January 22, 2009
eMusic data supports the Long Tail
Some time ago there was a study showing that of 13million tracks available on the Internet, 10 million hadn't sold at all. This, it was claimed, proved that the Long Tail theory was bunkum.
Chris Anderson, proud daddy of the Long Tail theory, has just highlighted another study, using eMusic sales data, showing that in fact 75% of eMusic's catalog had sold at least once in the past year. This, it is argued, proves that there IS a Long Tail of sales for music files on the Internet.
Putting aside the politics of this debate, while this is all good stuff, none of it is anywhere near conclusive. I tend to think that there is a Long Tail effect, that i is poorly understood, and that it is probably not nearly as useful as some of its proponents make out. Anderson himself is quite up-front about the Long Tail's limitations in his book.
I recommend everyone who is interested in business in the New Media environment should read Anderson's book.Posted by Hughie at January 22, 2009 4:34 PM