The Procrastination Economy

Ethan Tussey’s The Procrastination Economy (NYU Press) describes the intersection of mobile devices, the entertainment industries, and connected audiences as creating a new “procrastination economy” of media culture. Film and television studios, mobile carriers, and software developers use this procrastination economy to monetize the in-between moments of the workday. While mobile devices have become essential to the entertainment industries as vehicles of promotion, branding, distribution, and engagement, audiences use smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearable technology to wield the culture and conversation of the procrastination economy as a tool for navigating public space. Drawing from media industries studies, cultural studies, and new media theory, this book explains how mobile devices are newly enhancing and amplifying the uses of popular culture in everyday life. Examining the major venues of the procrastination economy–the workplace, the commute, the waiting room, and the “connected” living room–this book describes how the in-between moments of our daily lives are becoming essential to the future of the entertainment industries.

“A lucid and innovative rethinking of the cultural politics of mobile media. Building on astute, site-specific fieldwork, Tussey picks apart moral panics and tired corporate paradigms alike. The book shows instead how complex adaptive behaviors now constitute industry-user interactions within the “in-between times,” “non-spaces,” and strategic “mobile day-parts” of digital and social media.  This book forces scholars and developers alike to question the sacred cows of media specificity and new technology exceptionalism.” – John T. Caldwell, author of Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television

“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

“Highlights a critical and unexplored area of twenty-first-century media. Tussey explores how media industries have leveraged media content, and increasingly, mobile technology in a variety of fleeting and tertiary spaces and activities, and how media users have, in turn, both accepted and challenged conventional expectations of media usage. A vivid and fascinating book.” – Derek Kompare, co-editor of Making Media Work: Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries