Web Profit – Longtail… tales.

Cyberspace has accommodated a variety of new employment opportunities, particularly in creative industries. Video and audio hosting websites along side blogging has allowed the monetisation of online creation. The Internet however isn’t the be all and end all of domestic entrepreneurial enterprises, this is mainly due to the longtail effect.

 

Wired Magazine’s article ‘The Long Tail’ discusses the different content groups, the Head and the long tail.

Longtail

In short, this article categorises content into either group discussing the benefits and short fallings of each. Products in the head are primarily successful due to the content appealing to a broad audience. In this sense the head gains more views than but there is less content. Long tail content appeals to a more niche market, as in there is more content spread across a larger market.

Amazon as an example provides insight into how the head doesn’t benefit the company as much as the long tail. Amazon utilises its recommendation system to target its long tail or niche audience. From this we can understand that Amazon relies on the head to attract customers and the long tail to narrow down target audiences and sell niche items.

This idea of niche farming through gross attraction is best utilised outside brick and mortar stores, even more so in the technological age where content doesn’t need storage. Where brick and mortar store find it too expensive to maintain a niche market, the widespread availability of cyberspace’s space or ‘cheap rent’ only having to pay for servers allows for this kind of niche farming through macro attraction.

This being said, the whole nature of the short-long tail effect is the demise of the system as so many people see this as an attractive form of making money, so much that the internet is now saturated extending the long tail and shortening the head.

 

References

 

Anderson, C., 2004, ‘The Long Tail’, Wired, October 2004, Viewed 29th August 2014, <http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html>

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