INB347 The Looooooong Tail

This is one for the non conformists among you that are still conformist enough to have an iPod. This week’s blog is about ITunes and long tail marketing allowing for everyone to access music that is not in the mainstream. This marketing strategy differs greatly from the most marketing strategies as it does not rely on what is popular among most people to gain sales as most physical stores have a limited amount of shelf space in which to store stock. Rather than traditional marketing of selling what popular has meant that iTunes has made millions of dollar selling products that many physical could not make a profit on selling.

For those who are unfamiliar with iTunes they are a web based store that sells songs and albums in mp3 format to the general public and from each sale make about 35% from every song and album sold on i tunes and the rest goes to the record company to distribute to the artists. This means that they only then have to pay for the sever space and their employees to keep the site up and running seamlessly ( i assume also they make money from the advertisement on the site “CHA CHING”).  Through this method it is estimated that they turned over about five hundred million dollars profit last year.

The alternative to long tail is to sell what is popular in bulk, it could be tv shows, shoes ( do you know I found about 50 different types of converse chucks but could not find a pair of Doctor Martians what the hell?!), movies, or cds this style of marketing works for many thousands of physical stores around the world. However how long will these stores last if many millions of dollars can be made going online? What do you think?

Some useful links:

http://www.apple.com/itunes/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Tail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbltg8QOpjI

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