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Lecture 9

Thorough Notes on Lecture 9

6 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCC44H3
Professor
Ivanka Knezevic

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SOCC44H3Media and SocietyFri, March 25/2011
Film: Production, content and reception: Economics of entertainment & Popular music
The music industry is the biggest money maker in all of the entertainment industry
Economics of entertainment
Importance of distribution (including marketing – promotion and advertising) for
commercial success of all entertainment products
by promotion she meansappeal to institutional regulators (in one of the readings)
Reason: entertainment products are commodities with elastic demand.
Because they don't satisfy any physical need, because they mostly satisfy
psychological/esthetic needs, their demand goes up and down based on the economic cycle
When economy is up, demand too goes up
Food is considered the least elastic commodity
Entertainment industry operates in conditions of high uncertainty at both input and output
points.
High uncertainty is a very inconvenient situation for any corporation to be in
companies prefer certain small profit rather than a possibility of large profit
Why is certainty of a profit preferable?
Uncertainty does not allow you to plan
Ex: on an airline, if you know the certainty of your income, you know how many planes
can be active, which flights to cancel, how much staff to hire, etc.
Uncertainty at the input point: you never know that the product (comedy movie) you are
creating will satisfy the audience (make them laugh)
Uncertainty at the output point: all entertainment industries are characterized by
overproduction
there are large numbers of films produced, most of which will not show a profit mostly
because people don't spend their lives at the cinemas. People watch about 5-7 of the
large numbers that are pumped out and this makes film making unproductive
You can counteract uncertainty at the output point not by producing a better movie, but
make sure that the audience knows about your product and develops a positive attitude to
it.
How would you create a positive attitude towards your music for example? Speak to
people at local radio stations
the most secure way of promoting your music is radio play
if you can persuade them to provide you publicity (call you in to a radio show) and
having them play your music, you're reducing uncertainty at the output point
This uncertainty is managed by:
1. Proliferation of contact persons at the input point (cf. Bielby and Bielby);
Keeping the communication open between the actors, directors, producers, etc and the
management of tv studios who commission the work
www.notesolution.com
2. Overproduction and differential promotion; and
Overproduction is rational because of overproduction at the input point.
You never know what the audience will like, what they'll find funny and what they don't like
so you overproduce until you can find a trend in what they like. This makes overproduction
rational
Differential promotion: Say you produce 4 different space films: Damon, Bloom, Depp and Pitt
star in each of them. You heavily promote the Ptt movie and moderately promote the rest
because he's highly marketable, but at release of the film people are unsatisfied with the film.
You then switch your promotion from the Pitt movie to one of the other movies
3. Cooptation of institutional regulators at output points
Institutional regulators have nothing to do with the government.
They're people who are organizationally independent from the producing company. They're
people who have the power to make your product available or unavailable to the audience.
Without institutional regulators (journalists/critics) who are employed in media the audience
will never know about the product.
They consist of shows like Entertainment Tonight, or certain critics in the newspaper. You
need them so a film company will suck up to them
Allow a star of your film to appear on their show for free which helps their own ratings as
well
Economics of entertainment (cont.)
The initial investment in creating and marketing content is high. The cost of producing media
carriers of content is low
Media carriers: Cds, DVDs, film rolls (things that hold your media content)
The low cost of production of media carriers enables producers to pay highly popular
(marketable) talent.
This enables celebrity system
Celebrities are well known for being highly paid. What makes them celebs is their financial
success
Having a well developed celebrity system is wanted by both the celebrities and film creators
For celebs because they get paid tons
Producers like it because having celebs in their films because it brings the film success
but why do audiences support the system?
Question: why do audiences support celebrity system?
There's a widespread view on the fact that people like to follow the private/public lives of
celebrities
It relieves people who themselves are not famous, to read about problematic, and stupid
problems about celebrities
This allows people to justify their own positions in life. I might not be rich and famous
but I’m a good person. My wife and children love me; I’m not a drug addict, etc.
www.notesolution.com

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Description
SOCC44H3 Media and Society Fri, March 252011 Film: Production, content and reception: Economics of entertainment & Popular music The music industry is the biggest money maker in all of the entertainment industry Economics of entertainment Importance of distribution (including marketing promotion and advertising) for commercial success of all entertainment products by promotion she means appeal to institutional regulators (in one of the readings) Reason: entertainment products are commodities with elastic demand. Because they dont satisfy any physical need, because they mostly satisfy psychologicalesthetic needs, their demand goes up and down based on the economic cycle When economy is up, demand too goes up Food is considered the least elastic commodity Entertainment industry operates in conditions of high uncertainty at both input and output points. High uncertainty is a very inconvenient situation for any corporation to be in companies prefer certain small profit rather than a possibility of large profit Why is certainty of a profit preferable? Uncertainty does not allow you to plan Ex: on an airline, if you know the certainty of your income, you know how many planes can be active, which flights to cancel, how much staff to hire, etc. Uncertainty at the input point: you never know that the product (comedy movie) you are creating will satisfy the audience (make them laugh) Uncertainty at the output point: all entertainment industries are characterized by overproduction there are large numbers of films produced, most of which will not show a profit mostly because people dont spend their lives at the cinemas. People watch about 5-7 of the large numbers that are pumped out and this makes film making unproductive You can counteract uncertainty at the output point not by producing a better movie, but make sure that the audience knows about your product and develops a positive attitude to it. How would you create a positive attitude towards your music for example? Speak to people at local radio stations the most secure way of promoting your music is radio play if you can persuade them to provide you publicity (call you in to a radio show) and having them play your music, youre reducing uncertainty at the output point This uncertainty is managed by: 1. Proliferation of contact persons at the input point (cf. Bielby and Bielby); Keeping the communication open between the actors, directors, producers, etc and the management of tv studios who commission the work www.notesolution.com
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