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The Long Tail - turned on its head, says research

Exclusive: Will Page, the MCPS PRS Alliance Chief Economist, will be presenting at the Telco 2.0 event next week for the first time new research that all is not what it seems with the original Long Tail theory - and questions whether the future of business really is selling ‘less of more’.

The theory as developed by Chris Anderson back in 2004, and which has since become a widely accepted buzzword, doesn’t stand up to robust statistical analysis he says.

On stage next week, to support his argument, he will share analysis of digital music sales data gathered over 12 months from a catalogue of 13m songs. This is part of pioneering work with Harvard Business School and Andrew Bud of MBlox. At the event we will explore this analysis with the 250 senior execs gathered and try to decide what it means for investment strategy in markets disrupted by the long tail effect. Ultimately, should you bet large, small or not bet at all?

In the meantime, as an introduction, this Harvard Business Review article is strongly recommended.

Watch this space for more on this topic…

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Significantly less convincing arguments than the 'Long Tail'. This article seems at least as weak as the theory it is attempting to find fault with.

We'll be publishing a much more detailed version after the event.

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