Fireside Chat: The Long Tail Matt 22 Aug 2006

17 comments Latest by Jean-Baptiste Rudelle

[Fireside Chats are round table discussions conducted using Campfire.]

The Chatters
Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail and Editor of Wired
Dave Goldberg, General Manager of Yahoo Music
Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product Strategy at Yahoo
Tim Quirk, VP of Music Content and Programming at Rhapsody
(Moderated by Matt and Jason from 37signals)

Topic: The Long Tail
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” at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. In this chat, the participants discuss the impact of the tail, mass amateurization, the role of reviews/recommendations, and how, in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 people.

Sample quotes
Tim: “Underdogs have always had a voice. We’re just giving ‘em bigger speakers.”

Chris: “Punk rock was the first ‘democratization of music’. Enabling technology: the garage.”

Bradley: “Used to be that you had to earn the right to call yourself an author, photographer, etc. Now anyone with a [blank] is a [blank].”

Tim: “So in Rhapsody, a lot of times when we recommend 3 things, we actually already know you like the two on either side.”

Dave: “The only user reviews that are useful to me in music are from people who like exactly the same music.”

Chris: “Choice is only oppressive if you don’t have help making it.”

Tim: “Personally, I have less patience with professional, but mediocre, music than i do with terrible stuff played by wannabees who are doing it cuz they just want to express themselves.”

Chris: “It’s okay that the Long Tail is full of crap! Just filter the bad stuff so I don’t have to see it.”

Full transcript after the jump.

