Monday, September 26, 2005

Long Tail Dynamics

Nicholas G. Carr publishes a nice Blog on the future (as he sees) of the IT industry. He recently published an interesting bit on the Long Tail of a product mix as applied to IT. I was wondering about some of the things in that article.

First of all, the long tail in Remix Music is something the industry in India has been aware of since the last few years. Due to the shortening attention spans caused by multiple TV channels, these comapnies have nearly flogged to death the old songs and classics into cover versions and sexed up remixes. So much so, many of these long tail products have entered the short head as the best selling albums. An article suggests three reasons for this: low cost investment, multitide of TV channels to telecast the remixed videos and Venture Capitalist like risk taking capacity among Music Companies.

At the same time, I disagree that all the AdSense and Amazon Promos can be classified as Head Phaking as Mr. Carr calls it. I will hazard a guess that a retailer like Amazon and auction site like eBay will make most of its margins from the short head, rather than the long tail. Its the short head where the economies of scale are - in terms of margins as well as attracting more site visitors. Many Google AdSense programs will be more targetted to let people find products and services related to their search words, rather than piggy back the short head ones.

I agree with Mr. Carr's statement: "Achieving success, though, requires considerable artfulness." Thats perfectly true. As they say, imitation is the best form of flattery, but pure imitation doesnt take you anywhere with phakes.

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