this curve is all wrong

Oh ho ho. Now here’s some very interesting data about the so-called Long Tail power curve and the old-fashioned Log Normal distribution:

The most comprehensive empirical study of digital music sales ever conducted has some bad news for Californian technology utopians. Since 2004, WiReD magazine editor Chris Anderson has been hawking his “Long Tail” proposition around the world: blockbusters will matter less, and businesses will “sell less of more”. The graph has become iconic – a kind of ‘Hockey Stick’ for Web 2.0 – with the author applying his message to many different business sectors. Alas, following the WiReD Way of Business as a matter of faith could be catastrophic for your business and investment decisions.

For the rest, read Andrew Orlowski’s article in The Register. Some bean-counting economists have crunched the numbers and basically when it comes to sales of music (and probably, in my opinion, everything else–books for sure), Log Normal rules. In other words, blockbusters matter much, much more than midlist.