Online from: 1988
|Title:||Should you invest in the long tail?|
|Journal:||Harvard Business Review, Jul-Aug 2008, Volume: 86 Issue: 7 pp.88-96 (9 pages)|
|Keywords:||Marketing Strategy, Music, Sales, Video|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|Reference:||37AR081 (Permanent URL)|
Design/methodology/approach - The concept of the Long Tail, as proposed by Chris Anderson in Wired magazine (October 2004 issue) (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html) as a theory to explain the shift in the supply of information that has resulted from the Internet and the availability of a mass of multimedia information sources in digital form, is discussed. Reports the results of an investigation into sales patterns in the music and home video markets, two markets that Anderson and others frequently claim as examples of the long tail theory, using data gathered from the Nielsen VideoScan and Nielsen SoundScan databases.
Findings - The results suggested that it would be imprudent for companies to reverse traditional practice and focus on the demand for obscure products since the data show how difficult it is to profit from the long tail. Concludes with four recommendations for producers of media and entertainment goods, and four for online retailers or content aggregators seeking to profit from long tail demand.
Practical implications - Although the research focused on media content and information goods, these recommendations probably apply to physical goods as well, particularly since the profit for manufacturers and retailers of physical goods might be bigger, because of the higher production costs involved.
Originality/value - Offers controversial and thought-provoking views on the subject of long tail marketing strategies.