nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒12‒24
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Impact of Blockchain on the Music Industry By Sitonio, Camila; Nucciarelli, Alberto
  2. Creators’ Income Situation in the Digital Age By Alexander Cuntz
  3. My Peers are Watching me - Audience and Peer Effects in a Pay-What-You-Want Context By Elisa Hofmann; Michael E. Fiagbenu; Asri Özgümüs; Amir M. Tahamtan; Tobias Regner

  1. By: Sitonio, Camila; Nucciarelli, Alberto
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of blockchain on the music industry with a focus on the implications technology can have for artists. By investigating the industry's supply chain, we argue that the on-demand streaming platforms (e.g. Spotify and Apple Music) have allowed consumers to easily access music products but have introduced a level of intermediation between artists and customers leading to inefficiency of the royalty payments systems. The goal of this research is to identify blockchain applications that would enable the disintermediation of the industry, allowing artists to create and capture more value from their own products. This paper discusses some applications and concepts related to blockchain, including smart contracts, record keeping, revenue management, and metadata analysis. By presenting some examples, we assess the current state of the technology's development in the music industry, how companies are introducing this new model into the market, and some limitations these models may have.
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Alexander Cuntz
    Abstract: The digital transformation imposes both opportunities and risks for creativity and for creative employment, with implications for trends in income levels and the distribution of income. First, we consider skill-biased technological change as a determinant of income and labor market outcomes in the arts. Arguably, the IT revolution has changed the demand for certain skills, with creative occupations being more in demand than general employment. Second, we consider declines in the costs of generating new works and artistic experimentation due to digital technologies, and their effect on the barriers to entry in labor markets. Third, we touch upon the rise of online contract labor in certain creative professions as a determinant of income. Here, online platforms can change creators’ access to work opportunities and it may alter the way income is distributed. We find that wage trends for creative workers in the digital age outperform general trends in the population: based on various data sources and various ways to identify creators, we see creators losing less or even gaining a better income position in relative terms. From a policy perspective, results do not lend support to the idea that creators’ income situation has systematically worsened with the rise of the internet and its intermediaries. Evidence on changing distributions of income is ambiguous as trends differ from one country to the next.
    JEL: J24 J28 J31 L82 O15 O33 O34 Z10
    Date: 2018–12
  3. By: Elisa Hofmann (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Michael E. Fiagbenu (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Asri Özgümüs (Georg-August University Göttingen); Amir M. Tahamtan (Sharif University of Technology, Teheran); Tobias Regner (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
    Abstract: We experimentally investigate two relevant drivers of payments in voluntary settings: the ef- fects of audience and peers. Our 2×2 between-subjects design varies the interpersonal closeness of buyers (Strangers vs. Peers) and the observability of their payments to other buyers (Anonymous vs. Public). This allows us to enrich the research on both drivers and identify whether payment observability (audience effect), the presence of known others (peer effect), or the combination of both affects voluntary payments. Payments are, on average, higher if they are made public and if buyers feel close to each other. While the effect of audience and peers on payments is additive in total, we do not find an interaction effect, if payments are observed by peers.
    Keywords: social preferences, experiments, social image concerns, Pay-What-You-Want, interpersonal closeness
    JEL: C91 D03 L11
    Date: 2018–12–21

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