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Something I don’t understand about The Long Tail

Link: Seth’s Blog: There it is again.

"A lot of people don’t seem to understand a key implication of the long tail: Given the choice, it’s better to make a hit.

If you have a choice of cutting a top 10 record or making a track of Jamaican polka music for iTunes, go for the hit.

If you have a choice between being on page 30 of the Google results for "Bolivian sushi" or the number one match for "buy life insurance", go for the latter. No brainer.

The problem, of course, is that you don’t have a choice. You can give the hit a shot, but it’s awfully crowded at that end of the curve" [My emphasis]

I don’t get that. Why is is any more crowded at the hit end than at the other end?

Suppose you have £12 disposable income. You can choose to buy a hit CD, or you can choose to buy a different CD at the other end of the tail. But either way, you still have to make a single choice of purchase, and all buyers are perusing the same market. All of the CDs, no matter where they are in the tail, are competing for the same £12.

So it makes no sense to talk of "ends" as crowded.

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