Thanks to David Hornik for this, which comes from an actual venture capital pitch presentation.
As it happens, IODA actually is a great Long Tail example. It stands for the Independent Online Distribution Alliance,
and they make it easy for independent music artists to get their songs
on iTunes and the other digital music services. These services don't
want to have to deal directly with thousands of independent labels, and
the labels (often just a single band's business side) typically have no
idea how to work with the services.
You can think of companies like IODA, CDBaby and The Orchard
as rights brokers who bridge the impedance mismatch between the
commercial and non-commercial worlds. As such, they serve an essential
role in connecting heads and tails. By letting Long Tail producers plug
into Long Tail content aggregators, these brokers help populate the
tail in digital music services. Once tail content is seamlessly
integrated with head content, recommendations and other filters can
drive demand from one to the other, revealing heretofore underestimated
markets for niches.