Some in the digital media world are declaring the death of the long tail due to digital ADD, the exponential growth of and time spent on Social Media platforms and the time take up by gaming. I have to strongly disagree. The long tail is alive and well, and if anything, experiencing a re-birth of sorts with regard to media and independence.
As stated so well by Chris Anderson, even if he is changing his mind now… “One of the most frequent mistakes people make about the long tail is to assume that things that are not viewed by a very large audience are ‘not as good’ as things that do have vast distribution. A given niche has both quality content and a lot of junk across a broad spectrum. Sturgeon’s Revelation states that the percentage of crud (junk) is in the range of 90 percent. On a store shelf, or in any other limited means of distribution, the ratio of good to bad matters because it’s a zero sum game: Space for one eliminates space for the other. Prominence for one obscures the other. Long tails in the online world are not pre-filtered by the requirement of factors such as shelf space, bandwidth, or the biases of purchasing managers.” Companies are popping up every day to serve and offer valuable services to the long tail at very affordable rates and the desire for people to communicate, build audiences and relationships, is not only growing, but a very basic part of human nature and something that is gaining momentum, not the other way around.
As long as publishing is low-cost and easy, and people have an easily accessible means to access that content, the long tail will not only live on, but thrive.