Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory has been getting a bit of a kicking recently, with several studies – including one joint effort between the MCPS-PRS and mBlox that claimed that 80% of digital music inventory sold no copies at all during the period analysed.eMusic has hit back, claiming that its sales data from 2008 supports the Long Tail theory. The company claims that around 75% of its tracks sold at least once during 2008. “eMusic is the Long Tail,” says European MD Madeleine Milne.”Our customers buy music beyond the mainstream top 40 because we provide them with more context than any other major music retailer through Web 2.0 features, insightful editorial content, a passionate subscriber community and an easy-to-use and effective recommendation engine. And we reinforce the music discovery experience with subscription pricing that encourages experimentation.”How to reconcile these two apparently contradictory claims? eMusic’s subscription model means users may be more willing to take a chance on new or obscure music. We’re going to ask the MCPS-PRS’ Will Page what his reaction is, and will provide an update then.

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