The Impact of Recessions on Publishing Industries, Part II: Movies, Music and Videogames

January 28, 2019

There’s a challenge in assessing the impact of economic events on the publishing and entertainment industries over the last several decades. On the one hand these are largely hits-driven businesses. For the movie industry, a new superheroes franchise winner can counteract a downward trend in overall admissions (and popcorn) spending. (more…)

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The Future of Content Discovery for Books and Movies

January 9, 2018

Over the holidays I received an inquiry from a journalist about book buying, was it more impulsive or planned. What’s the breakdown? Seemed like a simple enough question. From my studies on book buying I knew that the impulse percentage was fairly high, higher than most would expect. We want to think that shoppers are rational animals, particularly when it comes to high-brow purchases. Don’t they think carefully before they buy a book? (more…)

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Publishing: Turning into 2017

December 22, 2016

I’ve become intrigued with the intersection of book publishing and machine learning, text mining, natural language processing and the like: technologies that get lumped under the rubric of artificial intelligence. Cliff Guren, who runs the publishing consultancy Syntopical, is emerging as one of the book publishing industry’s top specialists in this area. I thought it would be fun to catch up with Cliff on this topic — and others — as we approach the end of 2016. (more…)

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Magazines Come to TV

January 10, 2012

…or so said the article announcing Walrus TV. (more…)

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The Rise of 3-D

March 8, 2010

Grab it before it heads behind The New Yorker‘s firewall, Anthony Lane’s marvellous overview of the history of 3-D, taking us right through to Avatar and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (did you know that this film was shot in 2-D, and converted to 3-D during post-production? Cheater!), and speculating beyond.

avatar

It’s difficult to condense the history in this long article, but let me quote from the conclusion:

True, these are early days; I watched a DVD of “My BloodyValentine,” which came with a pair of crummy anaglyph glasses, and it was like having my eyeballs rinsed in lemon-lime Gatorade. Word is, though, that Blu-ray disks offer a better service by far, and who’s to say, in any case, that feature films will be the major draw? An outfit called 3ality Digital has produced a three-dimensional broadcast for the N.F.L., and before long it won’t be just the halftime commercials during the Super Bowl which require us to don our glasses. It will be the game. We will rise magically above the end zone, at the climactic play, and watch the football rifle toward our eyes. And if we feel like grieving at the end, and need to stream some 3-D porn to cheer ourselves up, it will not be because our team lost; it will be because the vision is over for the night. Those members of the “Avatar” audience who said that they felt blue, in every sense, as the movie ebbed away were the most accurate critics of all. 3-D will ravish our senses and take us on rides that no drug could match, but my guess is that, like so many blessings, it won’t make us happy. It will make us want more.

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