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July 11, 2006


Sharon Corbitt-House

Well, I have purchased 5 books since Friday and given them away to my clients. My question to you is in this time of transition and change in direction for the music industry, how do businesses like myself survive the aftermath? I still hold true to the believe of people getting together to create music that consumers want to buy. One guy creating at a computer, does not equate to a group of musicians interacting and the end result. Quantum physics has proven that the energy that is created by a group is not the same as the energy created by just the one. There is also the quality issue. Yes, I understand that most people now listen to music on computer speakers but what about the craftmanship proved by a good engineer and a great producer with a room full of talented musicians? I guess the difference for me and the average consumer, is that I do have a point of reference. I hear music as it is created and what it sounds like on a great set of speakers after a lot of hard work and energy has gone into it. If there is going to be less of more sold how does that effect an artists who wants to pay for getting together the session he wants to create his masterpiece? How can a recording studio survive and still provide that artists with a place to gather, to work? I believe that in order to go forward, you have to understand and respect the past. I do not see myself clinging to an old business model. I truly want to embrace where we are headed but I also feel such an obligation to the quality of how music is created. I am passionate about it. How do I embrace the inevitable without letting go of the quality and pride I take in providing a high quality enviroment in which to create in?

Robert Tsai

At some point, the "user" in user-generated content becomes a celebrity. Witness Amanda Congdon, formerly of Rocketboom, who became a star in her own right before leaving . Though not getting the Tom Cruise type $20 million per picture paydays, these users (now personalities) show the rest of us in the long tail that you can move up the ranks with a little hard work and luck.

I'd also say that the Ninja from AskANinja.com is fast on his way to becoming a Type 3 hit as well.

Neither Amanda or the Ninja could have accomplished what they did without the web.

Jennifer Jeffrey

I'm fascinated. Just found you a few days ago, and am reading like a maniac to try and catch up. Thanks for the fresh insights!


I think that you're taking slightly the wrong tack here. There will continue to be bad movies, bad books, bad music that gets and stays reasonably popular. I kept waiting for you to write it, but: what about brand/series/concept loyalty? The publish.com article talks about the Da Vinci Code and X-Men 3 getting bad reviews but large sales. Are they type 2 hits? Or are they somehow still connected to their origins, the book (probably a type 3 hit, despite how inaccurate and misleading it may be) and the comic series (type 1? type 3--)? Bad to mediocre movies that also follow this trend include Star Wars 1-3 (original type 1, new stuff type 2?), Matrix 2-3 (original type 3, new stuff type 2?), etc.

Consumers will go back to what they have tried and liked before. The Matrix 1 was excellent, the original Star Wars movies resonated with millions, everyone loved X-Men as a kid and the Da Vinci code is a seductive book/idea. Crappy tie in products will get a continued strong response. What I believe will fail is an effort to create *new* brands and get mainstream acceptance of them. There's a glut of content right now--we can all get DVDs of our favorite movies, TV shows, even music concerts from 20 years ago. We can choose from 30-40 years of material, sift through the crud and come up with the stuff worth paying attention to--why should we listen to what Fox or NBC has to tell us about the ***New Hit Amazing Can't Miss Series***? Pass. Type 3 hits will of course still exist (look at Family Guy, Scrubs, Arrested Development).

Remember--time is exponentionally experienced. The last hour is much more memorable than the last day, which is much more memorable than the last week...month...year...50 years. We remember the "good ol' days" of hit after hit however long ago because we've forgotten about all the chaff that inevitably came with it.


I think you are a little premature assuming type 2 hits will tank. With more people demanding more content, there will be some demand to fill voids so partial hits will be created. This may even create a type 3a hit, where via the internet you are persuaded to try weak material (think jibjab in the 2004 election cycle).
In related vein,I find it interesting in various psych experiments that subjects chose vastly different music if they were allowed to see what others had chosen. I don't think we've seen the final impact of traditional hits vs. hot sales listings and purchasing recommendations yet.

Hunter McDaniel

Alex, I have exactly the same reaction as you when I see network promotions for "***New Hit Amazing Can't Miss Series***".

Who are they kidding - Netflix is my cable service! Why should I bother with any of their new crap when I still haven't gotten through Gunsmoke and The Avengers? So I missed out of Firefly and Wonderfalls when they were broadcast, but what are the odds of my surfing across anything that good on a typical weeknight?

Eventually we'll reach a point where each of us watches broadcast TV one night a month in order to tell everyone else wich shows don't suck.

jarjarbinnke s

ur dumb.
clap ur hands say hype arent a hit.
arcade fire would have been a better example.
as I said - ur dumb.

xmas presents

A miracle of a film, March of the Penguins is one of the year's joys. This extraordinary glimpse into the life of the emperor penguins is far more than a story of survival: it is a unique love story of immense proportions.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!