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Why the future of popular culture will revolve around ever bigger bets on entertainment products, by one of Harvard Business School's most popular professors
What's behind the phenomenal success of entertainment businesses such as Warner Bros., Marvel Entertainment, and the NFL—along with such stars as Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and LeBron James? Which strategies give leaders in film, television, music, publishing, and sports an edge over their rivals?
Anita Elberse, Harvard Business School's expert on the entertainment industry, has done pioneering research on the worlds of media and sports for more than a decade. Now, in this groundbreaking book, she explains a powerful truth about the fiercely competitive world of entertainment: building a business around blockbuster products—the movies, television shows, songs, and books that are hugely expensive to produce and market—is the surest path to long-term success. Along the way, she reveals why entertainment executives often spend outrageous amounts of money in search of the next blockbuster, why superstars are paid unimaginable sums, and how digital technologies are transforming the entertainment landscape.
Full of inside stories emerging from Elberse's unprecedented access to some of the world's most successful entertainment brands, Blockbusters is destined to become required reading for anyone seeking to understand how the entertainment industry really works—and how to navigate today's high-stakes business world at large.
Prologue: Show Business—a Business of Blockbusters 1
One: Betting on Blockbusters 15
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Grand Central Publishing, Marvel Entertainment
Two: Launching and Managing Blockbusters 56
Lady Gaga, Octone Records
Three: Investing in Superstars 83
Real Madrid, Boca Juniors
Four: How Superstars Use Their Powers 118
MGM and Tom Cruise, Maria Sharapova, LeBron James
Five: Will Digital Technology End the Dominance of Blockbusters? 150
YouTube, Hulu, the Metropolitan Opera
Six: Will Digital Technology Threaten Powerful Producers? 187
Radiohead, Major League Baseball, the National Football League
Seven: The Future of Blockbuster Strategies 220
Jay-Z, Lady Gaga
Epilogue: No Business Like Show Business? 251
Marquee New York City