Matt
let’s start by hearing about what you guys actually do at your respective companies. what’s your job?
Chris
Ok, I’ll start. I’m Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine and the author of The Long Tail
Dave
I run Music at Yahoo
Tim
my business card says VP, Music Content and programming, which means I oversee the Rhapsody teams that touch music content in any way. Content Ops, label relations, and editorial.
Tim
It means I’m a writer with pretensions
Bradley
I am vp of product strategy at yahoo
Matt
And how does the long tail affect your company?
Tim
For Rhapsody, it means that no matter how many artists/albums/tracks we add, just about everything gets listened to by somebody.
Tim
sometimes lots of somebodies
Tim
sometimes just someone’s mom
Bradley
Yahoo’s a big company and it touches us in lots of places. We’ve long been about what people call "user generated content", so reducing the friction in content creation and distribution is a big part of what we’re about.
Matt
what do you mean by reducing the friction?
Bradley
Well, use your favorite buzzwords…
Bradley
"democratizing publishing"
Bradley
"mass amateurization"
Bradley
Used to be that you had to earn the right to call yourself an author, photographer, etc.
Bradley
now anyone with a ____ is a ____.
Bradley
camera -> photographer
Bradley
keyboard -> author
Bradley
iPod -> DJ
Bradley
etc
Matt
let’s get chris involved here…
Matt
are there specific things about these companies that you find interesting re: the long tail? things happening at yahoo or rhapsody that aren’t happening elsewhere?
Chris
Starting with Rhapsody, I think they’re doing a particularly good job in driving demand down the tail with good "filtering", ranging from editorial review to fine-granularity genres to recommendations.
Chris
As Bradley mentioned, Yahoo’s particularly good at peer-production tools, such as Flick, and free music services, such as music videos, that encourage exploration.
Matt
Bradley, you mentioned that Chris visited Yahoo recently. Was that to give a presentation? What was Yahoo hoping to learn from him?
Bradley
We’re big fans.
Bradley
We had Chris here last year as well.
Dave
Chris is a rock star in his own right
Bradley
I think Chris articulates a framework and gives vocabulary to many of the principles that the industry has been practicing in a more ad hoc way.
Bradley
It’s the expert "color commentary", that helps us better understand ourselves.
Matt
Speaking of rock stars, interesting sidenote: There’s a bevy of rockers in the room. The bands: Egoslavia (Chris), Spahn Ranch (Bradley), Too Much Joy/Wonderlick (Tim). Maybe Dave too?
Dave
Nope- no musical talent- I just get to work with lots of musicians, some with real talent and others hoping to find some
Chris
I’m thinking about starting a wiki to track ex rockers turned tech executives.
Bradley
Lets form a band. Dave can be our manager.
Bradley
Nice.
Matt
Heh.
Tim
TMJ’s bassist is an SVP on the new media side at a big radio company…
Matt
I think there’s something a little “rock ‘n roll” about the idea of the long tail. Giving more of a voice to the underdogs, outsiders, and little guys of the world.
Bradley
Most definitely, and all kidding aside.
Tim
Well, they’ve always had a voice, We’re just giving ‘em bigger speakers
Chris
Punk rock was the first "democratization of music". Enabling technology: the garage.
Matt
ha, the garage seems to be where bands and tech startups both begin. ; )
Bradley
We’ve been putting on Hack Days here at Yahoo…
Bradley
and it 100% harkens back to using the office copier to make flyers for the show…
Dave
Back to Chris’ point, Yahoo wants to enable consumers to get access to as much content as possible from as many sources as possible but then filter and contextualize it in a way that makes it relevant to you
Bradley
The democratization of creation.
Matt
what’s a hack day?
Bradley
it’s a day when people dismount the org chart
Bradley
and build something wonderful
Bradley
everyone at Yahoo has permission to set aside
Bradley
their day job and create…
Bradley
The Hacks range from the absurd to the sublime.
Bradley
on the absurd side..
Bradley
Cal Henderson from Flickr
Bradley
built something called "Backyard Wars"
Bradley
(Backyard is our intranet)
Bradley
this showed two pictures
Bradley
a la "hot or not"
Bradley
the two individuals had a reporting structure
Bradley
but you didn’t know who was whom’s boss!
Bradley
so you guessed
Bradley
and then the system said "’these people should be promoted / demoted" accordingly… because they looked managerial (or not.)
Matt
"Who’s the boss?"
Matt
(minus tony danza)
Bradley
exactly
Jason
Isn’t it a shame people have to "dismount the org chart" to build something wonderful? Why not make that the rule, not the exception?
Jason
(slightly off topic, I know)
Dave
The old media model (particularly radio and television) was about push and Rhapsody and Yahoo are about pull with help. The long tail doesn’t make sense if you are going to push the same things to everyone
Tim
Actually, I’d say Rhapsody has push and pull in it — there’s not just one way you want to experience emusic.
Tim
Sometimes you just wanna push a button and have all the work done for you
Tim
…other days you want to build the perfect playlist
Chris
"One size filter doesn’t fit all"
Dave
I agree with you Tim- we have both as well- it is a complete continuum in digital music between push and pull- the old world was only listen to a radio station or listen to this CD
Tim
So we try to provide a range of tools, all of which hopefully learn enough about you to always be floating something new and/or interesting to you
Chris
What you want when you’re first exploring a genre isn’t necessarily what you want when you’re looking for new stuff in a genre you already know well.
Bradley
I am actually in love with Flickr "interestingness." I think it does a great job of solving the problem of discovery. In a world where "anyone can say anything", search alone doesn’t really provide enough value.
Bradley
Therein lies the opportunity IMHO.
Matt
How much conflict is there between the long tail and the paradox of choice that Barry Schwartz talks about? Can filters, tastemakers, and recommendation engines really reduce all this stuff to a manageable level?
Matt
How do you keep people from being overwhelmed?
Dave
I think we need to make it easier still
Tim
Absolutely, though the chaos is part of the fun
Dave
but the younger you are, the more likely you are to want more control
Chris
I address this in a chapter, but basically choice is only oppressive if you don’t have help making it. Imagine the Web without Google and Yahoo
Dave
Music is also different than other media forms in that it is more binary
Matt
how so?
Dave
people either love a song or hate it with very little in between
Tim
The original, P2P Napster had a paralyzing effect on a lot of people after a few days of going crazy with it
Tim
you knew there was more music out there to be had, but if you couldn’t think of what to type in the search box. it was very frustrating
Chris
One of the key lessons is that you need to have *both* ends of the curve. Start with the familiar hits and then use recommendation and other filters to find the niches based on expressed taste
Tim
