The Attention Merchants : The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

The Attention Merchants : The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads


From the author of the award-winning The Master Switch, who coined the term net neutrality"--a revelatory, ambitious and urgent account of how the capture and re-sale of human attention became the defining industry of our time.

One of the Best Books of the Year
The San Francisco Chronicle * The Philadelphia Inquirer * Vox * The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Ours is often called an information economy, but at a moment when access to information is virtually unlimited, our attention has become the ultimate commodity. In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of efforts to harvest our attention. This condition is not simply the byproduct of recent technological innovations but the result of more than a century's growth and expansion in the industries that feed on human attention.

Wu's narrative begins in the nineteenth century, when Benjamin Day discovered he could get rich selling newspapers for a penny. Since then, every new medium--from radio to television to Internet companies such as Google and Facebook--has attained commercial viability and immense riches by turning itself into an advertising platform. Since the early days, the basic business model of "attention merchants" has never changed: free diversion in exchange for a moment of your time, sold in turn to the highest-bidding advertiser.

Full of lively, unexpected storytelling and piercing insight, The Attention Merchants lays bare the true nature of a ubiquitous reality we can no longer afford to accept at face value.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 0593184831
ISBN 13: 9780593184837

04 Jan 2022
Janice Kaplan

ISBN 10: 0999745468
ISBN 13: 9780999745465

13 Nov 2018
Tim Wu

ISBN 10: 0060850523
ISBN 13: 9780060850524

17 Oct 2006
Aldous Huxley

ISBN 10: 0307390993
ISBN 13: 9780307390998

29 Nov 2011
Tim Wu

ISBN 10: 1119164001
ISBN 13: 9781119164005

16 Feb 2016
Luke Sullivan

ISBN 10: 0815364695
ISBN 13: 9780815364696

31 May 2021
Stephanie Craft

ISBN 10: 0062960679
ISBN 13: 9780062960672

13 Jul 2021
Sheera Frenkel

ISBN 10: 0358105587
ISBN 13: 9780358105589

28 Sep 2021
Kai-Fu Lee

ISBN 10: 0141043024
ISBN 13: 9780141043029

04 Jun 2009
Malcolm Gladwell

ISBN 10: 1783966025
ISBN 13: 9781783966028

01 Oct 2021
Tim Marshall

ISBN 10: 1509843523
ISBN 13: 9781509843527

01 Oct 2020
David Epstein

ISBN 10: 0190841168
ISBN 13: 9780190841164

06 Sep 2018
Siva Vaidhyanathan