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What happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture go away and everything becomes available to everyone?
"The Long Tail" is a powerful new force in our economy: the rise of the niche. As the cost of reaching consumers drops dramatically, our markets are shifting from a one-size-fits-all model of mass appeal to one of unlimited variety for unique tastes. From supermarket shelves to advertising agencies, the ability to offer vast choice is changing everything, and causing us to rethink where our markets lie and how to get to them. Unlimited selection is revealing truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it, from DVDs at Netflix to songs on iTunes to advertising on Google.
However, this is not just a virtue of online marketplaces; it is an example of an entirely new economic model for business, one that is just beginning to show its power. After a century of obsessing over the few products at the head of the demand curve, the new economics of distribution allow us to turn our focus to the many more products in the tail, which collectively can create a new market as big as the one we already know.
The Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance. New efficiencies in distribution, manufacturing, and marketing are essentially resetting the definition of what's commercially viable across the board. If the 20th century was about hits, the 21st will be equally about niches.
An informative comic adaptation of Wired editor-in-chief Anderson's bestselling book on how technological innovation has allowed niche audiences to become more profitable for businesses to sell to. Illustrated in b&w by Clester, the book's visuals help the reader to immediately understand Anderson's arguments. Beginning with an examination of how, up until recently, media producers focused only on creating profitable "hits," Anderson explains how the Internet and digital technology have changed the dynamics of markets and consumers, with the Web making a staggering number of choices available to consumers while allowing smaller market producers of goods to reach new audiences. Although the book offers little in the way of advice or step-by-step guides, it is useful in encouraging readers to visualize Anderson's by-now gospel observations. However, it's not entirely clear how many readers are really interested in learning about Anderson's arguments by having them presented in an abridged comics version. While not as exhaustive as the prose edition, this adaptation is a clear introduction to the many topics Anderson explores.