Summary of Week 1

Congratulations! You have reached the end of week 1! Let’s recap what we have learned this week.

The economic system on which culture relies to generate revenues for cultural producers has had to adjust to the digital era.

  • Digital technologies have generated numerous hopes that it would democratise cultural production, enable self-production, self-promotion, empower audiences, and weaken powerful intermediaries like distributors and record companies that make a lot of profit out of creators’ work. However, it seems that a new power dynamic is emerging. New dominant players are on the rise, like the GAFA, but also streaming platforms like Deezer and Spotify for music, or Netflix for the audio-visual sector. With the increasing competition for audience attention, status and reputation, along with the unequal distribution of revenues among artists, the digital environment puts strong pressure on creators who wish to make a living from their art.

  • By looking at transmedia, we saw that the emergence of digital media is more than just an additional communication channel. It enriches and expands the complex transmedia environment, in which old and new media coexist and nurture each other. We have seen how traditional players, like TV shows producers and distributors, have been mobilising social media online games to sustain interaction with their audience and reinforce an old media. We also saw that transmedia storytelling expands to all aspects of life, from activism and protests to national reconciliation, from charity fundraising to politics, making the border between the cultural world and the real world increasingly blurry.

In week 2, we will look at cultural institutions and analyse how they are adjusting to the digital era. We will discuss the new opportunities offered by crowdfunding and look at how the different actors of the art world deal with new technologies.

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This article is from the free online course:

Culture in the Digital Age

European University Institute (EUI)