Glen Hiemstra, Gerd Leonhard

The Long Tail
11 minutes, 5.1mb, recorded 2007-08-17
Glen Hiemstra, Gerd Leonhard

In his book, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, states that "our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of "hits" (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail". He believes that niche items can now be more successful in the marketplace. Gerd and Glen discuss this concept, particularly as it relates to future developments.

They talk about the possiblity of creating businesses based on the idea and whether such businesses can be successful and how content creators can be affected. They also review some long tail examples and assess whether digital expansion is likely to change the shape of the tail.

This program is also available in video. You can click on the player below or download the video file (QuickTime/MP4, 48MB).

Based in Switzerland, Gerd Leonhard has spent over twenty-five years in the technology and entertainment industries. In 2005, Gerd co-authored the critically acclaimed book "The Future of Music" which has become a must-read for music industry professionals around the globe. Gerd's second book "The End of Control" is now available for free at, further expanding the scope of his work into TV, Film, Radio and Print Media. Gerd's clients include the EBU/ ABU, SonyBMG, the BBC, RTL, Granada International, Nokia-Siemens, ITV, Unisys, Gracenote, and the European Commission. He is much in demand as a speaker at many leading events and conferences around the globe, and is considered a leading blogger and visionary.

Gerd is an expert on the drastic changes that are impacting content, media and communication companies as a consequence of the rapid deployment of new, disruptive technologies, and of convergence; he is equally fluid in technology, legal issues, social and cultural contexts, business models and general trends that affect media and communications. Gerd is also a serial entrepreneur, with a focus on digital music, currently serving as CEO of Sonific LLC, a San Francisco based company that provides music applications and widgets for blogs, social networks and online communities. He also holds a Jazz Performance (Guitar) Diploma by Berklee College of Music (87), and is the recipient of Berklee's Quincy Jones Jazz Masters Award (1985).

Glen Hiemstra is the founder and owner of Glen has advised professional, business, and governmental organizations for two decades. He is the author of Turning the Future into Revenue: What Businesses and Individuals Need to Know to Shape Their Futures, from John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Previously he co-authored Strategic Leadership: Achieving Your Preferred Future.

An expert in preferred future planning, Glen has worked on projects that range from science and technology, to economics, demographics and transportation, and energy and the environment. He has also served as a technical advisor for television programs set in the future. In a first career, Glen was an award-winning educator. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington, which works on virtual and augmented reality technology. He is on the Advisory Board of EcoMedia.


This free podcast is from our Future Talks series.

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