The Long Tail


{Infinite Loop} Begin;

The secret to creating a thriving Long Tail business can be summarized in two imperatives:

  1. Make everything available.
  2. Help me find it.

The first is easier said than done.
Fewer than a dozen of the 6.000 films submitted to the Sundance Film Festival each year are picked up for distribution, but most of the rest of them cannot be legally shown outside of a festival because their music rights have not been cleared.

Likewise most of the TV programming in the network’s archives: it is too expensive to clear the DVD or streaming distribution rights to the music. Similar rights issues also keep classic music and video games under lock and key.

Until we have some way to clear the rights to all the titles in all the back catalogs–thoughtlessly, automatically, and at industrial scale–legal restrictions will continue to block the growth of the Long Tail.

The second necessary element is…

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