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Entertainment and the Economy

Updated on February 2, 2016
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Stephen Bush is the founder and CEO of AEX Commercial Financing Group. Steve obtained his MBA from UCLA and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Entertainment and the Economy
Entertainment and the Economy

Is Entertainment Good for the Economy?

Since the past decade has been full of challenging economic times, there has been no shortage of ideas from politicians and others about ways to get the economy rolling again. What role does entertainment play in this?

Has entertainment spending increased or decreased during the past ten years? Is entertainment "all good" when it comes to economic impact?

As you will see, entertainment is full of positive economic impacts.

Let the Economy Entertain You
Let the Economy Entertain You

Many of us do not fully understand the entertainment economy.

The Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives
The Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives

Certainly we would all agree that entertainment has global impact. This Michael Wolf book takes that perspective several steps further and provides a conclusion that all businesses will have to become entertaining if they are to survive. I believe that any book that makes a persuasive case about how individuals and small business owners will improve their chances of survival is worth reading.

Wouldn't you agree?

While not all entertainment events will receive positive critical acclaim, a supportable case can be made very readily that "It's all good" in terms of what entertainment means for the economy. The "entertainment industry" is a diverse collection of individuals, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and large corporations. When economists talk about the economic impact of various activities and industries, it is common to hear them talk about the "multiplier effect". This is an attempt to measure how money initially spent on things like payroll for performers in a Broadway play ends up having a much bigger impact on the local, regional and national economy than just the initial expenditures for producing the play. In comparison to other industries, entertainment activities have one of the biggest ripple effects throughout the entire economy. Unfortunately this means that while increases in spending for entertainment are felt in a positive way throughout the economy, decreases in entertainment expenditures can have a noticeable negative impact.


Examples of Entertainment Spending



Film and video

Video games

Sporting events





Performing arts

And many more examples..........

The Economy Breaks into Song? - An Entertaining Explanation

The economy is definitely one of those subjects that deserves to be explained in whatever way each individual can best understand it. Here is the video treatment.

A Poll: Is Entertainment Good for the Economy?

Is entertainment good for the economy?

See results
Entertainment Industry Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis
Entertainment Industry Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis

Yes, entertainment is a business, and this book does an excellent job of evaluating the financial economics that guide the multiple impacts entertainment has on our economy.

The Wide World of Business — Good News or Bad News?

The Wide World of Entertainment includes a number of highly-specialized individuals whose primary passion is frequently at odds with the Wide World of Business. As two examples, musicians and writers will routinely engage in fierce debates with the accountants and executives about the proper priorities of quality versus profits. It seems like the financial wizards never get the memos about how artistic inspiration is rarely in harmony with rigid budgets and schedules.

Will this debate ever end? It certainly seems unlikely with the traditional methods of business taking on a seemingly bigger role. The vast fortune to be reaped from entertainment suggests on the one hand that there is plenty of everything to go around and that there should be flexibility and allowances for artistic freedom. On the other hand, "freedom" and "collaboration" are not in many of the operational business dictionaries I have seen put into actual practice through the years.

The Wide World of Business is routinely operating on a different wave length. Peter Drucker spoke often about the critical problems created by a lack of proper communication. He was looking squarely in the face of the business world at large when he made this observation. He once said that "The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said." Unfortunately, very few business executives and accountants possess this vital communication skill.

Questions and Answers About the Economy
Questions and Answers About the Economy

More Thoughts About the Economy

Is Real Estate the Problem or the Solution?

Are Banks the Problem or the Solution?

When banks talk about real estate problems, they act like they had nothing to do with causing the financial crisis that in turn caused various business and property problems. When politicians decided to save the banks instead of helping those who owned property, the difficulties only got worse. Taxpayers paid for a banking bailout, but in return the banks have zero obligations to resume lending normally (supposedly the reason for saving the financial institutions). So in the absence of a normal level of small business loans and mortgages, real property values have declined in many areas because potential buyers can't get financing.

Based on my concise summary as well as other data and information, I have concluded:

(1) Banks are the problem and not the solution.

(2) Real estate is the solution and not the problem.

(3) The banks should not have been saved by a bailout.

(4) A more productive use of taxpayer funding would be to write a check to each and every homeowner (regardless of amount of mortgage debt) and taxpayer instead of the banks. This holds true for the last bailout as well as any future bank failures.

One More Thing - Just Say No

Less debt or more debt? How about no debt? Isn't it time that we all reduced how much we rely on debt?

The current political drama surrounding tax cuts versus increased spending versus reduced expenditures versus increasing or reducing debts has helped illustrate that it is appropriate to review using less debt throughout the economy (including at the individual level). Perhaps it is time to adopt a "Just Say No" attitude toward debt.

Economic Impact Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Our current divisive political climate seems to invite debate on virtually everything and rejection of most attempts at consensus. As much as any segment of the economy, entertainers and entertainment have contributed to a helping and learning environment while also adding to a positive economic impact.

I never called my work an 'art'. It's part of show business, the business of building entertainment.

— Walt Disney
Thanks for Visiting Entertainment and the Economy — All images provided under End User License Agreement to Stephen Bush
Thanks for Visiting Entertainment and the Economy — All images provided under End User License Agreement to Stephen Bush

© 2012 Stephen Bush

And now, your thoughts on the subject...

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I did enjoy my visit. We are a culture built on entertainment. Look at the goliath that is the NFL. When all else fails, there's always entetainment of some sort at a reasonable price.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I see I was here before and cast my vote on this lens with a like, but I must not have had anything to say that day. Now I do. lol

      What would most people do without a TV for entertainment? Personally I do enjoy a good laugh at times, America's Funniest Videos is my favorite, then MythBusters, but I hardly watch them. Too busy working on Squidoo, which has plenty of entertainment value and its free. :)

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      Entertainment is good, but the earnings of celebrities is disproportionate to thie value. SOmething is seriously unbalanced here.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      I believe is the backbone of economy--in good time or bad time people need to escape from reality