8 Apr 2017

Your attention - the capture and sale

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 8 April 2017

Photo: (Flickr user Conor CC BY-SA 2.0)

Attracting your attention and then keeping it has become a big business. From entertainment to the media, from Google to Facebook... screens persistently compete for our eyeballs.

Tim Wu

Tim Wu Photo: (Supplied)

But the market for our attention isn't new, it's been developing for well over a century. Before clickbait, there were tabloid newspapers laden with lurid headlines and risque images.

Now the newspapers of yesteryear are becoming the 'Daily You' - curated content you select on your newsfeed, posts shared on on your timeline, tweets, snapchats and vines.

Columbia University professor Tim Wu charts the history of how our time and attention has been harvested and sold in his book The Attention Merchants.