Digitalization of Cultural and Creative Industries and Its Economic and Social Impact

Digitalization of Cultural and Creative Industries and Its Economic and Social Impact

Marek Prokůpek (Department of Arts Management, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic & Le LabEx - Industries culturelles et création artistique, Université Paris 13, France)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0214-3.ch006


Digitalization has become a buzzword in all aspects of our lives. Therefore, it has significantly impacted the sector of cultural and creative industries, and it has had huge economic and social impacts. Cultural and creative industries are some of the fastest growing industries and represent a significant contribution to the economy, the creation of jobs, and quality of life. With the massive wave of digitalization, institutions within creative industries have faced new challenges of how to respond to this shifting environment while staying true to their mission and values. If they want to thrive, they need to adjust their business models to the technological, political, and economic changes. The aim of this chapter is to provide an understanding of the digitalization in the sector and the social and economic impacts of digital transformation on cultural and creative industries as well as change the way cultural products are distributed and consumed.
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1 Introduction

This chapter deals with two phenomena that have become buzzwords in last decades, and we have witnessed increasing interest of their economic and social importance. These phenomena are digitalization and culture and creative industries. Scholars, policy makers and practitioners seem to be more and more aware of economic contribution of cultural and creative industries on local, national, and international levels. Unfortunately, especially policy makers tend to focus only on the economic perspective of the issue. Social aspects deserve the equal attention, since intrinsic value of cultural sector is not economic profit, but mainly its impact on society. Digitalization, process that has impacted all aspects of our lives, has caught similar attention as cultural and creative industries and of course has strongly influenced the way actors in cultural and creative industries operate and interact. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview and understanding of the social and economic impact of digital transformation on culture, creative industries as well as change in the way cultural products are distributed and consumed.

Digitalization affects our everyday reality and also brings many expectations. Katz (2017) explains that digitalization refers to the transformation triggered by the massive adoption of digital technologies that generate, process, share and transfer information. Digitalization is based on the evolution of multiple technologies: telecommunications network, computer technologies, software engineering and the spill-over effects resulting from their use.

Digitalization is not one-time action, it is an ongoing process that happens in waves that are influenced by technological progress and diffusion of innovations. Digitalization should be considered as two processes happening simultaneously, these processes are evolution of technology through innovation and technology adoption in companies, governments and consumers. The first process, technology evolution is ahead of the second process, therefore there might be a lag between product availability and impact (Katz, 2017).

Undoubtedly, digital technologies have played a crucial role in the innovation of cultural sector (Rizzo, 2016), it has significantly pushed organizations to rethink and innovate their business models. Digitalization has brought many changes in to the field of culture, it has modified the relationship between artists, agents, consumers, it has changed the way culture is mediated to the audience as well as the way culture is consumed and perceived. Advancement in digital technologies might decrease the importance of intermediaries in the art sector, since artists can rise fund via crowdfunding campaigns, they can show their work on their websites or other platforms, they can publish their work online, and they can easily communicate with their audience, clients and consumers. Almost everyone can record a song or video and put it on YouTube and reach thousands of viewers. Digitalization in culture has had a strong impact on the production of cultural content and products. Due to the advancement of communication technologies, people form different part of the world can cooperate and create content and products together. It has changed also the way cultural workers and artists can promote their work, it is much easier to reach wider audience with the growth of social media. The change has not appeared on both side, demand and supply. Thanks to the digitalization, audience and consumers have become more involved in the content creation, mainly because digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. have adapted to be able to create content and not only passively consume. Many challenges for cultural sector comes together with digitalization, one of them is the issue of copyright, piracy and many others, therefore new models of copyright such as creative commons have appeared. But copyright is still a big challenge and rises many questions like, what is the fair usage of cultural product. Is it fair to share e-book, CD or DVD with few of my friends, is it fair to share this content on the internet with thousands of people?

The definitions and concepts of cultural and creative industries vary in different countries and have evolved over the years. In the following section, several concepts and approaches are presented.

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