Yesterday, Lee Gomes of the Wall Street Journal weighed in on behalf of chunky marketing.
Wired Magazine editor Chris Anderson’s hot, new best seller, "The Long Tail," is causing a sensation with its eye-opening claims about the way the Web is rewriting the rules of commerce. But I’ve looked at some of the same data, and some more of my own, and I don’t think things are changing as much as he does.
Gomes complains that Anderson’s vaunted 98 Percent Rule is without foundation, that the Ecast data no longer makes the point Anderson says it does, and that the the "misses outsell hits" notion will not actually apply at Netflix and Amazon at least for another decade.
Gomes says that 2.7% of Amazon’s titles produce 75% of the revenues, at Ecast 10% of the songs produce 90% of the streams, and at Rhpsody 10% of the songs produce 86% of the streams.
[W]hile every singer-songwriter dreams from his bedroom of making a living off iTunes, few actually do, mostly because so many others have the very same idea. And to the extent that Apple is making money off iTunes, thanks go to Nelly Furtado and other hitmakers. Indeed, you can make the case that the Internet is amplifying the role of hits, even in relation to misses, not diminishing them.
Gomes, Lee. 2006. It may be a long time before the Long Tail is wagging the web. Wall Street Journal. July 26, 2006. here.
McCracken, Grant. 2006. More on chunky marketing. This blog sits at the intersection of anthropology and economics. July 19, 2006. here.
Thanks to Ennis of SepiaMutiny for the head’s up.