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Creative Industries Contracts Between Art and Commerce by Richard E. Caves
  

Creative Industries Contracts Between Art and Commerce

Synopsis

Creative Industries Contracts Between Art and Commerce by Richard E. Caves

This text explores the organisation of creative industries, including the visual and performing arts, movies, theatre, sound recordings, and book publishing. In each, artistic inputs are combined with other, hundrum inputs. But the deals that bring these inputs together are inherently problematic artists have a 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 organised, 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 non-profit 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 organisation and aesthetic properties, whether high or low in cultural ranking, creative industries share the same underlying organisational logic.

Reviews

By documenting a wide range of commercial interactions across the creative industries, this comprehensive and immensely readable book shows persuasively that economic theory can help us understand the sheer business of making art happen. -- David Throsby Times Literary Supplement [Caves] uses contract and industrial-organization theory to throw light on how and why the industries producing cultural goods and services--from literature to film, from rock music to opera--work as they do...Caves does not engage issues of ideology, nor of the political or economic importance of the arts, but simply sees the creative industries as fascinating areas of economic activity which have been largely neglected by economists...By documenting a wide range of commercial interactions across the creative industries, this comprehensive and immensely readable book shows persuasively that economic theory can help us understand the sheer business of making art happen. -- David Throsby Times Literary Supplement 20001215 Creative Industries explores the economics of the arts in exacting detail. With great skill and originality, Caves has analysed the economic forces operating in music, book publishing, painting, the theatre and movies. -- Winston Fletcher Times Higher Education Supplement 20010504 Caves presents an excellent and readable discussion of the economics and organization of the creative arts industry...Using an enormous amount of qualitative information, Caves combines the theory of contracts (a new development) with the economics of industrial organization to explain institutional arrangements (the contractual strategies of the market mediators) between artists (authors, actors, performers) and consumers. -- R. A. Miller CHOICE


About the Author

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

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Book Info

Publication date

30th April 2002

Author

Richard E. Caves

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Publisher

Harvard University Press

Format

Paperback
464 pages

Categories

Media, information & communication industries

ISBN

9780674008083

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