Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction

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A Book of the Year Selection for Inc. and Library Journal

“This book picks up where The Tipping Point left off
." -- Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

Nothing “goes viral.” If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today’s crowded media environment, you’re missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history—of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults that turn some new products into cultural phenomena. Even the most brilliant ideas wither in obscurity if they fail to connect with the right network, and the consumers that matter most aren't the early adopters, but rather their friends, followers, and imitators -- the audience of your audience.

In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit-making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows quality is insufficient for success, nobody has "good taste," and some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure. It may be a new world, but there are some enduring truths to what audiences and consumers want. People love a familiar surprise: a product that is bold, yet sneakily recognizable.

Every business, every artist, every person looking to promote themselves and their work wants to know what makes some works so successful while others disappear. Hit Makers is a magical mystery tour through the last century of pop culture blockbusters and the most valuable currency of the twenty-first century—people’s attention.

From the dawn of impressionist art to the future of Facebook, from small Etsy designers to the origin of Star Wars, Derek Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens and why things become popular.
In Hit Makers, Derek Thompson investigates:
·       The secret link between ESPN's sticky programming and the The Weeknd's catchy choruses
·       Why Facebook is today’s most important newspaper
·       How advertising critics predicted Donald Trump
·       The 5th grader who accidentally launched "Rock Around the Clock," the biggest hit in rock and roll history
·       How Barack Obama and his speechwriters think of themselves as songwriters
·       How Disney conquered the world—but the future of hits belongs to savvy amateurs and individuals
·       The French collector who accidentally created the Impressionist canon
·       Quantitative evidence that the biggest music hits aren’t always the best
·       Why almost all Hollywood blockbusters are sequels, reboots, and adaptations
·       Why one year--1991--is responsible for the way pop music sounds today
·       Why another year --1932--created the business model of film
·       How data scientists proved that “going viral” is a myth
·       How 19th century immigration patterns explain the most heard song in the Western Hemisphere
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About the author

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, where he writes about economics and the media. He is a regular contributor to NPR's "Here and Now" and appears frequently on television, including CBS and MSNBC. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Published on
Feb 7, 2017
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Business & Economics / Industries / Entertainment
Social Science / Media Studies
Social Science / Popular Culture
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"The closer the new media future gets, the further victory appears." --Michael Wolff

This is a book about what happens when the smartest people in the room decide something is inevitable, and yet it doesn’t come to pass. What happens when omens have been misread, tea leaves misinterpreted, gurus embarrassed?

Twenty years after the Netscape IPO, ten years after the birth of YouTube, and five years after the first iPad, the Internet has still not destroyed the giants of old media. CBS, News Corp, Disney, Comcast, Time Warner, and their peers are still alive, kicking, and making big bucks. The New York Times still earns far more from print ads than from digital ads. Super Bowl commercials are more valuable than ever. Banner ad space on Yahoo can be bought for a relative pittance.

Sure, the darlings of new media—Buzzfeed, HuffPo, Politico, and many more—keep attracting ever more traffic, in some cases truly phenomenal traffic. But as Michael Wolff shows in this fascinating and sure-to-be-controversial book, their buzz and venture financing rounds are based on assumptions that were wrong from the start, and become more wrong with each passing year. The consequences of this folly are far reaching for anyone who cares about good journalism, enjoys bingeing on Netflix, works with advertising, or plans to have a role in the future of the Internet.

Wolff set out to write an honest guide to the changing media landscape, based on a clear-eyed evaluation of who really makes money and how. His conclusion: The Web, social media, and various mobile platforms are not the new television. Television is the new television.

We all know that Google and Facebook are thriving by selling online ads—but they’re aggregators, not content creators. As major brands conclude that banner ads next to text basically don’t work, the value of digital traffic to content-driven sites has plummeted, while the value of a television audience continues to rise. Even if millions now watch television on their phones via their Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO apps, that doesn’t change the balance of power. Television by any other name is the game everybody is trying to win—including outlets like The Wall Street Journal that never used to play the game at all.

Drawing on his unparalleled sources in corner offices from Rockefeller Center to Beverly Hills, Wolff tells us what’s really going on, which emperors have no clothes, and which supposed geniuses are due for a major fall. Whether he riles you or makes you cheer, his book will change how you think about media, technology, and the way we live now.
“The Knowledge Illusion is filled with insights on how we should deal with our individual ignorance and collective wisdom.” —Steven Pinker

We all think we know more than we actually do.
Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. The Knowledge Illusion contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us.
A New York Times bestseller

An astonishing—and astonishingly entertaining—history of Hollywood’s transformation over the past five decades as seen through the agency at the heart of it all, from the #1 bestselling co-author of Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun.

