IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/net/wpaper/0741.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Word of Mouth and Taste Matching: A Theory of the Long Tail

Author

Abstract

I present a model to assess the impact of demand-side factors on the concentration of sales within large product assortments. Consumers face a search problem within an assortment of horizontally differentiated products supplied by a monopolist. They may search for a product match by drawing products from the assortment or by seeking word of mouth recommendations from other consumers. Product evaluations prior to purchase and word of mouth are shown to arise endogenously, and increase the concentration of sales. I show that taste matching mechanisms such as recommender systems, which allow consumers to obtain product recommendations from others with similar preferences, reduce sales concentration by generating a long tail effect, an increase in the tail of the sales distribution. Insights are derived on the mechanisms driving concentration in artistic markets and their strategic implications for the firm. The model is suited for experience good markets such as music, cinema, literature and video game entertainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Andres Hervas-Drane, 2007. "Word of Mouth and Taste Matching: A Theory of the Long Tail," Working Papers 07-41, NET Institute, revised Jan 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0741
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Hervas_07-41.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tucker, Catherine & Zhang, Juanjuan, 2007. "Long Tail or Steep Tail? A Field Investigation into How Online Popularity Information Affects the Distribution of Customer Choices," Working papers 39811, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2006. "Strategic Manipulation of Internet Opinion Forums: Implications for Consumers and Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1577-1593, October.
    3. Adler, Moshe, 1985. "Stardom and Talent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 208-212, March.
    4. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
    5. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1988. "The Economics of Rising Stars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 155-166, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gal OEstreicher-Singer & Barak Libai, 2011. "Assessing Value in Product Networks," Working Papers 11-29, NET Institute, revised Sep 2011.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search; Word of Mouth; Sales Concentration; Long Tail;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0741. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nicholas Economides). General contact details of provider: http://www.NETinst.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.