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 51: Publishing

Trilce Navarrete Hernández


Adoption of new technologies can disrupt market structures, leading to the demise of processes rendered obsolete (such as scribal labour) or eventually creating a new practice (such as the free publication of a crowdsourced encyclopaedia). In the case of the publishing industry, the current changes observed owing to the prevalent use of information and communication technologies and the Internet are reminiscent of the changes observed throughout the fifteenth through to the eighteenth centuries, when technological changes led to new market players, new products and services, and new consumption habits. Publishers have benefited from economies of scale and a significant reduction of costs, but not without a transformation in the sector. Further, while writers and readers appear to welcome digital libraries and printing on demand, believing it represents a liberation of tyrannical intermediaries, we argue that, as in the past, new intermediaries are emerging with adapted gatekeeper roles.

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