Chris is spot on. We learned this with our classic rock vault station
Tim
It had tons of great tunes that had fallen out of the canon
Tim
but average listening times weren’t as high as we’d expected
Tim
so we started fiddling with the playlist, sandwiching the forgotten tracks in between more well known stuff
Tim
and listening times shot up
Tim
but if we *started* with The Small Faces, people clicked away
Tim
So in Rhapsody, a lot of times when we recommend 3 things, we actually already know you like the two on either side
Tim
and it’s the one in the middle we want to turn you on to. The other 2 gain your trust.
Matt
so people want the familiar stuff mixed in with the rarities.
Dave
Narrative is different- I will sit through a few bad minutes of video or a bad chapter in a book but continue with the experience in the hope it will get better. If you know you don’t like Metallica, you don’t need to hope it gets better
Dave
I think video, writing and photos have a longer tail with more consumption than music
Dave
No offense but most unsigned bands are very bad and consumers are not interested in them
Tim
A lot of signed bands are very bad
Chris
I agree with Dave. The rise of the blogosphere as the Long Tail of media is a very big deal.
Chris
In writing, people often want a narrow-targeted focus that commercial media can’t scale down to
Dave
However, writing, video and photos can be good coming from amateurs
Bradley
fortunately, the bad musicians can take up jobs as tech execs.
Tim
Personally, I have less patience with professional, but mediocre, music than i do with terrible stuff played by wannabes who are doing it cuz they just want to express themselves
Dave
I think the user gen video content will not replace "24" and "Lost" but certainly can be entertaining and informative.
Chris
It’s okay that the Long Tail is full of crap! Just filter the bad stuff so I don’t have to see it.
Bradley
Amen, brother Anderson!
Tim
Before Rhapsody, our motto at listen.com was, "we listen to shit so you don’t have to."
Tim
unofficial motto, that is
Chris
;-)
Dave
agreed- just saying there is more likely to be better results from a filter of the other content than music
Bradley
There’s an interesting social overlay on this
Bradley
that we see in Flickr
Bradley
it’s not about "crap" or "not"…
Bradley
One man’s crap, is another man’s treasure.
Bradley
I want to see pictures of my brother’s kid…
Bradley
but not of every kid in Flickr.
Bradley
So the "audience" is dictated not necessarily by quality
Bradley
but by context as well…
Tim
Well, the most popular stuff in our service is all pretty slickly produced
Tim
but yes, I have been pleasantly surprised with how adventurous folks seem to be after they listen to the pop hits
Tim
everyone goes off in a different direction
Chris
I think the rise of user-generated content is invariably going to be messy. Nobody cares if every tag is relevant as long as some of them are.
Matt
Tim, how important is the editorial guidance vs. the recommendation engines?
Tim
Who says they’re different?
Tim
Our recommendation engine is built on top of subjective editorial decisions
Dave
I think production quality for all user gen media is on very steep positive trend upward
Dave
Creative quality is a different story
Matt
"Our recommendation engine is built on top of subjective editorial decisions" …how’s that work?
Tim
It works like this: when we build an algorithm that’s going to make recommendations, we base it on connections that subjective human beings (our editors) have drawn between artists, albums, tracks, and genres
Tim
Also, our general approach is that, when we have to run an algorithm on large batches of material, we then go in and hand-polish as many of the results as we can to make them as perfect as possible
Matt
I’m curious, when you personally shop for products, how often do you use filtering like “Customers who bought this item also bought…”?
Jason
I glance at it but I rarely follow it. I do think it helps me frame the current product I’m looking at though.
Chris
I find that quite useful, because it addresses my expressed interests of the moment. By contrast I don’t find the greeting recommendations useful, because they’re built on my interests in the past.
Dave
It works very well in music- and I personally use it a lot in shopping to broaden my consideration set before purchase
Dave
We use our ratings database as one filter in music
Dave
however, we also allow you to find other users who can help you more directly tap into what you are looking for
Dave
so if I know that Chris is a punk expert and I am looking for new punk music
Dave
I can tap into his much deeper knowledge base directly and try some new music out.
Dave
And I don’t have to ask him directly or even know him to do this.
Chris
Tim, are you going to allow user-generated reviews on Rhapsody?
Tim
Eventually, sure. But probably off in their own area, so anyone who wants to read ‘em can, and others can avoid
Tim
It’s really tough to prevent things like that from degenerating into "eminem sux!" "no, you suck!@!!!"
Tim
And I’m personally a little leery of the falsely-authoritative wiki approach, though it obviously has a lot of benefits that outweigh my puny concerns
Chris
For The Record: I was more New Wave than Punk. Sadly, that’s actually more embarrassing.
Dave
We think user tags are good for music but we find written music reviews, whether from our editors or from fans, to have little value add
Tim
That’s interesting to me, dave. In the downsizing days, i saved a lot of my editors’ jobs by demonstrating how much more they did than just write, and actually deprioritized writing for a while. But users (and even execs) found that they missed the blurbs, and wanted more
Tim
So we’ve actually wound up *increasing* the amount of typing we do
Tim
In a subscription environment, context is supremely important
Dave
We actually think of them more as programmers who read the tea leaves of what users are listening to and then figure out how to get more of what tastemakers like to a larger group.
Dave
What I describe as smart push or assisted pull
Tim
With so much material, you need info about what you’re listening to, or what you might listen to.
Matt
Chris, we usually hear about the long tail in terms of big companies like yahoo and rhapsody. a lot of our readers are smaller companies, entrepreneurs, etc. how do these ideas apply to them?
Chris
Right now, most of the opportunity for the little guys is on the producer side (get aggregated by big companies like these two, or by someone like Amazon or eBay). But I do think we’ll eventually see a long tail of content aggregators, just as we see a long tail of search in the form of vertical search (with different companies dominating different verticals)
Chris
Do you guys think that Amazon’s reviews are also of little value? Or, if not, what are they doing right?
Dave
I think reviews are great for narrative
Dave
books, movies, TV
Dave
Just doesn’t work for music
Tim
I like Amazon’s user product reviews a lot — they help me choose which of two toaster ovens to buy, for instance. I don’t pay too much attention to media reviews on there.
Tim
Although it’s fun to watch creationists try to debunk any books on evolution…
Chris
