Data Analytics and Practical Theory for Movies, Games,
Books, and Music. Now available for pre-order
at your book store or at Amazon.
The entertainment industries, enlightening billions of people with movies, games, music, and books, are often characterized by their “Nobody Knows Anything” mantra. This mantra, coined more than 30 years ago by screenwriter legend William Goldman, argues that survival and success is a function of managerial intuition and instinct and refuses the existence of economic rules and laws for entertainment products. The Goldman adage strongly collides with today’s production and marketing budgets for entertainment products which are often exceeding $100 million and can reach up to $500 million – for a single new movie or video game. This book introduces ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE as an alternative, and more timely, paradigm. ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE builds on the assumption that in the era of almost unlimited data and computer power, intuition remains important for success in the entertainment industries, but that the combination of smart analytics and powerful theories can provide equally valuable insights to those who have room for them in their decisions making. ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE offers a systematic investigation of the knowledge that has been accumulated by scholars in various fields such as marketing and economics regarding the factors that make entertainment products successful – or let them flop. This knowledge has gone, in most parts, unnoticed by those who manage entertainment products and determine the industry’s course. In ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE, we open a unique vault of more than 35 years of high-quality scholarly research on the entertainment industry and make it accessible to future and current decision makers. In other words, we link the practical skills of Hollywood with the intellectual powers of Harvard, UCLA, Wharton, Texas A&M, and Münster University, just to name a few of the many places around the globe where scholars have contributed to ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE. The book substitutes the deterministic perspective (which, often unnoticed, underlies the Goldman adage) with a probabilistic approach and provides ample evidence that success in the entertainment industries is all about probability, not determination.
Whereas the devotees of Mr. Goldman have been right that nobody will ever be sure that a new entertainment product will succeed in the marketplace, the insights about industry rules and processes compiled in this book will increase every reader’s probability to be successful with his or her next offering. ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE combines insights that have been generated when scholars apply rigorous analytical methods to big data sets on the performance of movies, games, books, or music with powerful theories. Paraphrasing a classic saying, we argue here that for being successful in today’s entertainment industry, there is nothing so practical as the combination of powerful analytics and a good theory. When these forces are paired with (not used as a substitute for!) entertainment’s traditional elements of bright creativity and intuition, the lessons portrayed in this book will equip readers who are willing to leave the world of determination with a competitive advantage.
The book is targeted to current leaders of entertainment firms who like to have their thinking challenged, who are looking for ways to grow as a decision-maker,
and who seek to improve their firm’s ability to pick winners and avoid losers. It is also targeted to those who are, as students of business or the creative arts,
or as employees in another industry, fascinated by entertainment and the industries that provide it. Finally, the book should also be of value for other scholars who
share our excitement for the entertainment industry, providing them a coherent and comprehensive picture of scientific insight that has been gathered so far.
Read the book's preface HERE.
“Thorsten Hennig-Thurau and Mark B. Houston – two of our finest scholars
in the area of entertainment marketing – have produced a definitive
research-based compendium that cuts across various branches of the arts
to explain the phenomena that provide consumption experiences to capture
the hearts and minds of audiences. With its strong emphasis on
empirical applications, this comprehensive and beautifully organized
book takes a leadership position in our studies of the
arts-and-entertainment industries. A formidable achievement that will be
a wonderful educational resource.” (Morris B. Holbrook, W. T. Dillard
Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Columbia University)
“Entertainment Science is a must-read for everyone working in the entertainment industry today, where the impact of digital and the use of big data can’t be ignored anymore. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau and Mark Houston are the scientific frontrunners of knowledge that the industry urgently needs.” (Michael Kölmel, media entrepreneur and Honorary Professor of Media Economics at University of Leipzig)
“Entertainment Science’s winning combination of creativity, theory, and data analytics offers managers in the creative industries and beyond a novel, compelling, and comprehensive approach to support their decision-making. This ground-breaking book marks the dawn of a new Golden Age of fruitful conversation between entertainment scholars, managers, and artists.” (Allègre Hadida, Associate Professor in Strategy, University of Cambridge)
“Finally, a pioneering step from conventional power-political and
gut-feel decision-making to a research-based guide that can readily be
applied to all segments of the entertainment and media universe. More
than anything that has been previously available, Entertainment Science
provides readers with a deep understanding of what makes the industry
tick and what raises the probability of profitability. Media executives,
scholars, students, and buffs will find this book an invaluable
reference.” (Harold (Hal) L. Vogel, author of “Entertainment Industry
Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis”)
“Hennig-Thurau and Houston have done a terrific job organizing, summarizing, and articulating lucidly cumulative scholarly research on the entertainment industry. Entertainment Science challenges convincingly the “Nobody-Knows -Anything” old mantra, making empirical-based knowledge and findings accessible to a wide range of audiences.” (Jehoshua Eliashberg, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School)
“Entertainment Science offers a new dimension of how statistical analysis can be applied to the intersection of art and science.” (Jason E. Squire, editor of “The Movie Business Book” and Associate Professor of Practice, USC School of Cinematic Arts)
In some of the prints of "Entertainment Science," the quote "Managing price is an art, not a science..." on p. 745 is erroneously attributed to Harold Vogel. It actually stems from Jeffrey Ulin's book "The Business of Media Distribution" (second edition, New York: Focal Press, p. 252).
Department of Marketing
and Media Research
Marketing Center Münster
University of Muenster
Am Stadtgraben 13-15
48143 Münster, Germany
Neeley School of Business
Texas Christian University
TCU Box 298530
2932B Merida Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76109