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The importance of suspense and surprise in entertainment demand: Evidence from Wimbledon


Bizzozero, Paolo; Flepp, Raphael; Franck, E (2016). The importance of suspense and surprise in entertainment demand: Evidence from Wimbledon. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 130:47-63.

Abstract

This paper empirically examines how suspense and surprise affect the demand for entertainment. We use a tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Championships, as a natural laboratory. This setting allows us to both operationalize suspense and surprise by using the audience's beliefs regarding the outcome of the match and observe the demand for live entertainment using TV audience figures. Our match fixed effects estimates of 8563 minute-by-minute observations from 80 men's singles matches between 2009 and 2014 show that both suspense and surprise are drivers of media entertainment demand. In general, surprise seems to be more important in this regard than suspense, and both factors matter more during a match's later moments. We discuss important implications for the design of entertainment content to maximize entertainment demand.

Abstract

This paper empirically examines how suspense and surprise affect the demand for entertainment. We use a tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Championships, as a natural laboratory. This setting allows us to both operationalize suspense and surprise by using the audience's beliefs regarding the outcome of the match and observe the demand for live entertainment using TV audience figures. Our match fixed effects estimates of 8563 minute-by-minute observations from 80 men's singles matches between 2009 and 2014 show that both suspense and surprise are drivers of media entertainment demand. In general, surprise seems to be more important in this regard than suspense, and both factors matter more during a match's later moments. We discuss important implications for the design of entertainment content to maximize entertainment demand.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:22 Feb 2017 17:09
Last Modified:26 Feb 2017 08:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-2681
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2016.07.006
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:14013

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