Tail or no Tail? Applicability of the Long Tail Theory to the German Online Media Market
Céline Fabienne Kampes
UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCENCES DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY
ABSTRACT: The Long Tail theory serves as an explanation for market change triggered through evolving online market conditions. However, it is often referred to without empirical validation, or with inconsistent findings on its applicability. Therefore, this paper analyses the applicability of the Long Tail theory to German online media offerings as of 2014 and 2016, focusing on offerings that serve information purposes (information offerings). Based on a unique dataset of commercially oriented online media offerings (Longitudinal IntermediaPlus 2014-2016), an analysis for three Long Tail characteristics (variety increase, opposing concentration between hit and niche offerings and niche market share increase) is conducted. By additionally distinguishing between political and entertainment-oriented information offerings as boundaries of democratized online market conditions the analysis reveals that the Long Tail theory is not fully applicable to any market sample, and especially not to politically oriented offerings.