My concern is that professional reviews don’t scale down to the long tail. There’s just too much music out there to keep up with. Only peer-production can get to all of it.
Dave
Chris, I think even user reviews would become just noise
Chris
"One man’s noise is another man’s signal"
Dave
The only user reviews that are useful to me in music are from people who like exactly the same music I do
Tim
It’s maybe important to note that we don’t exactly "review" music in Rhapsody — we provide context. Hopefully witty and engaging context, but it’s not a thumbs up/thumbs down approach
Bradley
I think Dave hits upon an important point.
Bradley
We’re discovering in systems like Y! Answers
Bradley
that *reputation* becomes increasingly important…
Matt
Chris, tell me more about this long tail of content aggregators. any examples in mind?
Chris
Well, we’re starting to see vertical Digg clones. We just started one, called Lipstick, that’s focused on fashion and celebrities. I can imagine thousands of those..
Tim
I could name a dozen already…
Chris
Tim/Dave: can you imagine vertical music sites? On Classical or Jazz?
Dave
I think maybe in classical because it is such a different set of problems to solve
Tim
Rhapsody had a classical and a jazz version when we first launched, but it turns out most folks want everything, even if 98% of their time is going to be spent in just one genre
Dave
In general, vertical music sites don’t work because people’s taste are very diverse and since there is little reason for us or Rhapsody to exclude someone, it is easier to use our services
Chris
Perhaps you guys could white label your technology for verticals….
Bradley
I’d like to ask a question of Chris…
Bradley
Chris -
Bradley
What is the impact of "intrinsic value" with respect to the long tail?
Bradley
And by this I mean…
Bradley
Mission Impossible 3 cost a lot of money to produce…
Bradley
Whereas Al Gore at a podium… not so much.
Bradley
Is media consumption entirely market driven, "it’s worth what someone will pay for it"…
Bradley
or is "what someone will pay for it" somewhat infected by their a priori notions of what it is "objectively" worth..
Bradley
Or in other words, I could foresee spending some of my attention watching a skateboarding dog on YouTube…
Bradley
But damned if I’d ever consciously reach into my wallet and pay for a skateboarding dog video…
Tim
Along those lines, I want to know why people have no problem paying 2 or 3 dollars for a ringtone that isn’t an entire song, but balk at paying a buck for the actual song itself.
Jason
"I want to know why people have no problem paying 2 or 3 dollars for a ringtone that isn’t an entire song, but balk at paying a buck for the actual song itself." — I think it’s because they know one option for the song is to steal it (read: free), while there are no other options for the ring tones.
Jason
If people pirated ring tones like they pirate music no one would be paying $2 or $3 for a ringtone. Plus, a lot of ringtones are tied to a closed device in one way or another so they can’t flow freely like MP3s can.
Chris
I think you have to ask how much of the cost in making blockbusters turned into consumer benefit. The $50m in marketing? Not so much. Tom Cruise? Hmm. The special effects, script, other talented filmmaking. A lot. My sense is that the intrinsic value of the movies is more than the speech, but not as much more as their budgets imply.
Bradley
Totally agree.
Bradley
I am very curious to see what happens with the cultural artifact of "celebrity" in light of the long tail.
Chris
Bradley, it’s a good question, but fortunately the marketplace can answer it. Money is just one scarcity function; time (which can be turned into money through advertising) is another.
Bradley
Agree mostly Chris.
Chris
As for music, I think the market is shifting to one more like other media, which is free-to-air and monetized in other ways. Concert ticket sales have doubled over the past five years even as music sales are flat-to-down.
Bradley
I’d love to see things flatten out.
Matt
With the long tail, more artists will start to see money for their work — but not enough to make a living off it…
Matt
That money is coming out of the pockets of full-time artists though. Does the long-tail mean it will actually become more difficult to make a career out of being a musician, author, etc.?
Matt
(or is there some sort of trickle-down theory here where the pie will get bigger and everyone will make more $)
Tim
On the contrary, I’m making more money from my music now than i ever did as a full time musician signed to warner
Tim
And tv/movies/commercials are licensing ever more obscure acts
Tim
I just got back from ireland, where the best musicians in the world play for free nightly in pubs (they even have to buy their own drinks).
Tim
They just do it for respect. Like Chris says, of 15 people..
Matt
As money moves to what chris calls the onesies and twosies, it moves away from career artists though. doesn’t it?
Chris
I think we’re going to have more celebrities, but also "smaller" ones. "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 people." [quote from Scottish artist Momus]
Matt
that’s a great quote
Chris
The big career artists make most of their money from touring already.
Chris
My guess is that it will be easier to make a career as an artist, but only if you can make money from something other than selling the primary product.
Tim
Matt, why do you think it’s going to be harder to make a living making music? Because of all the clutter you have to rise above?
Bradley
I think Matt’s question is really valid.
Bradley
It’s not just about clutter
Bradley
It’s that when your selling "less of more", is the "less" enough $ to put food on the table for the "more".
Matt
i just think people have a certain amount of time/$ to spend on music. as that goes to smaller artists, it means it’s tougher to make enough money to live off by selling music.
Matt
1,000 people getting $100 each as opposed to 1 person getting $40,000.
Bradley
right
Matt
(my math’s bad but ya get the point i think)
Chris
Most artists aren’t expecting to quit their day job.
Chris
(and that’s a good thing, too)
Tim
I think it’s more like 10,000 people getting $10,000 each, rather than 1 person getting $10 million
Tim
Back to ireland, my contention has always been that musicians make music regardless of if/how/when they’ll get paid
Tim
And suddenly there’s actually ways for money to come their way that don’t require a series of middlemen to intercept it all
Chris
We can now define "artist" so expansively. It’s basically anybody who creates, and increasingly that’s most of us, one way or another.
Chris
Dave, how long can you extend the tail of music? Does it make economic sense to go to 10m tracks?
Dave
Can’t hurt to go to 10 mm
Dave
but not needed
Matt
Chris, what’s the best question you’ve been asked while promoting the book?
Chris
People are really worried about the loss of "common culture" and the fear that it’s going to lead to a polarized world like the political blogosphere
Matt
is that a valid fear?
Chris
I don’t think so, partly because politics is already so polarized and angry and partly because we have so many interests that I expect our many "’tribes of affinity" will expose us to more voices and points of view, not fewer.
Chris
But I’m an optimist;-)

