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The worldwide niche

The internet is helping revive niche products by making them easier to find and cheaper to deliver. But will the power of the big hit be reduced?

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (Random House Business, £17.99)

Back in the 1980s, before Chris Anderson became editor-in-chief of Wired, the magazine that has become the bible of the internet world, he played bass for a post-punk band called Egoslavia. If you hunt a bit on the internet, you can hear one of their songs (not bad, actually). The discovery by an online gossip sheet of this musical arcanity is a nice irony: Anderson’s book is basically about the way the internet reduces the power of the big hit and boosts audiences for the arcane and obscure.

The “long…

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