Anderson, Chris. “The Long Tail.” Wired Magazine Issue 12.10. October 2004. < http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html>
Chris Anderson’s article “The Long Tail” (later expanded into a book) introduces the idea of the growing importance of the Long Tail in the way that media is marketed on the internet. It posits that the internet has allowed for a new profitability of the non-“hit” 80% of entertainment product (books, music, DVDs). Ultimately, he argues that the incorporation of the Long Tail into business and marketing models has been advantageous for the entertainment industry, the consumer, and for “culture” as a whole.
The concept of the rising profitability of the Long Tail is a major one in any argument regarding new music marketing on the internet. The Long Tail model is a fundamental example of the way that online consumption of media has changed (and, it is argued, improved) the music industry as a whole. Since 2004, when Anderson first coined his Long Tail idea, we have seen the effects of Amazon, Netflix, and iTunes’s feedback mechanisms for identifying taste and suggesting a focus on less-popular items. Clearly, the exploitation of the Long Tail by these distributors proves the profitability of internet-specific marketing models. Further, I believe that the growth of the Long Tail model has been a taste-making mechanism in the generations that have embraced these internet vendors—not only has the use of the Long Tail shaped marketing initiatives, but it has changed the way the consumer defines their own taste.