Summary of Entertainment Industry Economics

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Entertainment Industry Economics book summary
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  • Innovative


Author and entertainment industry analyst Harold L. Vogel sheds valuable light on the growing importance of fun in the American economy. His book shows surprising versatility, sometimes reading like an economics textbook, and other times providing an engaging and easily readable overview of the entertainment business. Vogel provides exhaustive sources and an authoritative perspective, linking the entertainment industry’s technology-driven increase in productivity to the public’s increased expenditures on music, movies, sports, games, theme parks and other forms of entertainment. The relatively modest attention he pays to the performing arts reflects their unfortunate status as a poor stepchild. getAbstract finds this book’s breadth and depth impressive, and strongly recommends it to analysts, scholars and students who seek a clear picture of the economic role of entertainment.

About the Author

Harold L. Vogel was senior entertainment industry analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. for 17 years and served on the New York State Governor’s Motion Picture and Television Advisory Board. He is adjunct professor of media economics at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He currently heads an independent investment firm in New York City, and is author of Travel Industry Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis.



That’s Entertainment!

The English “leisure” stems from the Latin “licere,” meaning to be permitted or to be free. Well, leisure time may be free, but entertainment is a costly business, a $250 billion industry in the US alone. This successful mix of work and play includes several diverse industries, from films to music to casino gambling.

The economics of entertainment are influenced by how much free time and disposable income the public has available. Thus, a strong economy equals healthy entertainment industry revenues. To analyze the economics of various entertainment industries first note whether, in capitalist terms, they are:

  • Monopolies – Cable TV, newspapers and professional sports teams are essentially monopolies. For example, towns with competing newspapers are now rare.
  • Oligopolies – A few major companies dominate their individual sectors, including movies, recorded music, network TV, casinos and theme parks.
  • Competitive monopolies – In “monopolistic competitive” industries, such as book publishing, radio, the performing arts, and toy and game manufacturing, sellers of somewhat...

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