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June 09, 2006



Interesting that you don't use any Web 2.0/AJAX style services.

Rhapsody? Yahoo Music Unlimited has better recommendations down the long tail

Chris Anderson


I travel so much that it's hard for me to depend on web-based services. With the exception of Typepad and Bloglines, I tend to stick with desktop and Treo apps for hard core productivity. I do of course use other web-based services (that list wasn't exhaustive), such as Technorati and Feedburner, but I'm too busy for social networking sites and most of the more gimicky Web 2.0 stuff.

The only other Web-based service that I absolutely depend on is Wikipedia.

Note that you can tell my age by what I didn't include: an IM client. I'm all email/sms, which makes me Web 1.0, I guess ;-)


I was going to buy one like this for myself, looks like it has all the features :)


Chris, i'm not sure where to ask this, i'll repost if there's a better place. Friends of mine and i have been discussing the long tail we have several questions:
1- how do content owners fit in? you mention netflix, amazon, itunes, rhapsody, but the cost of digitizing archives and making this available falls on the content owners. from what i've been told this is expensive and they still need the 'hits' to bring in the real cash. according to them the tail is very long but extremely thin. long tail may work for resellers but not content owners.
2- one friend in discussion works for one of the major content owners, their data show, of approx 150k tracks, #18,001-150,000 or 88% of catalogue currently makes up 7% of sales.
3- lastly, although music sales might become less hit driven, significant money is generated through use of the hits in ads and several other licensing deals. if you include that revenue for content owners it's quite significant and still very much a hit driven business as companies want stones songs or the who, and will remain hit driven for some time to come, no? Thanks, Rob

Chris Anderson


1) The back catalog is a big and growing part of the total revenues for music, book and, increasingly, film content owners. That's all part of the Long Tail.

2) The LT only emerges in marketplaces where you have: 1) low marginal costs that allow large variety to be offered, and; 2) low search costs (efficient findability, including recommendations and other demand-driving filters. Having a catalog of lots of titles is not enough, if people can't find them. Give me more details on the example you cite and I'll respond more precisely.

3) Only a tiny fraction of songs can be used in ads, so that's not a scaleable strategy.


Rich Berger


Thanks for the recommendation on Rhapsody, some time back. I love the ability to listen to almost any music I want. If I pick up a recommendation on somebody's site, I can check out the music right away.

I am using the Roku too, and it's great in combo with Rhapsody. Now if I could just find a good way to ID the urls of some internet radio streams, it would be perfect.

Camera Bags

Hi, Chris.
I really enjoyed your article and it's nice to have such wonderful list of gadgets. It is a hard decision to make between two smart phones that are rather some incredible mini computers. I think I would choose the Treo 700 p because is very easy to use with large on-screen answer/deny buttons and it has that incredible feature to merge unknown contacts into an existing record.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

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