17 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Paul Mabray 22 Aug 06

proof of the long tail with wine - http://blog.inertiabev.com/index.php?entry=entry060710-234654

Bob 22 Aug 06

I noticed ringtones mentioned in the discussion. Getting ringtones for free is amazingly easy: most phones support common audio formats such as MIDI and MP3.

Most geeks would put an MP3 or MIDI on their phone, and wonder why people pay. Most non-technical people simply aren’t aware this is possible, and the mechanisms for buying ringtones via phone, SMS or web are really simple. Since it’s simple, no one really thinks about it.

Perhaps there’s a lesson there: i.e., what if record companies had seen the need for digital music before Napster came along?

Maria making pictures 22 Aug 06

The long tail theory is very interesting.
I guess it was based on a scientific research or some kind of deterministic forumla which proves the theory. Less super stars would be great anyway.

Thank you for sharing this theory with me !

Anonymous Coward 22 Aug 06

By Zeus, if one more person says “viral”, I’m going to kill them.

The Colonel 22 Aug 06

Anonymous Coward,

Who said viral?

Lovingly yours,
The Colonel

Mark 22 Aug 06

These Fireside chats are interesting, but I find them hard to read because of the length and the fact they are restricted to a relatively small column.

It’d be much cooler as a podcast, but of course, that would go against the marketing and the use of the tool in general.

