Netflix and the Long Tail

Netflix, the Internet company that rents DVDs, has an inventory that includes most of the 60,000 non-pornographic DVDs that are commercially available. What percent of these titles do you think rent each day? Five percent? Ten percent? Twenty percent at most?

No, about 66%. That’s 35,000 to 40,000 titles (and an unspecified number of actual DVDs) out the door and into customers’ mail boxes every day. (There are about five million Netflix accounts.)

The long tail at work.

Source: Leonhardt, David. "What Netflix Could Teach Hollywood." The New York Times, 7 June 2006, C1, C5.

One thought on “Netflix and the Long Tail”

  1. Great Scott. Thanks for that link.

    We have a charming video store owner nearby who I think has absorbed Long Tail thinking by osmosis. (This is in Australia, Charles.)
    The other night I picked up The Needle, starring Donald Sutherland, from 1982 – ish. Last night my daughter watched the Oscar winning film for 1960 for best foreign film, Black Orpheus.
    How does a collection manager make selections like that without a long tail (or High Fidelity) kind of brain?

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