In The Winner-Takes-All Society, our relentless pursuit in being number one is driving every market in which small differences in performance give rise to enormous differences in reward.

Winner-take-all markets in media and culture are of course nothing new. Nor, for that matter, is our fascination with matters lurid and sensational. So why have the offerings of popular culture been catering so much more overtly to this fasciation in recent years… More fundamental has been growth – both in the top prizes at stake in cultural markets and in the openness of the competition for these prizes. These change not only make it more tempting for any given players to break with tradition, they also simultaneously weaken the social forces that hold industry norms together.

December 23, 2020