Blockbuster CEO Is Still Confused By The Long Tail

from the have-you-taken-a-look-at-your-competitors? dept

In 2004, Chris Anderson wrote his feature article for Wired Magazine in which he coined the term "the long tail" to describe the business possibilities made possible by digital distribution. Four years and one best-selling book later, the CEO of Blockbuster is still confused by the concept that has been utilized by Netflix to wreak havoc on his business model. Yet, in a recent interview, the head of Blockbuster, Jim Reyes, misses the entire point of the long tail.

In response to a question regarding the small catalog of Movielink, Blockbuster's digital download service, Reyes responded, "When was the last time you watched 10,000 movies, you know? I don't care how many movies are available to me. As my personal taste as a customer, I want to watch the new stuff so whether we have 10,000 movies or 200 movies it doesn't matter if I don't want to see any of the movies that we have." The point of the long tail is not to ignore the hits, but to make available more. While Reyes's quixotic opinion may appease viewers with very limited tastes, when distribution and content creation is exceedingly cheap, it makes no sense to limit content. In his original article on the concept, Anderson noted that one-fifth of Netflix rentals are outside the top 3,000 movies. Clearly, a sizable minority of movie-watchers want to see films outside Movielink's inventory that "is heavily weighted toward newer releases and mainstream staple titles."

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  1. identicon
    PB'er, 19 Aug 2008 @ 2:27pm

    I want to thank Blockbuster...

    ...for having such an organized store. I go in to the local store here every Tuesday with my camera phone and take pics of all the new releases and some older, for the wifey, and go back to the house and fire up several pc's, my vista ultimate box seems to be the fastest for the task, go to TPB, DL the torrents and let the machines get all that I have pics for. I then output the pics, all nice and sharpened and cropped to fit my templates, print out the covers and begin to watch. PRICELESS!

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