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

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  26,331 ratings  ·  697 reviews
We think Chris Anderson is onto something big with 'The Long Tail', a groundbreaking look at a well-known feature of statistical distribution and its potential to revolutionize business. 'Wired' magazine editor Anderson expands his influential 2004 article into a comprehensive exploration of this phenomenon -- which, simply stated, holds that products with low demand or sa ...more
Hardcover, 226 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Hachette Books (first published 2006)
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Max Tremaine It is breathtaking. Great support for the argument that the next generation of retail will differentiate themselves by capturing the long tail.

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Oct 02, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Otis Chandler
Oct 17, 2006 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, business
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
Jake Losh
Sep 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Maria Dobos
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coada lungă oferă o perspectivă interesantă asupra provocărilor pe care le ridică digitalizarea, avântul de neoprit al tehnologiei și dezvoltarea piețelor virtuale în contextul economiei globale. Pornind de la principiile clasice ale interacțiunii dintre cerere și ofertă, Chris Anderson analizează cu luciditate modificarea legilor economice și orientarea din ce în ce mai accentuată a consumatorilor și producătorilor spre economiile de nișă, folosindu-se de exemplul unor proiecte de success – A ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010books
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
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Aug 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
one of the most important guides to the dotcom econ - although after a while you might get tired of being told of the same thing over and over again (esp Wired readers might find it annoying of being told what they've discovered a long time ago) each of the stories page after page are another nail on the coffin - and most of us down here in ANALOG INDONESIA with rolling blackouts (wiping out your lifetime of data in seconds) can just dream away. a must-read for non-practitioners, and a good conf ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I’ve read this book many years ago and revisited it now in 2018 as a way to see how many or little things have changed.

This is a book written when - quote - “YouTube was a 6 months old website”, and “Netflix will some day go into streaming rather than sending movies on DVDs”.

Definitely worth reading on the long tail theory which absolutely applies to today’s market and products. Heck we even see a long tail of products now (apps)!
Daniel Solera
Chris Anderson's book can be summarized by saying that the consumer retail market these days is driven more by a bottom-up movement (what he calls "post-filters") than by top-down factors ("pre-filters"). The idea can also be synthesized by saying that "hits" are no longer as big as they once were because they now compete with individuals with louder voices.

For example, during its most popular seasons, "I Love Lucy" was watched by 70 percent of households with televisions. That kind of homogeniz
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Aman Vig
Such biz. books, where the author is laying out a pattern, idea or a concept, are interesting when those ideas are exemplified i.e. the cases with which the author's trying to prove their point. Those are the most interesting patches for me, though at times things just feel repetitive.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended by John Sutherland in _How Literature Works_ as providing a solution for dealing with information overload. I was a little surprised to find myself reading a book about marketing but the combination of an interesting concept and light tone (plus many many hours of subway riding) kept me reading through to the last page. Said interesting concept got much less interesting as the book wore on and I found myself reading more to see where Anderson would finally slip up and say, 'Okay, I a ...more
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

Chris Anderson escribió en 2004 un fantástico artículo en titulado The long tail. Sobre ese artículo construyó un blog,, 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
Христо Блажев
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Крис Андерсън описва края на хитовете в “Дългата опашка”

Отдавна книга на подобна тематика не ме бе впечатлявала толкова. Крис Андерсън наистина е успял да напише една безкрайно интересна и четивна книга, която на всичкото отгоре разкрива супер интересни неща за пазарите и продажбите в наши дни.
Honza Marcinek
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ač je kniha hodně stará a vychází z článku, který byl napsán v roce 2004, tak přeci jen byla pro mě více zajímavější než kniha Herd, kterou jsem nedávno četl. Velmi čtivá kniha se spoustou insightů, jenž můžete v jistých podobách uplatnit i dnes.
Karl Niebuhr
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book explains how to take advantage of the Internet by offering a long tail i.e. a great variety of products. This is essentially why platforms like Amazon are so profitable.
Stephen Smotherman
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
A great book for every online reseller to read.
Phil Simon
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Joel Goldman
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific explanation of the long tail in marketing. Explained why there will always be room for good self-published authors.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes an interesting idea and stretches it out way too long, no pun intended. This could have easily been a magazine article.
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Should have read it a long time ago. Does a good job popularizing concepts later/also discussed by Benkler, Weinberger, Kelly, and Shirky.
This is an amazing book by the 2005 Times top 100 and Editor of Wired magazine is 10 years old, however, it was a prophetic account of how the new business models of the information age are changing human society.
1- In the old model we were limited by geography in everything from local interests to products we consume, massive supply chains of the 20th century replaced that with mass production and national/global interests and products
2- supply chain models suffered a physical constraints of s
Boni Aditya
If there is no internet then there is no Long Tail - That could have summed up the book - The book contains various examples - all too well versed across the Internet eco system - The Itunes - The Ebay - The Amazon - The Google for Ads - The Netflix and yada yada yada....

This might be coming out only because I have seen the same examples referred to over and over again in a book that I have recently consumed "Free: The radical price of everything" where he uses the same examples. One striking ex
Isabella Roland
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives you a new way to think about the way we create products. Consumers want hyper specific content. Being a generalist is not a good idea when creating products. Selling your product to everyone is not the goal. "Everyone" is not your market. You need an ideal customer in mind. Bottlenecks like the cost to get into a business are going away. For example: anyone can not sell t-shirts on Amazon with no overhead. In the past I would have had to get a way to print the shirts, acquire the ...more
TL;DR: Meh. Read the review instead of the book.

Another one of those superficial magazine articles forced into books. 2.5/5 rounded down to 2 instead of rounding up because it fails in its grandiose claims though this would typically be a solid 3. No it doesn’t articulate anything not understood within the framework of conventional economics. It’s techno-optimistic in that uniquely Valley way - the author notably dismisses the concept of news bubbles in a sentence. Retrospectively, not one of h
Booth Babcock
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know a book (or in this case, the article the book is based on) is a big deal when a decade later, everyone assumes everyone always knew what the books discovered. In this case, writing in the mid-aughts, Anderson explains how the internet, distributed production, and changing tastes are transforming retail via the "long tail" phenomenon. Clearly and concisely written and persuasive - why not, almost everything he predicted came to pass over the following decade. Almost quaintly optimistic a ...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
“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.” 4 likes
More quotes…