Handbook of Cultural Economics, Third Edition
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Handbook of Cultural Economics, Third Edition

Edited by Ruth Towse and Trilce Navarrete Hernández

Cultural economics has become well established as a subject of interest for students and teachers of courses ranging from economics to arts administration as well as for policy-makers and practitioners in the creative industries. Digitisation has had a tremendous impact on many areas of the creative economy and the third edition of this popular book fully reflects it.
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Chapter 47: Platforms

Maya Bacache-Beauvallet and Marc Bourreau


Platforms are everywhere in our daily life, and they have disrupted the traditional value chain of cultural industries, such as music, movies, books, video games, performing arts and others. In this chapter, we provide a definition of platforms and discuss the changes in business models prompted by their increasing role in cultural industries. We refer to a platform as either a multi-sided or a reseller platform. A multi-sided platform is an intermediary that facilitates direct interactions between distinct groups of users, and which exhibits network effects across or within those groups of users. A reseller platform is an intermediary which buys products or services from independent suppliers, resells them to consumers (possibly with some re-design), and whose products or services sold to consumers exhibit network effects. Platforms in cultural industries use various strategies to attract users and sustain their business model in a competitive environment. Strategic decisions concern the prices charged to the different sides of the platform, but also non-price strategies, such as how much to invest in innovation or how many sides to get on board. We provide a brief overview of these strategies in the cultural sector.

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