Week 5: The Attention Economy

The Attention Economy - How They Addict Us - YouTube

This week, I learned about “The attention economy”. It is a relationship between the online users and the market, where the market will forcefully seek online user’s attention to their product.


According to (Kane, 2019), “a selective focus on some of the stimuli that we are currently perceiving while ignoring other stimuli from the environment”. We only concentrate on some factors that we are experiencing and ignores other external factors in the environment.

The Attention Economy:

Digital products are fighting for consumers’ restricted attention. The global economy constantly revolves around  the cycle of human interest and how that attention is absorbed by goods.

In today’s world, where everyone is busy with their smartphones or other electric gadgets, it is very difficult to gain attention from the public for market products. Therefore, the market thought about why not gain the attention of the public through electric gadgets which everyone is busy with today. It is why today, the market will do anything to make you see their advertisement. No matter you’re playing a game, watching a live stream, or anything, there will be advertising popping up and making you look at the product as long as they want to, and you won’t be able to close the ad even if u want to. Furthermore, sometimes there are some captions and titles which are quite interesting but when the user clicks the link, it turns out to be something else and very unrelated to the topic. They do whatever they can to make sure the users click on their product.

No Time To Pause: The Dark Side Of The Attention Economy

The attention economy affects users in many ways. For instance, it makes users stay online more than their expectations. Like if someone is playing a game or searching for something and an interesting and engaging ad pops up, they will want to look at the ad and what it says, and unfortunately, sometimes when the user opens it, it’s unrelated to the topic.

Means of production content (Legacy Media)

Legacy media is a centralized system and its models show how the information is distributed to the audience and what factors may affect the system. There are four stages in the legacy media paradigms, ideate, produce, distribute and sell –> audience. In this media paradigm, the stage “ideate” gives out information and ideas and then they produce, distribute, and sell. However, the legacy media has a high risk of failure and a high production cost.

Reference :

Lexie, K 2019, “The Attention Economy”, Nielsen Norman Group, 30 June 2019, Retreived from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/attention-economy/>

Published by Aqib Ali

Bachelors in Communication and Media

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