Last week I attended a great conference about the sports and entertainment industries on the University of Texas campus, where I work. The attendees asked for some book recommendations, and that reminded me of this old favorite, of which I have had several successive editions.
There are relatively few industries where you can find a book that reflects the real economics of the industry (how profits are made), talks about the leading companies, and is up-to-date. One of those few industries is the entertainment industry – broadly defined. Thanks to Harold Vogel, a veteran financial analyst who covers these industries, one book contains many of the answers students of the industry need.
Vogel’s Entertainment Industry Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis (7th edition, Cambridge University Press, 2007) goes way beyond “financial analysis.” Find out all about the movie, music, broadcasting, cable, publishing, toy and game, gambling, sports, live entertainment, performing arts, and amusement park industries. Discover the economic trends that drive demand in these industries. Learn how they have changed over the years, how industry growth rates compare. What are the challenges and opportunities for each industry segment? Even how accounting for movies – fascinating stuff – works. Where advertising dollars are spent. The rise of gambling in Atlantic City and on Indian Reservations. 
Outstanding, clear text is accompanied by a ton of charts and tables. The book contains footnotes and an extensive bibliography for further research. In other words, a near-perfect book for understanding these industries. 
I only wish a publisher would create a series of books covering the most important industries, modeled on this book. Those of us who are fascinated by industry and enterprise, who spend much of our time looking for data and seeking understanding, would be way ahead of the game if we had tools like this for other industries like autos, computers, retailing, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. But, until someone takes on such a massive project, at least we can get our heads around the entertainment industries. And those with focused interest on these industries should consider themselves blessed to have access to Harold Vogel’s great book.  

Addendum 11/19/09: Since I wrote this post, I studied two other books focused on the sports industries.  The Business of Sports, shown to the right, is very up to date and packed with case studies and stories.  The other book, Pay Dirt, is from the 1990s but has lots of wonderful data in it.  My links to these books on Amazon will lead you to many more books on this increasingly important industry.



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