Then again, though, the way it’s being presented here (all at once and static) isn’t the way the product works either — if we’re going to go with the line of reasoning that it’s better to show folks reality instead of wireframes and mock-ups.

So here’s a thought…

Would it be possible to capture the conversation as it occurs and then record it to video? That way we could follow along with the action as it occurs, having the same experience as those involved, while giving us a lot less burden to read.

Just a thought.

Sam 22 Aug 06

record it to video?

Quite possibly the most boring thing you can ever do is watch others type. *smacks head on table*

these are really cool though, I’ve enjoyed all of them. I would love to see a conversation with 1) one of the django guys, 2) michael bierut, or 3) merlin mann

Mark 22 Aug 06

I don’t know Sam —

Reading an article on the long tail in a format of more than 3,700 words spread across what amounts to about 360 paragraphs in a 4” wide column ranks right up there.

And no, I don’t want to watch anyone literally type either. All I’m suggesting is that there has to be a better way to present this. Breaking up the text, and giving us an experience more like the reality (but “better”, I guess) is one idea.

Des Traynor 22 Aug 06

I kind of agree with Mark. There is a reason that books aren’t printed on receipts. It’s too much text in too narrow an area. I’d like to read it in the original Campfire style, I don’t mind catching up with long conversations in that manner.

Hubris Sonic 22 Aug 06

I think the polarization of the political blogs merely reflect the current political situation, i wouldnt read too much into it.

Chris Blood 23 Aug 06

I really liked the discussion of user-generated reviews. With music, they do tend to degenerate into … well, garbage. But I have a pretty good natural filter for that, and I suspect most people do.

I’ll rarely look at these reviews if I’m buying a CD from a band I know I like, even if I’m not sure I’ll like the CD. And they won’t convince me to buy a CD from a band I know I’ll hate. But they are exceptionally useful when you’re checking out a new band, with five or six CDs, and you want a sense of what you might like most, or find most accessible as a newcomer. Even without a review-ratings system, you can scan for keywords: maybe you’ll find something described as “funky” more desirable than “soulful,” or whatever. So I sort of skim them as though they were tags, but then find more value in the surrounding review in terms of evaluating whether I’m likely to agree with this person.

Thanks for the chat!

James Wheare 23 Aug 06

I’d love to see a chat with Paul Graham,. His essays are some of the most inspiring writing I’ve read in a while. He was talking about Web 2.0 more than 5 years ago…

Jameson 25 Aug 06

The text on this page is much closer to the column width of a book than a receipt. It only seems like a receipt relative to the width of your browser window (if you allow that width to stand in for the “book,” and scale down). You might not find it uncomfortable to read this conversation at 700px wide or more, but most of us would. Especially since at that width most of it would be one or one and a half lines at a time — very easy to lose your place.

Not that this should be the focus of the comments; I’m always astonished at the minutiae people will get critical about on SvN. (I guess it proves you’re doing a lot of stuff right if the only stuff people can pick on is miniscule!) This was a very interesting chat, and something that concerns us all. We’re all consumers, and a rapidly increasing number of us are becoming producers as well. So even if we don’t work at Rhapsody, we can find a lot value in this sort of discussion. Well moderated. Well done. Thanks!

Jen 25 Aug 06

An analysis of the Long Tail and lesser-known artists:

http://digitalaudioinsider.blogspot.com/2006/08/bandwidth-thoughts-part-1.html

Joseph Ferrara.sellsius 03 Sep 06

A few questions

1. Is it true that no one has defined exactly where the long tail begins?
2. Does Pareto’s Principle support the proposition that the long tail is only 20% of the total market?
3. At the time of the study, did Amazon get 40% of its total sales from Affiliates?
4. Did Wal-mart sell more music CDs than any long tailer, despite it having a limited inventory?
5. IS Nextflix’s success more a function of it being a First Mover, than a long tail seller.

Thanks to anyone who may answer.

Jean-Baptiste Rudelle 14 Sep 06

Great post!
According to many user feedbacks I collected, the future challenge of Long Tail lies into personalized filtering. There is just too much to grasp in the tail, and without relevant filtering, users get often lost. Especially those who don’t have a clear idea of what they are looking for.

Jean-Baptiste Rudelle 14 Sep 06

Great post!
According to many user feedbacks I collected, the future challenge of Long Tail lies into personalized filtering. There is just too much to grasp in the tail, and without relevant filtering, users get often lost. Especially those who don’t have a clear idea of what they are looking for.

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