Chris Anderson

Wired Magazine

Economics of the Long Tail
38 minutes, 17.6mb, recorded 2005-03-17
Topics: Marketing
Chris Anderson
The Long Tail is a phrase coined by Chris Anderson, the Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, for the statistical distribution of sales observed by online businesses. In this talk he explores the economics of the long tail and shares his insight on the effects it might have on future business models. Chris discusses how distribution networks like Amazon, iTunes and Netflix have shown that the right side of the curve which forms millions of niches can be as big a market as the chart toppers.

Historically, catalogues and 800 numbers have exposed the long tail, but in the age of the Internet, it's the power of recommendations that drives the long tail resulting in the success of the businesses which cater to it. Chris also delves into the different domains in which the long tail plays a part.

The talk by Chris Anderson is followed by a conversation with Joe Kraus, the CEO of Jotspot, in which they discuss how the failure to understand the significance of catering to the long tail of the advertising market led to the downfall of the Excite search engine. Joe also talks about his experience of currently running a company whose products are targeted at the long tail of the market.

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Chris Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he took in 2001. The following year, he led the magazine to a 2002 National Magazine Awards nomination for General Excellence, and again in 2004. Previously, he was at The Economist, where he served as U.S. Business Editor, Asia Business Editor (based in Hong Kong); and Technology Editor. He started The Economist’s Internet coverage in 1994 and directed its initial web strategy. Mr. Anderson's career began at the two premier science journals, Nature and Science, where he served in several editorial capacities.


This presentation is one of a series from the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference held in San Diego, California, March 14-17, 2005.

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This free podcast is from our Emerging Technology Conference series.