Application of the Long Tail Economy to the Online News Market: Examining Predictors of Market Performance

J. Sonia Huang, Wei Ching Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The online news market worldwide has met several challenges, one of which is the lack of sustainable business models. The long tail is a concept defined by Chris Anderson to describe a business model used by the majority of Internet firms and ecommerce stores. Is the long tail model crucial to the news media's competitive market capacity today? The study integrates relevant economic concepts of production costs, distribution costs, search costs, and market performance to construct a long tail economy for online news. Using survey, third-party traffic metrics, and content analysis, this study found that the traffic performance of online news sites was significantly impacted by long tail forces, but the impact had not transferred to the news sites' financial performance. The synthesis provides rich explanations of how the long tail economy can be applied to online news to reveal the forces that both drive and constrain its performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-176
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Media Economics
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Economics and Econometrics

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