“The Attention Economy” refers to trying to get someone to pay attention to something, which is particularly relevant in a world where we have so much choice and our attention is frequently divided due to how much is going on around us; particularly with regards to the wealth of information available on the internet 24/7.
In online advertising, this often comes in the form of recommendations which look at the consumption habits of others who like the same things as you to make quantifiable data to make suggestions for your own consumption. For example, One of the ways Netflix recommends new TV shows for you is based on shows that you’ve watched, and what people who have watched those shows like to watch among other measures. This can often lead to recommendations not bound by mainstream interests, as a digital platforms have lower storage space costs and can therefore justify storing ‘niche’ media.
A program I use frequently which gives me recommendations is the game engine “Steam“. While often these recommendations are very far off what I would consider playing, sometimes they have led me to purchase new games I otherwise would not have known about if I’d gone shopping in a games store – usually indie games. There are other things Steam does to direct your attention which I will go into with my Soundcloud (I added screenshots of what I’m talking about to help people not familiar with the program).
Note: For those unfamiliar with it, this is the store page for the game I believed my RPG recommendations were on, “Skyrim” – just to show you how vastly different the recommendations I got were! ‘Skyrim’ is very popular and therefore can be purchased in stores, while those recommendations are digital-only indie games.