 Kip rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone with internet experience
One of the most interesting non-fiction books I've ever read. Sort of a combination of economics, technology, and culture. Anderson presents compelling arguments and data to identify, examine and extrapolate on a clear inflection point in the macro environment today. Tools of production are more readily available (think desktop publishing, blogging, and digital video), distribution is cheaper and more widely available (think Netflix, iTunes or Amazon v bricks-n-mortar), and a wide range of recom ...more
Lauren Albert
The book, and its main idea of the Long Tail, has seriously affected the way I see many industries. When the digital book world started really taking off, after Amazon jumped in, I found myself referring to it in discussions of the future of the publishing industry. The internet has allowed businesses to reach consumers (and for consumers to reach businesses) who fall out of the majority--who "live" in the long tail. An important book in helping understand the effect the internet has had on reta ...more
Marc
While it shows some signs of age (using MySpace as an example of success and no mention of Facebook), The Long Tail is a great read and describes the underlying forces that are changing our economy and culture in the 21st century. Whereas scarcity leads to economics dominated by hit products, the abundance of an accessible infinite shelf space means that consumers have greater choice. The cumulative effect of mass-niches has consequences for our economy and our culture, many of which have occurr ...more
Rene Schlegel
Anderson is no novelist. And thats a plus here. Everything leads leisurely yet just concise enough up to Chapter 14 where the reader gets very clear practical rules. The acceptance of those will be high exactly because of the method Anderson uses to derive this rules in the 200 odd pages before that, all worthwhile to read. This deviates refreshingly from so many business books that establish the "key points" at the end of each chapter which just makes it hard to reference back to them. The styl ...more
Michelle
I'm rounding up here. It's makes great points about the long tail and how Internet retailing changes the market because it doesn't have to worry about scarcity and people will search beyond the blockbuster to buy and get things.

It's small at 200 pages but still fills a bit fluffed out. My biggest problem was how the author handled criticism. He either handwaved it away, thought it was still good, or simply said that better filters and post-filters were needed. For examples of successful music ac
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Kirill Zyatkov
Крис Андерсон решил вытянуть из хорошей журнальной статьи книгу, но при этом не добавив ничего существенного, что стоило бы такого объёма. Автор прослеживает историю о том, как по мере уменьшения логистических затрат росло количество предоставляемых товаров, из-за которого увеличивался и разброс потребительского выбора. С хитовых позиций он стал растекаться по длинному хвосту (см. Long-tailed distribution).

Потребитель, с популярных товаров, которые предоставляли классические методы дистрибуции
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Krishna Kumar
Anderson shows how the old 80/20 economics model based on scarcity is being turned upside down in the new economy of abundance and near-zero costs of production and distribution. He explains how three forces - democratized production, democratized distribution and easy means to connect supply and demand are driving business from mass hits to niche products and services, creating profits and value where little existed before. Whole businesses like eBay, Google and Amazon are succesfully taking ad ...more
Sasha Boersma
recently finally finished reading Chris Anderson's book "The Long Tail", and this excerpt is something I've been pondering:

"Of all the traditional media industries, television is now the industry with the greatest potential to be transformed by the Long Tail forces......TV produces more content than any other media and entertainment industry...but...Only a tiny fraction of it is available to you.

..the ratio of produced content to available content is higher than any other industry. Other industr
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Phil Simon
Superb. Incredibly well-written and researched. Anderson is one of my favorite authors. This is one of the most important business books written in years. Read it...then read it again.
Nicholas
Should have read it a long time ago. Does a good job popularizing concepts later/also discussed by Benkler, Weinberger, Kelly, and Shirky.
Joel Goldman
Terrific explanation of the long tail in marketing. Explained why there will always be room for good self-published authors.
Wade Brooks
There is one simple but powerful point to this book. The long tail of products, in a statistical distribution, can equal or exceed the area under the curve. This means companies with very low holding and distribution costs, say for example Apple's iTunes, make as much money from the group of out of circulation songs, as they do in selling hits. The 'hits' model is historically all companies could focus on given physical carrying costs. This change vastly expanded the market for niche products, o ...more
Trever
Listening to this audiobook (I'm guessing.) a decade after it came out you can see even more than ever how these companies stack up against brick and mortar businesses. You can now see the expansive growth of Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.

