Niche Markets are moving on up

The increase in societies online presence has resulted in a dramatic shift in the consumption of media globally. Physical media such as books, print and DVD’s have been replaced by online media sources allowing for easy access to aggregations of data. This accessibility online has given people unlimited and unfiltered access to culture and content, and audiences have begun to buy content that isn’t necessarily best selling, commonly described as the ‘Niche Market’ (Concept Drop Team 2003). This development of niche markets is explained by Chris Anderson (2004), highlighting how physical shop fronts are limited by opening hours, accessibility and the buying of only ‘mainstream hits’ due to shop space, resulting in online aggregators controlling the market with their unlimited accessibility, time, space and ability to offer mainstream and niche data.

This shift from ‘Mass Markets’, to a ‘Mass of Niches’ is described as ‘The Long Tail Effect‘ (Anderson, C 2004). This effect is derived from the power law distribution curves, highlighting how the sum of niche market sales are always greater in comparison to the smaller collection, but more popular mainstream market.


Anderson, C 2004, ‘The Long Tail’, Wired, Issue 12.10,

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Concept Drop Team 2003, ‘Niche Markets and the Digital Age’, Conceptdrop

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  1. lucyronald · October 22, 2015

    Hey Tommy! Well done on being able to explain the long tail effect simply yet effectively. The Long Tail Effect is definitely something that exists prominently in today’s society and I believe it is really helped by the use of the internet and large databases allowing for niche markets to actually exist. I also really liked you meme so well done on that too! Keep up the good work Tommy 🙂

  2. himynameismeg · October 22, 2015

    Great summary of the Long Tail effect and good use of graphs to visually demonstrate. It would be good to see a different angle though, maybe apply the effect to a scenario.

  3. Alan Ch · October 23, 2015

    Very succinct summary of the Long Tail effect, nice meme as well!
    We’re already seeing how even now online mainstream markets are taking business and becoming increasingly more popular than physical stores, an obvious example would be Netflix and other streaming services putting movie rental stores such as Blockbuster out of business which is pretty interesting.

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