How Famous People Make Money
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From $10,000 tweets to making money in the afterlife, a recovering gossip columnist explores the business lessons that power the Hollywood Industrial Complex
Why do celebrities get paid so much more than regular people to do a job that seems to afford them the same amount of leisure time as most retirees? What do Bush-era economics have to do with the rise of Kim Kardashian? How do the laws of supply and demand explain why the stars of Teen Mom are on the cover of Us Weekly? And how was the sale of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s baby pictures a little like a street drug deal? After a decade spent toiling as an entertainment journalist and gossip columnist, Jo Piazza asks the hard questions about the business behind celebrity. Make no mistake: Celebrity is an industry. Never in the course of human history has the market for celebrities been as saturated as it is today. Nearly every day most Americans will consume something a celebrity is selling—a fragrance, a sneaker, a song, a movie, a show, a tweet, or a photo in a magazine. With the benefits of Piazza’s unique access to the celebrity market, Celebrity, Inc. explains in detail what generates cash for the industry and what drains value faster than a starlet downs champagne—in twelve fascinating case studies that tackle celebrities the way industry analysts would dissect any consumer brand. “An economist at heart, Jo Piazza has consistently dug deeper to try to figure out why celebrities behave the way they do and what the consequences of their behavior will be. This book puts celebrities in context, but it also puts the consumer of celebrity in context. No one should feel bad about enjoying pop culture, but they should understand how it is being marketed to them. [Celebrity, Inc.] gives the reader the tools to do exactly that.” —Bonnie Fuller, President of HollywoodLife.com Jo Piazza is the author of the acclaimed Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money and a novel, Love Rehab. She is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, Glamour, Gotham, the Daily Beast, and Slate. She has also appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR.
Piazza holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University. She lives in New York City with her giant dog.