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Free Content Keeping the market at bay: exploring the loci of innovation in the cultural industries

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Abstract:

Cultural industries are activities concerned with the production and marketing of goods and services that have aesthetic or semiotic content (SCOTT 2004). Their emergence as engines of economic growth reflects an economic and cultural conjuncture where commodity production has become tied in with artistic experimentation. Research on cultural industries, however, has revealed a latent tension between artistic/l'art pour l'art and commercial or so-called humdrum considerations (Caves 2000; Cowen and Tabarrok 2000; Kloosterman 2010a) As many cultural industries can only survive in the long run through constant product differentiation and innovation, ways have to be found to shield creative workers at least temporarily from direct market pressures to be able to come up with new ideas and innovations. We theorize that sector-specific capital requirements, the nature of the production process and markets, and the aesthetic and functional value of the object impact on how experimentation can be organized. Notwithstanding the basic similarities in the organizational and spatial format of cultural industries, we anticipate that there are various institutional configurations that can shield off market pressures and allow creative workers to pursue new roads. To illustrate our point, we briefly present findings from the Amsterdam case.

Keywords: commodification; creativity; cultural industries; innovation; institutional configurations; markets

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/cij.3.1.61_1

Affiliations: University of Amsterdam.

Publication date: October 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The scope of the Creative Industries Journal is global, primarily aimed at those studying and practicing activities which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, and which have a potential for wealth creation. These activities primarily take place in advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, fashion, film, interactive leisure software, music, the performing arts, publishing, television and radio.We are pleased to announce that the Creative Industries Journal has been included in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) list 2010.
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