Long live the long tail? Maybe not so much

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Guinea pigs are pretty cool, Justin, but I spent my weekend reading the Harvard Business Review. Now who’s the sad one?

The article you want to check out in the July-August issue is the one in which Anita Elberse calls into question the whole notion of the long tail. Elberse, an associate prof at HBS, analyzes music and home-video sales data and concludes that Chris Anderson kind of got it wrong when he made the argument that digital distribution (think Amazon and Netflix) changes the shape of the demand curve as people shun blockbusters in favor of niche products. You can read the HBR piece here.

I then suggest reading Chris Anderson’s response here.

And then Elberse’s response to Anderson’s response here.