The Long Tail Book Report

Pages: 5 (1310 words) Published: March 18, 2016
The Long Tail Book Report
The definition of "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson is that the more a society advances, the more companies will expand the diversity of their products to cater to specific groups of people instead of turning to the popular 'hits' as the only product. And as more products become available, people's taste will expand creating more markets. As the book quotes Kevin Laws for saying, "The biggest money is in the smallest sales" (Anderson 23), meaning that there are a huge amount of niche markets that can be tapped into providing for a profitable sale plan. We can see these developments pretty easily when we look at both the popular genres in different times, as well as technological companies that have had a huge role on the Internet and the music people access. One major historic development that complies with the idea of "The Long Tail" is online booksellers, or online sellers in general. The book talks about how Into Thin Air's publicized release rebooted the sales of previously released Touching The Void. A large part for that was the ability for online stores like amazon allowing customer reviews, for people to compare and admire both books. With that, online sellers also have access to "infinite shelf space with real-time information about buying trends and public opinion" (Anderson 16). Another historic development is the ability to stream online. With Rhapsody as the books example, people began downloading songs far less, but the number of total songs being heard grew astronomically through these types of companies.

The three forces of the Long Tail are: Democratize Productions, Democratize Distribution, and Connect Supply and Demand. Democratizing production is giving people the means to 'produce' their own product. As I look at my doc on the bottom of my computer screen, I see GarageBand, iMovie, and Photoshop. Each of those programs enables me to create a piece of work, thus democratizing production. Democratizing Distribution companies that follow the long tail and utilize large distribution practices like "Amazon, eBay, iTunes, Netflix" (Anderson 57). 'Connect Supply and Demand' is using "filters" to create recommendations and suggestions to users of a given service. When you go on eBay for instance, the homepage always recommends items based on your previous searches/purchases.

The five business aggregator categories are: physical goods, digital goods, advertising/services, information, and communities/user-created content. A physical goods aggregator is something like Etsy or Amazon, because these companies sell physical items. A digital goods company would be something like Spotify because it releases only digital products. A website like would be considered an advertising service because it just lists cars for others to find. Yahoo is a great example of an information business aggregator because its sole purpose is to provide its users with information. A current superpower in the communities business aggregator sector is Facebook. Facebook is the base of millions to actively communicate with one another through pictures and chats.

Pre-filters and post-filters are both used by companies to inform a business of what a customer might want to buy based on many different filters such as their gender, location, or age. Pre-filters are the market deciders in a sense; these filters screen through products before they become available to the market to see which products are worth selling or discovering the how difficult it may be to sell a given item. A news station would use pre-filters heavily, because they want to determine what kinds of stories the people want to hear. If they reported on every news event they could without filtering, ratings would plummet for that particular station. A post-filter is a filter that uses people's data to cater more specified search results to that person. For example, if I Google 'Scholar's Inn' in Bloomington, Indiana, my first...
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