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

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About the Author:
Chris Anderson is editor in chief of Wired magazine. He was U.S. business editor at The Economist

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

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Overview


About the Author:
Chris Anderson is editor in chief of Wired magazine. He was U.S. business editor at The Economist

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What People Are Saying


Anyone who cares about media...must read this book. --Rob Glaser, CEO, RealNetworks

The Long Tail is a book for the Head -- provocative and insightful. It belongs on your shelf between Tipping Point and Freakonomics, offering great insight into the next generation of internet revolution and opportunity. --Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix

The Long Tail is a rare achievement: it takes something seemingly familiar -- the realm of buying and selling -- and makes us think about it in a completely new way. This is a remarkably smart book, and also a refreshingly optimistic look at the new rules of a world in which everyone can find something different to enjoy. --James Suroweicki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds

Of all the books about the revolution that the new economy is, this is the first to deliver on the promise. Anderson maps as compellingly as anyone could just what is different, and critically important about the world digital technologies has created. There isn't an economy here. There are economies. Understanding them, and how they flourish, is the key to sensible policy and successful business. Wipe the shelf clear of new economy books. This is all you'll need. --Larry Lessig, professor, Stanford Law School; chairman, Creative Commons

The Long Tail catches the world’s economy at a fundamental nexus of change. Blockbuster models, Pareto’s Law, ever-shortening life cycles, rock star dependencies—all are receding in relevance and importance. In their place a new Internet-enabled economy is embracing more collaborative, participative, and idiosyncratic offerings, and knocking the Old Guard on its backside in the process. Chris Anderson depicts the emerging dynamics of this new world with insight, wit, and style, so put this book atop the rest of your bedside reading and enjoy. --Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm

The Long Tail breaks fundamentally new ground in economics. Chris Anderson takes the reader into a new world of buyers and sellers connected at the outer edges of demand and literally proves that there is a market for almost anything. Engaging, insightful, useful, stories well told, The Long Tail is one of those books that leads the reader to a new view of how the world works. --Peter Schwartz, chairman of the Global Business Network and author of The Art of the Long View

Chris Anderson's timing with the "Long Tail" concept is absolutely perfect. The combination of Internet penetration with the expansion of global online markets has opened up opportunities that few could have ever imagined. --Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google

I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I was by The Long Tail. It very clearly articulated something that I believe strongly -– electronic distribution of content and access to vast libraries will open up major new businesses and amazing user experiences. --Howard Look, former VP, TiVo

If you haven’t already read The Long Tail, you’d better –- it’s the new Tipping Point. Chris has crafted a very unique view of how the Web is driving new purchasing behaviors and marketing phenomena. This is actually incredibly stimulating as a notion for all marketers. --Andy Lark, former CEO, Sun Microsystems
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401308605
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 7/11/2006
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he's held since 2001. In 2002 and 2004, he led the magazine to a 2002 National Magazine Awards nomination for General Excellence. He has worked at The Economist, where he served as U.S. Business Editor. His career began at the two premier science journals, Science and Nature, where he served in several editorial capacities. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from George Washington University and studied Quantum Mechanics and Science Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
The Long Tail     15
The Rise and Fall of the Hit     27
A Short History of the Long Tail     41
The Three Forces of the Long Tail     52
The New Producers     58
The New Markets     85
The New Tastemakers     98
Long Tail Economics     125
The Short Head     147
The Paradise of Choice     168
Niche Culture     177
The Infinite Screen     192
Beyond Entertainment     201
Long Tail Rules     217
The Long Tail of Marketing     225
Coda: Tomorrow's Tail     247
Epilogue     249
Notes on Sources and Further Reading     255
Index     259
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 233 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(46)

4 Star

(61)

3 Star

(55)

2 Star

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1 Star

(40)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 233 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 28, 2010

    The way of the future

    The long tail is a thorough research study. I found it to be a facinating look into the future. Very well written and relative to all of those who are interested in how the internet has changed the way we view the worlds economy.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Read Anderson's Blog Instead

    Author Chris Anderson expanded upon an article he wrote for Wired Magazine in 2004 explaining the power of the niche market. "The Long Tail", revised in 2008 to include a chapter on marketing, continues on to talk about the "end of the hit" and how things work in the new world on online retailing where niche markets demand, as Anderson says, "a new kind of hit". The beginning half of the book, Anderson relates how the world has changed in that summer blockbuster movies, music and book sales in physical stores no longer create the majority of sales. The rise of online retailing has brought customers more choices and has allowed for content which may never have been promoted in the "old" days of manufactured hits to become popular. For example, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series may not have been published twenty years ago. Meyer, a stay at home mom, submitted her manuscript to various publishing houses where it sat for years before a small company picked it up.
    Although Anderson provides many examples where he sees long tails of product variety in industries ranging from television programs to college sports, the book is extremely repetitive. Readers can save time by reading Anderson's five page Wired article or his blog rather than spending time reading 250 pages of the same material. I would recommend reading Chapter 15, "The Long Tail of Marketing" for business students or small business owners at the beginning phases of marketing their products online.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An intriguing and insightful book

    Chris Anderson is an editor-in-chief of the Wired magazine, and the eponymous article 'The Long Tail' appeared in that magazine a couple of years ago. This has been one of the most influential and read articles about the 'new economy', and rightfully so. In a few succinct principles it describes and explains the essential aspect of the several new successful business models, including Google, Amazon, eBay, Netflix, to name just a few. The basic mechanisms behind the model, however, have been around for a long time, but the advent of the Internet has spurred it on to previously unimaginable successes. This book builds on the arguments from the original article, and adds the material from Chris's blog. It's highly informative, yet eminently accessible and readable. A warning is in order, however: after reading the book you might start seeing long tails in all sorts of places. Consider yourself warned.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2010

    Turn the old economics on it's ear.

