When I first heard people predict the rise of the Long Tail, I was amused. Not only did it seem wrong-headed, but it ran counter to everything I saw happening around me.
It pains me to say this—because the Long Tail was sold to us as an economic law that not only predicted a more inclusive era of prosperity, but would especially help creative people. According to its proponents, the Long Tail would revitalize our culture by expanding the scope of the arts and giving a boost to visionaries on the fringes of society.
Alternative voices would be nurtured and flourish. Music would get cooler and more surprising. Books would become more diverse and interesting. Indie films would reach larger audiences. Etc. etc. etc.
Hey, what’s not to like?
But it never happened. More to the point, it was never going to happen because the story was a fairy tale. I knew it back then because I had been hired on a number of occasions to analyze the Long Tail myself. But the flaws in the reasoning are far more obvious today, even to me.
I remember when Chris Anderson wrote about the Long Tail in Wired Mag – he also wrote the book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More” – and I remember thinking it was nonsense then, a decade and a half ago. This link will open a list of my posts on this blog about “The Long Tail”, starting in 2004.
Check out the above quoted and linked article by Ted Gioia.
Found on the Music of Sound blog.