Change Agent: Long Tail's Tribe

HOLLYWOOD IS BUZZING WITH THE REVOLUTIONARY IDEA THAT REAL OPPORTUNITY--AND PROFIT--LIES WELL BEYOND BLOCKBUSTERS

In the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles last February, some of the biggest hotshots in Hollywood sat in rapt attention. Legendary music producer Quincy Jones was there at the Entertainment Gathering, L.A.'s version of Davos, along with Peter Guber, producer of the original Batman movie; former Disney Imagineer Danny Hillis; and scores of other media minds. Who had them spellbound? Chris Anderson, an unassuming magazine editor, who was explaining a giant curve on an x-y chart, a theory that he calls "the long tail."

Coined in a 2004 article in Wired, his magazine, long tail is poised to become the...