    This book will give a headsup to anyone wishing to use the Internet. The new reality is that there is a market for anything in this world and this book will show you!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 24, 2010

    Good content, but repetitive

    There is good content in this book, no question. However, as previously mentioned in another review, the amount of times the same ideas are repeated makes it tough to sit through.

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  • Posted August 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Insightful information that makes the complicated understandable!

    You have to read it to understand it. In short, it explains why online selling can be succerssful without selling the main items in a category. You begin to wonder if the shift will close big box stores? Will people bypass renting DVDs or buying CDs? The future is digital!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic tale - inventive narrative

    Everyone knows the basics of this classic tale - one of the original vampire stories. However, the originality of the method of telling the tale is what should beckon those who haven't read Stoker's version.

    The tale is told through a series of intertwining glimpses of individual journals and notebooks written primarily from the perspective of five of the main characters in the story (non of which is Dracula himself). Mixed into this combination are a number of newpaper articles and other "third-party" sources to fill out the narrative.

    Given the date of publication, the reader will not find the "shock value" that seems to be the stock-in-trade of today's horror genre, but the chill-factor remains. All-in-all this is a familiar tale told in a very unique and entertaining manner.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Repetitive and boring

    After the first chapter I thought this was going to be a great book. But I have read 2/3 of it and it says the same over and over again. Its uninteresting and the way the book is written is awful. Chris Anderson could have expressed the same idea in 30 pages instead of 250

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    A Great Book!

    The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson provides an overview of the purchasing pattern that has emerged with online retailers offering an abundant selection of material. A good example of this pattern is that according to Anderson, every track on iTunes has been downloaded at least once. Traditional stores can only carry so many products due to space limitations, but with stores and other retailers offering huge selections online, customers can almost always find what they are looking for. As Anderson says, ¿Bottom line: A Long Tail is just culture unfiltered by economic scarcity.¿<BR/>One of the reasons I liked the book was because Anderson showed numerous other examples of where the Long Tail can be applied to other industries. In addition he provided a detailed history of the Long Tail¿s routes. He says that ¿the true roots of the Long Tail and unlimited shelf space go back to the late nineteenth century and the first giant centralized warehouses¿near the junctions of railways lines in the American Midwest.¿<BR/><BR/>The one section of the book that I liked the most with respect to a current event in technology was the chapter entitled ¿The New Producers: Never Underestimate the Power of A Million Amateurs with Keys to the Factory.¿ In this section, Anderson shows the effects of technologies such as Wikipedia that enable literally anyone to contribute to this Long Tail right from their home computer.<BR/><BR/>One of my criticisms of the book is that Anderson didn¿t spend very much time discussing industries and goods without Long Tails. One of the things that the Long Tail relies on is highly differentiated products which can cause small niches to develop. Therefore, in industries with very homogeneous products it is harder for a long tail to develop.<BR/><BR/>Overall, it was a very good book and I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book explains how small businesses can be successful using the internet to sell their products and services. This is because of what the title alludes to, which is 'The Long Tail.' The long tail shows how business is no longer concerned with just 'hits,' because of the massive interest that niche products can have. This long tail of interest can provide more income than the hits used to because the audience for a retail website is the entire world. This book is good because it uses relatable examples and stories that anyone can identify with and understand. Rather than use a bunch of dry statistics, the author find companies that are using the long tail to succeed and he talks to them. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning how small businesses can thrive in the new economy that lets small companies with niche products reach interested customers around the world. If you're interested in this book, I would recommend reading 'Small is the New Big' by Seth Godin. In it, he talk about marketing in the internet age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2006

    A witty look at the ways cyberspace rewrites retailing's rules

    Does the modern world of online markets make you feel like Rip Van Winkle, who awoke from a 20-year nap to find a changed society? Author Chris Anderson has your wake-up call. With hard facts, charts and numbers, plus futuristic insights, Anderson decodes the mysteries of online marketing, Internet-based commerce and other New Age economic realities. His calculations, public feedback and extensive research offer more than just statistics for the sake of proving his point: Online retailing has a long reach into niche markets. This gives its products longevity that stores with finite shelf space can¿t match, no matter how much steam they get from short-lived, blockbuster products. Anderson credibly explains the decline in box office sales and the rise of niche companies such as Netflix and iTunes. Despite a few redundancies (he believes in thorough explanations), keep on reading. You won¿t mind: the text is a pleasure, written with wit, style and expertise. We recommend it to Luddites, old school business operators, anyone in entertainment or retail, and New Age Internet-based marketers (although you probably already know just how long this tail can be).

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