The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend—behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking. 

Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public, author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, greed, and personal betrayal. It is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business.

Here are the real Star Wars—complete with a Death Star—told through the voices of those who were there. Packed with scores of stars from movies, television, music, and sports, as well as a tremendously compelling cast of agents, studio executives, network chiefs, league commissioners, private equity partners, tech CEOs, and media tycoons, Powerhouse is itself a Hollywood blockbuster of the most spectacular sort.



◆富比士2016年「30 Under 30」媒體類得主——德瑞克.湯普森話題之作





曾獲選路透社「BLOGs TO FOLLOW」以及時代雜誌評選最熱門的一百四十名推特主的德瑞克.湯普森在本書中揭露了所有爆紅事物的背後成因與推動行為,透過許多藝文、影視、管理、科學的名人訪問及全球爆紅的案例分析,讓爆紅再也不是秘密。


1. 相似驚喜法則:人們都會試圖從事物中尋找熟悉或是似曾相識的元素,同時也期待能有驚喜的發生,將其融合更容易被接受。

2. 回饋科學:你無法務期人們喜歡點擊什麼,唯一能做的就是觀察受眾的環境、研究如何在其環境中售出、從有意義的回饋中學習。

3. 天賦極限:你可以透過你的手機拍攝電影,或是上Youtube發表你剛錄好的歌曲,可是要成功,這些終究有其極限。《格雷的五十道陰影》的作者 EL James自我發行的格雷電子書賣出了25萬冊,但Random House卻幫她賣了1億本,你必須了解其中的極限差距。

4. 病毒行銷迷思:真正造成狂熱的事物從來都不是從病毒行銷開始的,而是像「大規模汙染」的形式擴散出去,想想超級盃的廣告為何是兵家必爭之地呢?


出版社 商周出版 (城邦)

>> „Hitmakeři jsou výpravou do světa populárních hitů. Skvělé čtení a zajímavépoznatky podložené řadou výzkumů. Knihu si musíte přečíst,ať už se sami pokoušíte o hit, anebo prostě pomáháte někomu jinémudobýt svět.“— Michal „Majkláč“ Novák, zakladatel Bandzone.cz <<

# O knize

Nic se nestává „virálním“. Pokud si myslíte, že populární filmy, písně či aplikace k vám přicházejí jen tak odnikud a v dnešním přeplněném mediálním prostoru dosáhnou úspěchu jen díky šeptandě, neznáte jejich skutečný příběh. Každý trhák má vlastní tajnou historii, a dokonce i ty nejoslnivější nápady zapadnou, nepodaří-li se jim spojit se správnou sítí.

Derek Thompson ve své knize odkrývá psychologii vkusu a fungování kulturních trhů, které nenápadně utvářejí naše životy. Boří sentimentální showbyznysové mýty o tvorbě hitů a ukazuje, že kvalita samotná k úspěchu nestačí, že nikdo nemá „dobrý vkus“ a že několik nejpopulárnějších produktů v dějinách dělil od úplného selhání jenom krůček. Hitmakeři představují kouzelnou výpravu za trháky popkultury a za nejcennějším platidlem 21. století – pozorností lidí.

# Dozvíte se například:

- proč se nejhůře šíří velké inovace a nejlépe naopak věci povědomé, jen lehce vylepšené (a jak hledat „optimální novost“)
- že viralita neexistuje, protože hity se šíří v kaskádách, a jak vytvořit globální kaskádu
- že velkou roli při šíření hitů hraje náhoda, které však můžeme pomoct
- jak moc účinné je nejen v textu, ale i v hudbě a designu pracovat s repeticí
- že vkus je z velké části výsledkem všeho, s čím se daný člověk setkal, ne nějakého vrozeného nastavení či výchovy
- jak přimět lidi, aby o vašem produktu mluvili, a proč musí být zajímavý především pro širší okruh mimo vaše přátele
- proč je tak zásadní chápat Facebook jako noviny
- jak těžit z opakované expozice, tedy vystavení vašemu produktu
- proč se preference jiných často stávají našimi vlastními a jak toho využít
- že pravidlo módy zní „nové je dobré, staré je špatné a hodně staré je opět dobré“ a jak z tradice udělat módu

# O autorovi

Derek Thompson je uznávaným redaktorem časopisu The Atlantic, do něhož přispívá články o ekonomice a médiích. Pravidelně se podílí na podcastu Here and Now v National Public Radio a často vystupuje v televizi, včetně stanic CBS a MSNBC. Magazíny Inc. i Forbes ho uvedly na seznamu „30 pod 30“. Žije v New Yorku.

# Více informací

Web knihy: www.hitmakeri.cz
Sledujte hashtag #hitmakeri
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