The Business of Entertainment

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Robert C. Sickels
ABC-CLIO, 2008 - Business & Economics - 752 pages
1 Review

We love to be entertained. And today's technology makes that easier than ever. Listen to tunes while working out? No problem. Watch a movie on your cell phone? Can do. Get 450 channels of digital entertainment bounced off a satellite and into your vehicle—even while traveling through empty wastelands? Simple. But behind these experiences is a complex industry, dominated by a handful of global media conglomerates whose executives exert considerable influence over the artists and projects they bankroll, the processes by which products are developed, and the methods they use to promote and distribute entertainment. As this set shows, the industries in which commerce, art, and technology intersect are among the most fascinating in all of business.

Entertainment is a high-stakes industry where stars are born and flame out in the blink of an eye, where multimillion dollar deals are made on a daily basis, and where cultural mores, for better or worse, are shaped and reinforced. The Business of Entertainment lifts the curtain to show the machinery (and sleight of hand) behind the films, TV shows, music, and radio programs we can't live without. The Business of Entertainment comprises three volumes, covering movies popular music, and television. But it's not all about stars and glitter—it's as much about the nuts and bolts of daily life in the industry, including the challenges of digitizing content, globalization, promoting stars and shows, protecting intellectual property, developing talent, employing the latest technology, and getting projects done on time and within budget. Challenges don't end there. There's also advertising and product placement, the power of reviews and reviewers, the cancerous spread of piracy, the battles between cable and satellite operators (and the threat to both from telephone companies), the backlash to promoting gangsta lifestyles, and more. Each chapter is written by an authority in the field, from noted scholars to entertainment industry professionals to critics to screenwriters to lawyers. The result is a fascinating mosaic, with each chapter a gem that provides insight into the industry that—hands down—generates more conversations on a daily basis than any other.

 

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About the author (2008)

Robert C. Sickels is Associate Professor of American Film and Popular Culture at Whitman College. He has made several short films that have played nationally at festivals around the country. In addition to publishing numerous journal articles and book chapters, he is also the author of American Popular Culture Through History: The 1940s (Greenwood, 2004), and American Film in the Digital Age (Praeger 2009).

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