Entertainment Economy Term Paper

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Entertainment Economy Michael J. Wolf's book, The Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces are Transforming Our Lives, was published six years ago but nevertheless offers timely insights into how the forces of American corporate entertainment are shaping our culture.

Main Points

The author points to the end of huge military spending at the conclusion of the Cold War, but those military-related industries were replaced by entertainment revenue for those cities. The author also mentions instances where the economy had fallen flat in a given area, and some form of entertainment was introduced which not only bolstered the sagging economy, but provided jobs and spread the power of corporate-created entertainment throughout the land.

Chapter Two: while American's watch their personal savings dip into the red ink zone (2.1% of earnings), they are spending (or were, in 1999 when the book was published) 8.4% on entertainment. Wolf writes that Americans are all about going out to eat, gambling, buying video games and computers; and the new "shared community" is a chat room on AOL or going to a movie with friends.

Chapter Three: Show business has spread its influence into the mainstream American economy, as airlines, restaurants, and malls are more and more combining entertainment (gambling, etc.) with their standard goods and services.

Chapter Four: The mass marketing of the Internet, cable TV, video games, magazines, radio programming and sports has hugely expanded the opportunities for revenue. New and lucrative markets have opened up because of the digital technology revolution.

Chapter Five: Moguls rule the entertainment world; moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner created new networks; Bill Gates launched Windows 95 with an extravagantly huge entertainment campaign; Steve Case build AOL with "vision, tenacity, and high-stakes gambling." (p. 129). And yet all four of these wealthy power brokers in entertainment couldn't have succeeded without bringing in talented executives to carry out key missions.

Chapter Six: Moguls strive to create "hits" -- which provide more than money, including "the cultural context in which people see themselves" (p. 157). Taking a hit to its ultimate impact creates...

...

But, how can a company build reliable revenue from a Web-based presence? This chapter looks at all the ways, including subscriptions to Web sites, advertising, catalogue sales.
Chapter Eight: The advent of adroit, high profile branding has helped ESPN, MTV, Martha Stewart, Mattel (Barbie doll), Starbucks, the NBA and other companies to push the envelope way past previous growth / success stories, and gain a huge market share for their portion of the entertainment pie.

Chapter Nine: How advertisers get the strongest message out to the precise targeted audience has become a fine art. Competition is so keen, that advertisers are more inclined to use creative marketing campaigns than just spend big bucks.

Chapter Ten: Author Wolf offers his crystal ball into the future of Internet and other entertainment forms. He believes global entertainment competition will go as far at the human imagination will take it, which, he implies, will be limitless.

Key Examples

Chapter One: When the little strip malls (circa 1950s) became outdated and boring, new malls -- like the Mall of America in Minnesota (page 10) -- were built, featuring entertainment instead of just shopping opportunities. The Mall of American featured an aquarium, movies, an amusement park; many other malls followed suit, using entertainment as the magnet to draw people away from their boring TV programs and dull lives.

Chapter Two: Halloween used to be about families carving a Jack-O-Lantern out of a pumpkin, and distributing candy to trick-or-treaters; today (p. 41) Halloween is an excuse for parties and balls, involving adults; estimated revenues from costumes, parties, greeting cards, etc., total $5 billion in retail sales.

Chapter Three: A cable news / business channel, CNBC, has created a format with " ... attention-grabbing stories" instead of "boring data about prices,…

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