Long Tail - Show Me the Money!

David Hornik is asking where the money is in the Long Tail?

Again, while these different filtering technologies may make it slightly more likely that an end user finds his or her way to a piece of obscure content, it will not likely be sufficient to catapult an artist into the mainstream. The beneficiary of the filtering is the end user and the filterer, not the content owner per se.

While I agree that the aggregators and filterers stand to benefit the most from Long Tail economics, there's still a lot for content owners to gain, too:

  • The difference between a so-so novel in the literary fiction genre and a "best-selling novel" in the lit. fic. genre is relatively slight - perhaps as small as 8 - 10,000 copies. In the grand scheme of the planet, an additional 8,000 copies doesn't require a catapult; a simple boost is sufficient to ensure enough sales for the next book contract.
  • Keeping with the publishing model, the most expensive part of selling books - so expensive that most publishers don't even bother - is in trying to determine what a consumer is likely to buy. While hardly flawless, Amazon's recommendation system goes a long way to helping position product in the eye-ball space of a likely customer.


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