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The Long Tail and Music

March 15, 2009

Last week at work, I had the realization we were creating our own long tail.

If you haven’t heard of the term, it’s based on the idea of niches and selling less of more.  It was put into a book and on-going blog by Chris Anderson.

My inital understanding is that there is a market for almost everything, even if the market is only a handful of people.  If you have every type of something (e.g Amazon carrying every book on earth),  you probably will sell less of more. You might not sell a million of one book, but you might sell 10 thousand copies of 100 different books.

So at work, we’re creating more YouTube vids, white papers (business word for information documents), consistent blog posts, and tweets. Some of our videos/documents/blog posts have hits in the thousands, other in the hundreds, and others not even past 10.  If you combine them together, the total hits are significant. Since each vid/document/blog post is a marketing tool, each has the opportunity to draw traffic to our main site while also informing our target market about what we do.

So how does this apply to music?

Let’s say you made an album. You have 12 solid tracks.

If you made 12 youtube videos of each track by putting together live footage, in the studio video, and other random but interesting video, you then have 12 pieces of content for youtube.

If you made 12 youtube videos of the band performing each song acoustically, you have another 12 pieces of content for YouTube.

On each video, you have a post about your album, where to buy it, and a link back to your main site.

Let’s say you get 10 hits on each in the first week. On an individual basis, that’s really nothing, but as a whole that’s 240 plays.

The more good content you put out there, the longer your tail of content gets. The more content potential fans get to consume, the more opportunities to grow your email list, sell merch, promote tour dates, sell music, etc…

I leave you with an example from Candy Rat records. These guys put out mainly instrumental, blues, folk type stuff and they put up a ton of content on youtube. I discovered the amazingly talented  Andy Mckee and others through their vids. One video leads you to another, and then to another, and suddenly you find yourself becoming a fan of more than just one artist.

Here are just 4 of several vids displaying Andy Mckee’s mind blowing playing skills:

Take Control of Your Music


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2009 10:30 pm

    You mix work into everything man. Absolutely everything.

  2. March 17, 2009 4:07 am

    It’s true. It’s hard not too. I love it so.

  3. March 17, 2009 4:27 am

    Nice article. Check out our thoughts that we wrote about pertaining to the long tail and music (live music specifically in our case) at

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