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Procrastination Economy: The Big Business of Downtime

by Ethan Tussey New York University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 256 pages
AU$52.99 NZ$55.65
Product Status: In Stock Now
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How mobile devices make our in-between moments valuable to media companies while also providing a sense of control and connection


In moments of downtime – waiting for a friend to arrive or commuting to work – we pull out our phones for a few minutes of distraction.  Just as television reoriented the way we think about living rooms, mobile devices have taken over the interstitial spaces of our everyday lives. Ethan Tussey argues that these in-between moments have created a procrastination economy, an opportunity for entertainment companies to create products, apps, platforms, subscription services, micropayments, and interactive opportunities that can colonize our everyday lives.


But as businesses commoditize our free time, and mobile devices become essential tools for promotion, branding and distribution, consumers are using these devices as a means of navigating public and private space.  These devices are not just changing the way we spend and value our time, but also how we interact with others and transform our sense the politics of space.


By examining the four main locations of the procrastination economy—the workplace, the commute, the waiting room, and the “connected” living room—Ethan Tussey illuminates the relationship between the entertainment industry and the digitally empowered public.


“Ethan Tussey offers an exciting and foundational concept—the 'procrastination economy'—that is sure to have a long life and change the way we think about entertainment and mobile technology. Insightful and original, incorporating both industry insight and audience use, this book takes a smart approach to a new media phenomenon.”-Amanda D. Lotz,author of The Television Will Be Revolutionized and Portals: A Treatise on Internet-Distributed Television
Ethan Tussey is Assistant Professor of Communication at Georgia State University.  He is the Coordinating Editor of In Medias Res, and co-founder of the Atlanta Media Project.