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Climbing the Charts: What Radio Airplay Tells Us about the Diffusion of Innovation Hardcover – July 22, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"There is a lot to recommend about this book. Rossman excels at balancing methodological details to satisfy the academic reader and intuitive explanations of techniques and results for the nonacademic reader. The book also takes on theories from various areas, and the author does not play favorites. It's clear he has a genuine interest in identifying the true mechanisms, which he distills in his writing."--Brandy Aven, ASA Economic Sociology Newsletter

"Gabriel Rossman not only breathes life into the perhaps stale world of Top 40 but also offers messages of importance for diffusion research. Students of the mass media and industry dynamics, as well as those interested in diffusion models and mechanisms, will find much food for thought in Climbing the Charts."--David Strang, Administrative Science Quarterly

"[B]rilliant."--Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View

"Rossman's book is an outstanding example of a new, hybrid genre. It draws promiscuously on a range of methods to build a rich empirical understanding of a particular cultural object and industry. . . . If this book is radio's swan song, it's a good one."--Jacob G. Foster, American Journal of Sociology

"Climbing the Charts represents an important contribution to the sociological study of diffusion and music. In the end, we know much more about how innovations diffuse and Rossman updates our understanding of gatekeeping in the music industry."--Alexandre Frenette, Sociologica

From the Back Cover

"Gabriel Rossman is the leading researcher in the sociology and economics of the music industry, and this book shows him at the top of his research and exposition powers."--Tyler Cowen, author of An Economist Gets Lunch

"Climbing the Charts gives an eye-opening view of the front and back of radio broadcasting. It shows that the music industry has even more influence on radio airplay than we might imagine, but broadcasters and listeners also matter. Surprisingly, the greatest role of broadcasters is in their choice of radio formats, which structure the market for the music industry and the listeners. The important topic, careful analysis, and clear writing make this book broadly appealing."--Henrich Greve, INSEAD

"We have a lot of books on how innovation happens, but too few on how successful innovations propagate. Climbing the Charts offers remarkable insight into just how complicated that process can be. This clear and succinct book challenges our easy understanding of the way these markets work, and ultimately enriches our mental model of what it means to bring something new into the world."--Megan McArdle, senior editor, Atlantic

"Climbing the Charts dispels many myths, both popular and academic, about how songs and other inventions reach widespread appeal. Rossman skillfully uses diffusion of innovations theory and original data to tell the story of how popular culture is produced. In so doing, he helps us all appreciate the importance of understanding how change occurs."--Thomas W. Valente, University of Southern California

"Pop radio has been written about in hundreds of books, mainly by musicologists or radio/music executives in their memoirs. Climbing the Charts adds a much-needed social scientific perspective on how the industry operates. Effectively disputing many pieces of conventional wisdom about the business, this fascinating and important book makes a substantial contribution to the work on innovation and diffusion, and the production of culture."--Jennifer C. Lena, author of Banding Together


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (July 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691148732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691148731
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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This is a great book for anyone interested in how hits happen. using the diffusion of innovations paradigm to explain it all is an excellent approach, well executed.
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