In 2006, Chris Anderson wrote “The Long Tail” to explain his view on how the Internet will eliminate the blockbuster hit. Because we’ll all have access to the specific things that appeal to us, Anderson believes that the true success will come from niche selling. A study published in the Harvard Business Review finds that the long tail isn’t so long after all. Apparently, our herd mentality continues even in a world where choices abound. The Harvard report states that on the music site Rhapsody, 78 percent of the plays come from the top 10 percent of songs. On a movie site, the percentage of plays was 48 percent. It seems we still want to hear and see what others are hearing and seeing.
The idea has an appeal to our individuality, even though we can find in our own experiences the herd mentality. If I hear people talking about a movie or even a TV show, I feel like I need to see it so I can be a part of the conversation next time. The reason for selecting the long tail items is so that I can be first to bring them into the top 10.