Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce

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Harvard University Press, 2000 - Business & Economics - 454 pages
4 Reviews

This book explores the organization of creative industries, including the visual and performing arts, movies, theater, sound recordings, and book publishing. In each, artistic inputs are combined with other, "humdrum" inputs. But the deals that bring these inputs together are inherently problematic: artists have strong views; the muse whispers erratically; and consumer approval remains highly uncertain until all costs have been incurred.

To assemble, distribute, and store creative products, business firms are organized, some employing creative personnel on long-term contracts, others dealing with them as outside contractors; agents emerge as intermediaries, negotiating contracts and matching creative talents with employers. Firms in creative industries are either small-scale pickers that concentrate on the selection and development of new creative talents or large-scale promoters that undertake the packaging and widespread distribution of established creative goods. In some activities, such as the performing arts, creative ventures facing high fixed costs turn to nonprofit firms.

To explain the logic of these arrangements, the author draws on the analytical resources of industrial economics and the theory of contracts. He addresses the winner-take-all character of many creative activities that brings wealth and renown to some artists while dooming others to frustration; why the "option" form of contract is so prevalent; and why even savvy producers get sucked into making "ten-ton turkeys," such as Heaven's Gate. However different their superficial organization and aesthetic properties, whether high or low in cultural ranking, creative industries share the same underlying organizational logic.

  

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User Review  - MathieuPerona - LibraryThing

For anyone interested in the economic aspect of the art and entertainment industries, this book is an absolute must-read. The author combines a seasoned economic approach with an in-depth knowledge of ... Read full review

Review: Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce

User Review  - Melanie - Goodreads

A really really interesting and informative book. It can be a little complicated at times, with lots of economics terms and mechanisms, but still, it really helped me learn about the Creative Industries. Read full review

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Contents

Supplying Simple Creative Goods
19
Artists as Apprentices
21
Artists Dealers and Deals
37
Artist and Gatekeeper Trade Books Popular Records and Classical Music
52
Artists Starving and WellFed
73
Supplying Complex Creative Goods
85
The Hollywood Studios Disintegrate
87
Contracts for Creative Products Films and Plays
103
Cost Conundrums
221
Covering High Fixed Costs
223
DonorSupported Nonprofit Organizations in the Performing Arts
238
Cost Disease and Its Analgesics
253
The Test of Time
269
Durable Creative Goods Rents Pursued through Time and Space
271
Payola
286
Organizing to Collect Rents Music Copyrights
297

Guilds Unions and Faulty Contracts
121
The Nurture of TenTon Turkeys
136
Creative Products Go to Market Books and Records
146
Creative Products Go to Market Films
161
Demand for Creative Goods
173
Buffs Buzz and Educated Tastes
175
Consumers Critics and Certifiers
189
Innovation Fads and Fashions
201
Entertainment Conglomerates and the Quest for Rents
314
Filtering and Storing Durable Creative Goods Visual Arts
329
New versus Old Art Boulez Meets Beethoven
348
Epilogue
363
Notes
371
Index
449
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About the author (2000)

Richard E. Caves is Nathaniel Ropes Research Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University.

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