Long Tail

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Long Tail

The potential for online retailers to make more money than their bricks and mortar counterparts because there is virtually unlimited "shelf space" to offer products. Another key factor is that merchandise is offered via recommendations with links from one product to another so that people who purchase one item are encouraged to look at several others. Most notably, book, video and music sales, where there is a vast supply of product, have benefited significantly from this approach, exemplified by Amazon.com, Netflix and Rhapsody.

Less of More
Theorized by Wired Magazine editor Chris Anderson, who turned the notion into a book in 2006 titled "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More," the title refers to a graph showing fewer products selling in large quantities versus many more products that sell in low quantities. The low-quantity items stretch out on the x-axis of the graph, creating a very long tail that generates more revenue overall. Even though a smaller quantity of each item is sold, there is a much greater variety of these items to sell.

Anderson asserts that the Long Tail manifests in Google and eBay, which derive significant revenue because they deal with a huge number of customers. He also mentions blogs and wikis as benefactors of the Long Tail as more people contribute editorial material than ever before. For a most interesting exploration of this online phenomenon, read "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson (Hyperion, 2006, ISBN 1-4013-0237-8).


The Long Tail
When companies sell a large variety of products online, a graph of all products sold generates the long tail.
References in periodicals archive ?
The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of "hits" (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.
Companies like Google and Amazon have already used The Long Tail strategy, and today, BusyTrade is demonstrating another example of The Long Tail reflected in e-commerce.
He believes that future of libraries will be found within the long tail network.
By encouraging our publishers to consider becoming IAB members and joining the Long Tail Alliance, we're providing them with services and access which they might not otherwise have.
Washington, Mar 13 (ANI): The long tails sported by male birds in the tropics are often considered a distinct disadvantage because they lead to as much as a 50 percent greater energy loss when flying.
The logic of the Long Tail would lead us to the conclusion that no nation-state is immune from the possibility of being broken into smaller, more flexible, more accommodating jurisdictions, as populations begin to view ubiquitous choice, personalization, and individual empowerment as normal.
So the hit will survive, but the Long Tail can also thrive.
1/2 The Long Tail Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More By Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson is editor in chief of Wired Magazine: movies, books and music are only three of the industries radically changed by the Internet and The Long Tail describes this phenomenon.
That's the theory put forth by Christopher Anderson in his just-released book The Long Tail (Hyperion).
Quantcast's participation in the Self-Regulatory Program is an important catalyst for widespread adoption by the long tail publishing community," said Peter Kosmala, DAA's managing director.
Most SEO focuses only on the Short Tail, because the Long Tail is time consuming and expensive to optimize, but Long Tail searches have a much higher conversion rate.