23 April 2008

The long tail and 1000 customers

Kevin Kelly has a good follow up on his post about 1000 true fans which mused about whether the long tail economy were good for anyone else than aggregators - the original post made a case for the economy of 1000 true fans.

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living

Well, it turns out that 1000 true fans were a nice thesis, but 1000 fans don't really make a base for a living alone.

The Long Tail, as in use by the book of Chris Anderson. Kevin's recent blogpost the reality of depending on true fans with actual data and info from a musician Robert Rich is interesting reading ........ not surprisingly 1000 customers a year is not enough if you only earn 10$ per transaction

As Seth Godin stated in his blog post about 1000 fans
"you need to alter what you do and how you do it so that 1,000 true fans is sufficient to make you very happy"

My take - figure out how to expand from the 1000 fans, either by scaling the number of fans to 10.000+ or use the 1000 fans to reach out and get input to additional sources of income

In Robert Rich case - ask his fans for suggestion for places to expand his secondary income streams from licensing fees and references to sell his skill in studio mastering and engineering.