ad:Tech 2007 – Chris Anderson: The Long Tail

    August 1, 2007

Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, kicked off ad:Tech Chicago 2007 by taking a page (literally) out of his book: The Long Tail.

One of Chris’ main objectives that he was trying to get across was that the era of the "Blockbuster" model has ended. As the Internet continues to provide limitless commodities of products to everyon, people are far less likely to purchase mainstream products/services. In today’s world people have more selection than they ever did before and enjoy selecting niche products/services. Anderson also made a great point in that selling products cannot be sold to a global, one size fits all market but rather have to be sold using niche or very segmented markets.

"What happens to the combined copy 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?"

Chris provides some great examples which proved his theory on the long tail:

  • Since spring of 2000 there has been a rapid decline in the number of music albums that achieved gold status (or above) because of the Internet and it’s capability to share vast genres of music.
  • The decreasing number in attendance for a movie’s second week: The Internet makes the sharing of conversation around movie reviews instant which can lead directly to less visitors attending movies on the second week.
  • An online company like Rhapsody offers 1.5 million different music tracks vs. a typical Walmart with only 55,000 Tracks. Companies such as Rhapsody receive 40% of all music sales because of this.
  • The highest rated TV show in the 50’s was I love Lucy, however nowadays you cannot single out one show as "top rated" because people have been given so many choices of TV programming to watch.

I really enjoyed Chris Anderson’s keynote and look forward to reading his book, The Long Tail.