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The Long Tail

Chris Anderson

The Long Tail

by Chris Anderson

The Long Tail

Chris Anderson

5 min
3 key insights
Visual, audio & text

The Long Tail explains why the big commercial hit is dead, how businesses will generate most of their future revenue from a long tail of niche products, and what we can do to embrace this idea today.

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The Long Tail

by Chris Anderson

The Long Tail

Chris Anderson

Overview

Are you familiar with the 80/20 principle? The principle suggests that, in almost all areas, 20% of the input gets you 80% of the results. For example, 20% of the material will get you 80% of the points in an exam, just like 20% of your study time will be where you learn 80% of what you set out to memorize.

It's also a very prevalent notion in business, one that Chris Anderson, editor of WIRED magazine from 2004-2012, thoroughly embraced – until he found out that he was wrong. Doing a pop quiz at an early music streaming service, Anderson guessed that of their top 10,000 tracks, only 20% would be played in any given month – but it turned out to be 99%. This sudden revelation turned into an article in WIRED magazine, which then turned into The Long Tail.

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"Up until now, the focus has been on dozens of markets of millions, instead of millions of markets of dozens."

Chris Anderson

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The Long Tail

Chris Anderson

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