Selection of books

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More

Chris Anderson


In the most important business book since The Tipping Point, Chris Anderson shows how the future of commerce and culture isn't in hits, the high-volume head of a traditional demand curve, but in what used to be regarded as misses - the endlessly long tail of that same curve.

Our world is being transformed by the Internet and the near limitless choice that it provides to consumers; tomorrow's markets belong to those who can take advantage of this. The Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance, an entirely new model for business that is just starting to show its power as unlimited selection reveals new truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it. The record business has been transformed by iTunes and Rhapsody; a similar transformation is coming to just about every industry imaginable.

What happens when everything in the world becomes available to everyone? When the combined value of all the millions of items that may sell only a few copies equals or exceeds the value of the few items that sell millions each? When a bunch of kids with no profit motive can record a song or make a video and get the same electronic distribution for it as the most powerful corporation?

Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, first explored "the long tail" in an article that has become one of the most influential business essays of our time. Using the worlds of movies, books, and music, he showed how the Internet has made possible a new world in which the combined value of modest sellers and quirky titles equals the sales of the top hits. He coined the term "the long tail" to describe this phenomenon, a phrase that's since appeared in board-rooms and media around the world.

"In short, though we still obsess over hits," Anderson writes, "they are not quite the economic force they once were. Where are those fickle consumers going instead? No single place. They are scattered to the winds as markets fragment into a thousand niches."


Internet business, Internet marketing, Internet, market division, the long tail

catalogue card

Title: The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More
Author: Chris Anderson
Publication: New York: Hyperion, cop. 2006
Subjects: Internet - Marketing, Segmentation of market, Marketing - Technological innovations, New products - Marketing
ISBN: 1-4013-0237-8



1. The Long Tail
2. The Rise and Fall of the Hit
3. A Short History of the Long Tail
4. The Three Forces of the Long Tail
5. The New Producers
6. The New Markets
7. The New Tastemakers
8. Long Tail Economics
9. The Short Head
10. The Paradise of Choice
11. Niche Culture
12. The Infinite Screen
13. Beyond Entertainment
14. Long Tail Rules

Coda: Tomorrow's Tail
Notes on Sources and Further Reading

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