Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives

Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives

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by Michael Wolf
     
 

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Every so often an author explains our culture in such a new and original way that from that day on we see the world around us in a new light. From Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan through Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital. the books that have shown us the clearest vision of the future have been those that recognize the central role of mass…  See more details below

Overview

Every so often an author explains our culture in such a new and original way that from that day on we see the world around us in a new light. From Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan through Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital. the books that have shown us the clearest vision of the future have been those that recognize the central role of mass media.  

In The Entertainment Economy, Michael J. Wolf, the industry's most in-demand strategist, demonstrates that media and entertainment have moved beyond culture to become the driving wheel of the global economy.  From New York to New Delhi, from London to Lagos, from Singapore to Seattle, every business is locked in the same battle for consumer attention that movie producers and television programmers deal with on a daily basis.  Consumer businesses just like entertainment businesses have to turn to content for the competitive edge.  As adviser to companies like MTV, Paramount, Hearst, NBC, Universal, News Corporation, Bertelsmann and the NBA, Wolf is known by industry insiders as the moguls' secret weapon.  In clear, brash prose, full of real-life examples, Wolf shows how tomorrow's successful business person will have to act like a mogul in a global economy defined by hits and blockbusters.  

From MTV to Ford Motor Company, from Tommy Hilfiger to Martha Stewart, from Citibank to Amazon.com, from Stephen Spielberg to Richard Branson, Wolf shares the insights gained through his unique perspective as the founder of the world's largest media consulting practice, leaving no doubt that the watchwords for all consumer businesses in the 21st century are truly, "There's no business without show business."  Written with equal degrees of business and pop culture savvy, The Entertainment Economy is a book for everyone.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Since I always read the end of a book first, I loved the conclusion of THE ENTERTAINMENT ECONOMY.... Imagination, Michael Wolf contends, is the most valuable asset of all. As proof, he takes you on a pop culture tour, uncovering the lessons of Michael Jordan, Madonna, Viagra, e-commerce and sports utility vehicles, and finally, the mystery of how you get to create the next cultural phenomenon. I laughed, I cried, I took notes."
        —Judy McGrath, President of MTV

"As advisor to many of the world's top media moguls, Michael Wolf has th eultimate insider's view of how entertainment is changing every aspect of our lives. In his engrossing book, THE ENTERTAINMENT ECONOMY, he offers insights on the new and traditional media and the decision-makers who will change our economy and culture."
        —Bob Pittman, President and Chief Operating Officer of America Online

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Shakespeare was wrong. All the world isn't a stage -- it's a theme park. The Mall of America is one of the most visited attractions in the United States. Five percent of all photographs taken in this country are shot in a Disney park. As boomers cruise into their leisure years and Nintendo-weaned Generation Y-ers gain more control of their own purse strings, the commodification of recreation is just going to keep ramping up. As envisioned by media and business consultant Michael J. Wolf (no relation to the Michael Wolff of Burn Rate), the "entertainment economy" has become the new global exchange. Forget the euro -- the currency of the 21st century is fun.

With the aid of a dizzying (if depressing) array of examples, Wolf, who's worked with such fad-friendly monoliths as Paramount and MTV, suggests that consumers are no longer asking, "What can you do for me?" but rather, "How can you amuse me?" Shopping has gone from simple transaction to legitimate leisure activity. Even flying is no longer about moving from point A to point B -- it's now about getting a massage, channel surfing through a full menu of movies and cartoons, maybe even hitting some high-flying slot machines along the way. And that imperative -- to bring playtime into as many arenas as possible -- is rippling out all over and changing the way business is done.

The Entertainment Economy points to the phenomenal rise in merchandising tie-ins (McDonald's, thanks to Happy Meals, has become the world's largest distributor of toys), the insidiousness of real-world product placement (getting a star to be seen driving the car your company makes can sell more autos than taking out an ad) and the way everything from sneakers to computer parts is now marketed with breathless, Hollywood-premiere-level hype. Even if you don't know exactly what a Pentium chip does, you know who makes it, because it's got its own disco theme music. Citibank asks, "Who says a bank can't rock 'n' roll?" as if guitar smashing and financial institutions were a desirable match.

Wolf explains changing trends with all the dispassion of a seasoned businessman, going so far as to point coolly to the narcotics industry as "a prime example of successful product distribution without the benefit of conventional advertising." He's neither an old-school doomsayer, outraged at our culture's distraction by shiny objects, nor a Wired-style drum beater for the new world order. He's a trend spotter, not a sage, and he seems comfortable in his role. The book's main stumbling block is that he's not exactly a writer, either. His penchant for biz-speak jargon -- the public are "eyeballs" or "alpha consumers," a product's fun value can be measured in its "E-factor" -- quickly becomes as grating as a weekend synergy retreat with the suits from marketing. Nonetheless, his message, delivered with the ominous flatness of a corporate memo, bears serious consideration.

As consumer spending rises and the personal-savings rate plummets, we are increasingly investing our money and time in the pursuit of diversion. We're choosing to become eyeballs instead of individuals, willing to spend our last few cents on the perfect pair of Men in Black Ray-Bans. Michael Wolf and his clients know this, and they're there at the checkout stand, waiting for us. -- Salon

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400051861
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/2003
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,420,799
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

What People are saying about this

Judy McGrath
Since I always read the end of a book first, I loved the conclusion of The Entertainment Economy.... Imagination, Michael Wolf contends, is the most valuable asset of all. As proof, he takes you on a pop culture tour, uncovering the lessons of Michael Jordan, Madonna, Viagra, e-commerce and sports utility vehicles, and finally, the mystery of how you get to create the next cultural phenomenon. I laughed, I cried, I took notes. -- (Judy McGrath, President of MTV)
Bob Pittman
As advisor to many of the world's top media moguls, Michael Wolf has the ultimate insider's view of how entertainment is changing every aspect of our lives. In his engrossing book, The Entertainment Economy, he offers insights on the new and traditional media and the decision-makers who will change our economy and culture. -- (Bob Pittman, President and Chief Operating Officer of America Online)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Wolf is the leading consultant to the world's top media and entertainment companies.  He is the founder and Senior Partner of the Media and Entertainment Group at Booz-Allen & Hamilton, the largest and most influential consulting practice for these industries.  His team of more than 200 consultants are based in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Tokyo, Munich, Shanghai and Sao Paolo.  A graduate of Columbia University, Mr. Wolf lives in New York City.

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