Remember the Long Tail? Chris Anderson’s famous theory about selling “less of more” particularly with the hugely expanded inventories of digital services, be they shopping sites or music stores. Now The Echo Nest’s Paul Lamere has been looking into whether the theory holds up in the age of streaming music. He thinks it does, noting that Anderson tracked the percentage of listener market share from songs outside the most popular 50,000 on Rhapsody as growing from 26% in 2004 to 28% in 2005 and 30% in 2006, as that service’s catalogue increased. Now, in 2013, Lamere says data from current services (presumably those partnered with The Echo Nest) indicates that 42% of listening comes from songs outside the top 50,000. “The trend has continued. More listening is taking place in less popular music,” he writes in a blog post providing more stats: “80% of all listening is concentrated in the top 5,000 artists. The top 1,000 songs account for about 13% of all listening, and 80% of all listening is spread over about 222,0000 songs… Our listening is less concentrated in the hits than ever before.”

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