The only problem that I am now realizing that no one else has become a giant, there is no new up and comer that is taking the long tail by storm and seems just how hard it is to break into be a global company. Maybe the long tail can not be conquered.

I might have
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Elise Nguyen
Sách nói lên tầm ảnh hưởng của thông tin số trong nền kinh tế vĩ mô đến chiến lược marketing. Cái đuôi dài là đồ thị miêu tả rõ nét thị trường của người tiêu dùng hiện nay. Bên cạnh những người chạy theo hit thì có những thị trường ngách, một khi chúng tập hợp lại sẽ có giá trị không thua kém gì thị trường dành cho sản phẩm hit. Khi thông tin không những giúp người tiêu dùng tiếp cận với sản phẩm phù hợp với sở thích cá nhân không phải chạy theo trào lưu đại chúng mà còn giúp họ tự sản xuất ra s ...more
Barbara Ab
How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand

The long tail is a manual about the way new technologies have changed old economics rules (20% of the products make 80% of the profit), retailing markets, and customers social behaviour.
In spite of the subject it is extremely enjoyable especially for the practical way of demonstrating its theories by actual examples of l businesses’ developments, i.e. amazon, ebay, wall-mart, myspace, etch
“The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy
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Marko Savić
Google was influenced by the theory presented in this book. Originally the Author Chris Anderson presented it as a article in the magazine Wired, as Editor in Chief. And Google was back then in 2001 "just" the fastest growing search engine on the planet. For the record, Google borrowed the business model that was pioneered by Bill Gross few years earlier. And Google has built the most affective Long Tail advertising machine the world has ever seen. And if only because of that this book is worth ...more
Isk
Review:

Summary:
The Internet has ended the economics of scarcity by cheaply enabling the distribution and acquisition of niche items.

Example:

Read:
The Wired article, and then just Chapter 15: The long tail of marketing from this book.

Improvements:
Wish Anderson talked about differentiating between long tail-industries and non-long tail-industries, and how to boost long tails when there should be one but there isn't. Also, what a world would be like in which everything is long tail.

Notes:

Introductio
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Nicolas Ward
This is one of those books that I was very much aware of (thanks to the original Wired article in this case), but never got around to reading. I felt that I should largely because I regularly tossed about the core terminology (that is, long tail or Zipfian distributions) when talking about trends in products, software, Internet culture, and so on.

Overall, I think the book does a great job of introducing its core concept, but then wanders near the end, I think because Anderson was trying to (some
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Elizabeth
Interesting theory, but the book is incredibly repetitive. The entire thing is made up of variations on the same handful of examples with a sprinkling of interesting insights thrown in for good measure. So this theory was originally discussed/explained in an article in Wired Magazine? That might have been sufficient. Not sure there was enough new material or even supporting "research" to justify a whole book. Even a 225 page book.

Best parts were when the author expands beyond his gushing over R
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David
An excellent book on how the internet makes it possible for businesses to make money selling small quantities of a large number of items. This is especially true of digital products (iTunes, NetFlix, audiobooksellers), but applies also to products that can be ordered at short notice (Amazon), products that can be PRODUCED at short notice (Print-on-Demand) and products that are being sold in quantities as little as ONE (eBay).

One of the most compelling arguments Anderson uses is that on any given
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David A.
I'm a fan of Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail--even though, to my knowledge, he's never gotten a penny of my money. I read occasional issues of Wired magazine, where he's editor in chief, when I see it on the magazine rack in our office library. I downloaded his super-interesting Free as an ebook when he was giving it away, for free. And while I've been talking with coworkers and other publishing industry people for years about Anderson's ideas in The Long Tail (c. 2006), I didn't actuall ...more
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Chris Anderson was named in April 2007 to the "Time 100," the newsmagazine's list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world. He is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he took in 2001, and he has led the magazine to six National Magazine Award nominations, winning the prestigious top prize for General Excellence in 2005 and 2007. He is the aut ...more
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“as Joe Kraue, CEA of JotSpot ... puts it, "Up until now, the focus has been on dozens of markets of millions, instead of millions of markets of dozens.” 5 likes
“When the tools of production are available to everyone, everyone becomes a producer.” 2 likes
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