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The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand Hardcover – 6 Jul 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business Books; 1st Edition edition (6 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184413850X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844138500
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he took in 2001. Since then he has led the magazine to nine National Magazine Award nominations, winning the top prize for General Excellence in 2005, 2007 and 2009. AdAge magazine named him Editor of the Year in 2005. Previously he was at The Economist, Nature and Science magazines. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed The Long Tail, which was shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2006 and won the Loeb Award for best business book in 2007. He lives in Northern California with his wife and five children.

Product Description


'Chris Anderson's timing with the 'Long Tail' concept is absolutely perfect. The combination of Internet penetration with the expansion of global online markets has opened up opportunities that few could have ever imagined. Anderson's insights with the Long Tail continues to influence Google's strategic thinking in a profound way. I carry the article with me everywhere.' Eric Schmidt, CEO Google. 'A terrifically impressive analysis. It captured the forces underlying this business perfectly.' Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon"

Book Description

The new economics of culture and commerce --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tetsou on 31 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book derives its name from the demand curve that is typical of many sales in the physical world of retailing. Online, the tail of the curve can be pretty long and Chris Anderson explores the significance of this as it relates to the rise of e-tailing (online retail). For anyone contemplating selling online or has an interest in the economics of ecommerce, then this is an important book.

Chris Anderson writes with great authority - as you would expect from the editor-in-chief of wired - and quickly engages the reader with his observations and analysis of online retailing and its comparisons with the physical world. He quickly explains the concepts of the 'long tail' economics before delving into some typical examples, many of which are drawn from the music and entertainment industries, although Amazon features prominately as one would expect.

We're treated to a short history of the The Long Tail, before moving on to the new markets being created by the online 'aggregators'. With so much choice online, Chris explains the growing importance of those products and services who help us select and filter - a new breed of digerati arising from the blogosphere!

Overall, an excellent read that will get you thinking. You'll probably find yourself going back over several chapters to put them into context, as some of the arguments are quite subtle. A great observation of online culture. Will iTunes really kill the radio star? The world is changing - find out why.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Note: The review that follows is of the revised and updated edition of a book that was first published in 2006. It offers essentially the same information and insights except that Anderson has added a new chapter on marketing, one in which he explains "how to sell where `selling' doesn't work." More about this chapter later.

In the October 2004 issue of Wired magazine, Chris Anderson published an article in which he shared these observations: "(1) the tail of available variety is far longer than we realize; (2) it's now within reach economically; (3) all those niches, when aggregated, can make up a significant market - seemed indisputable, especially backed up with heretofore unseen data." That is even truer today than it was when The Long Tail was first published years ago. The era that Anderson characterizes as "a market of multitudes" continues to grow in terms of both its nature and extent. In this book, Anderson takes his reader on a guided tour of this market as he explains what the probable impact the new market will have and what will be required to prosper in it.

According to Anderson, those who read the article saw the Long Tail everywhere, from politics to public relations, and from sheet music to college sports. "What people intuitively grasped was that new efficiencies in distribution, manufacturing, and marketing were changing the definition of what was commercially viable across the board. The best way to describe these forces is that they are turning unprofitable customers, products, and markets into profitable ones." Therefore, the story of the Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance: "what happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture start to disappear and everything becomes available to everyone.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 2 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I did not get to this book until recently and regret that because I then found it to be one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in recent years. As calvinnme "Texan refugee" explains in an excellent review posted on Amazon's US Web site, the title refers to "the colloquial name for a long-known feature of statistical distributions that is also known as `heavy tails,' `power-law tails' or `Pareto tails.' In these distributions a high-frequency or high-amplitude population is followed by a low-frequency or low-amplitude population which gradually `tails off.' In many cases the infrequent or low-amplitude events--the long tail--can cumulatively outnumber or outweigh the initial portion of the graph, such that in aggregate they comprise the majority. In this book the author explains how due to changing technology it is now not only feasible but desirable in business to cater to the `long tail' of this curve."

Others have their own reasons for quite properly praising Chris Anderson's book. Here are a few of mine. First, when analyzing an especially complicated subject - what he characterizes as "a market of multitudes" - he expresses his insights with exceptional brevity and clarity. For example, consider this sequence: "Increasingly, the mass market is turning into a mass of niches...The new niche market is not replacing the traditional market of hits, just sharing the stage with it for the first time...Think of [falling distribution costs] as a dropping waterline or receding tide. As they fall, they reveal a new land that has been there all along, just underwater. These niches are a great uncharted expanse of products that were previously uneconomic to offer.
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