nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2020‒11‒16
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Hollywood Survival Strategies in the Post-COVID 19 Era By Johnson, Michael Jr
  2. Art Return Rates from Old Master Paintings to Contemporary Art By Federico Etro; Elena Stepanova
  3. The digital transformation of the music industry. The second decade: From download to streaming By Dolata, Ulrich

  1. By: Johnson, Michael Jr (California State University Northridge)
    Abstract: Since the arrival of the Coronavirus in the United States, Americans have been forced to quarantine themselves at home in dramatic fashion, unlike almost any other time in the nation’s history. Moreover, the American workforce has been equally impacted by virtue of state-imposed shutdowns that have affected innumerable businesses, including the Hollywood entertainment industry, which is the subject of this research. I examine how commercial entertainment conglomerates like AT&T, Comcast, Disney, ViacomCBS, and Fox have responded to mandatory closures for businesses that employ a human workforce upon whom they rely for their labor, and to human consumers they seek to distribute their film and television commodities to for profit . Using textual and discourse analyses in a political economic theoretical framework, I review contemporary reports about the economic conditions which have influenced the industry’s technological adaptation and innovation and argue that the Hollywood television and film industries will capitalize upon this current public health crisis as a motivator to adopt streaming platforms as the new preferred distribution mechanism of entertainment long after COVID 19 is a memory. This qualitative research examines the technological adaptations employed by these entertainment conglomerates to analyze (1) how the transition to streaming video on demand has occurred, and evaluates (2) what the adoption of these survival strategies mean for Hollywood’s long-term economic future and survival in a “digitally competitive” (Smith and Telang 2017) marketplace.
    Date: 2020–11–05
  2. By: Federico Etro; Elena Stepanova
    Abstract: We study return rates on art investment using a complete dataset on repeated sales for Old Master Paintings, Modern art and Contemporary art auctioned worldwide at Christie's and Sotheby's from 2000 to 2018. We show that return rates do not depend systematically on past prices or the place of sale, but we emphasize substantial differences in returns across sectors. We also control for changes in transaction costs (buyers' premiums and artists' resale rights), characteristics of the sale (evening sales, price guarantees and past bought-ins) and news on the lots (changed attributions, public exhibitions or death of the author) that appear reflected in art returns. We confirm the absence of masterpiece effects in American, Chinese and Ethnic art. Finally, using historical data on prices during Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical periods, we find evidence that price changes are independent from initial prices also in the long run.
    Keywords: Art market; Mei-Moses index; Masterpiece effect; Contemporary art.
    Date: 2020–10–30
  3. By: Dolata, Ulrich
    Abstract: The music industry was the first media sector to be massively affected by digitization and the internet. In this paper, the strongly technology-driven transformation of the sector is first reconstructed, divided into distinguishable development phases and condensed into characteristic peculiarities of an extended socio-technical upheaval. Subsequently, the most recent change in the music market and consumption from buying to accessing music will be examined and the thesis will be pursued that the implementation of streaming gives rise to qualitatively new possibilities and patterns of a technically mediated observation of consumers, curation of music and commodification of the product.
    Date: 2020

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