Edited by Ruth Towse and Trilce Navarrete Hernández
Chapter 26: Digitization in the cultural industries
Digitization facilitated piracy, which threatened revenue and continued production for some cultural products. Digitization has also brought offsetting cost reduction, which allows creators to reach audiences without the permissions and investments of traditional gatekeepers. Hence, digitization’s impacts on the creation of new cultural products is ambiguous, but even if production were to rise, it might be dominated by low-quality products brought to market without the nurture of traditional gatekeepers. I summarize research documenting what I term a ‘digital renaissance’: (1) substantial growth in the number of new music, movies, books and television programmes; (2) that the new products made possible by digitization make up a growing and substantial share of products that consumers find appealing; and (3) that new vintages of the products are appealing to consumers in comparison with older vintages.
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