by Chris Anderson
The Long Tail is a jubilant journey through the world of niche markets that are collectively and perpetually dominating historically recognized, "hits."
For example, Anderson points out in the 1990s you hand a handful of musical and cinematic "hits" that dominated the tops of celebrated popularity charts.
Today, however, the financial and popularity-based success of modern "hits" are not nearly as successful as they were, which is independent of changes in market, and economy. The difference has been access, and product diversity made common-place by the emergence of the internet.
The reason modern hits are no longer as successful as their predecessors, according to Anderson, is because of the wide selection of everything, from music, movies, service providers and tea, thanks to the the internet, and widespread participation.
For example, in 1995, a 19-year old had a few rows of CDs at a local Sam Goody, The Wall, F.Y.E. or House of Music (all out of business today) to choose from; today, a 19 year old has a choice of millions of bands and albums that are independent of music stores, record deals and even professional recording equipment.
Today, people can easily buy the hits of today, as well as download punk rock music from an African band on iTunes, watch a 15 year old boy covering Nirvana with spoons on YouTube and listen to an abundance of seemingly unpopular and unsigned artists record labels can't economically serve.
Today, a ten-year old kid can film a 2 minute video that goes viral and reaches 300 million people in 4 days. As a result, there is less attention and less need for the "hits" people used to rely on for entertainment.
Moreover, this long tail described by Anderson has other far reaching examples that extend into finance, business, politics, sex, culture, cuisine, and... you name it!
The bottom line is Chris Anderson has simplified the vast opportunities of niche products, and markets, and has paved a very informative, detailed and entertaining road map for you to seize this wisdom, and capitalize from its direct application.
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