long tailTracy Maddux, CEO of CD Baby, just wrote an article for Billboard called “Tales of Long Tail’s Death Greatly Exaggerated in which he talks about the traditional music industry’s criticisms of the Long Tail (the concept that music in lower demand will collectively comprise a better market share than music released by top-selling major label artists), and why FANS are the future deciders of what music should get heard:

When you look at the music industry from the perspective of an artist who is just starting out, many of the traditional paths to making money are just not accessible. It shouldn’t be up to the established industry to decide who should succeed. It’s up to fans.

The major labels, of course, see things somewhat differently:

Many conversations about the industry break artists down into two groups: those good enough to be on a label, and those who aren’t. In those conversations, it really has nothing to do with “how good” they are, but whether the artist can make a platinum hit that will recoup the massive cost of promotion. That leaves an enormous amount of amazing, diverse music that the old system classifies as “not worth it.” Not only are those artists worth it, but, in the Internet age, music fans are seeking and discovering this music. To ignore the Long Tail is to ignore a sizable chunk of the future of the music business.

To read more of Tracy’s thoughts on The Long Tail and how it benefits indie artists, click HERE

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[Long Tail image from Shutterstock.]