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Long Tail Evidence from The App Store

Last week we released 16 of our books as iPhone Apps (and on Saturday added The Twitter Book), and there’s some interesting Long Tail data coming in. We’ve seen Long Tail behavior in the data from Safari Books Online and from Google Book Search, though in this case it’s about geography: even though regions like Colombia, Belgium, and Greece are individually generating a small number of sales, together they add up to more than the total number sold in the US:

geographic-long-tail

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  • bowerbird

    perhaps others will weigh in on this, but…

    …geographic concerns are not what “the long tail” means,
    as far as i know…

    -bowerbird

  • http://toc.oreilly.com Andrew Savikas

    The Long Tail strategy asserts that the many items that sell in low volume can be larger in aggregate than the few blockbusters, if you can stock and fulfill them profitably, and I think the concept does apply here. In this case, it’s the geographic markets (which we could never serve profitably in print) that Apple has aggregated for us that are the low-volume sales.

  • bowerbird

    i still don’t think that expanding your market-reach
    for your full existing product-line is the same thing as
    comparing “long-tail” items to the “head” items, but
    i suppose chris anderson is too busy to referee, and
    i agree that it’s nice that apple does the dirt-work of
    collecting money from all of those different countries.

    makes it worth the 30% cut they take, i’d say…

    -bowerbird

  • kleung11

    The long tail is only a theory and one should be able to adapt the theory to his or her needs. I agree with Andrew – instead of using products as the item list, using geographical regions is just the same as you expand on a limited focus set to a much wider scope.

  • bowerbird

    i should have been able to see this thread would go nowhere.

    -bowerbird