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Digital Platforms and Cultural Industries


Edited By Philippe Bouquillion and François Moreau

The assessment of the challenges of digital platforms for cultural industries raises many different issues. How platforms choices in content pricing affect the overall value of cultural markets, especially in the case where content just aim at favoring devices’ sales? How are revenues shared between platforms and content right holders? Do creators and artists all benefit from the growth of digital platforms? How usual business models of cultural industries have to adapt to the digital paradigm? Should we observe rather a reinforcement of the star system or the emergence of a long tail? What is the impact on market concentration? Could we expect an increase or a decrease in cultural diversity? What is the role played by recommender systems, playlists and algorithms in influencing consumers’ choices? How to implement efficient public policies given the transnational dimension of digital platforms? The various papers gathered in this book contribute further to these different topics with a focus on empirical issues. The first part gathers the contributions dealing with the analysis of the impact that digital platforms have on the incumbent or legacy players of the original value chain of content industries: content providers, live entertainment producers, consumers, etc. The second part opens the black box of the ecosystem of digital platforms by studying competition among them and among the business models they adopt, as well as the conditions for the emergence of new players.

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The User as a Key Component of Platforms: Through the Lens of Alibaba (Paquienséguy, Françoise / He, Miao)


The User as a Key Component of Platforms: Through the Lens of Alibaba

Françoise Paquienséguy and Miao He


In information and communication sciences, the concepts of use, usage, and user have been consistently examined in terms of action, reaction (prescribed uses), or opposition (de Certeau, 1990) ever since they were first described 30 years ago. The genealogy of these terms, which has already been studied and discussed (Paquienséguy, 2012), shows that they bear the mark of action in two ways: in a reductionist sense when it comes to simple use, and in an amplificatory sense when it comes to consumption. The user has sometimes been known as a consum–actor, which, as a producer of usages, has always implied a social dimension. The social realm plays a fundamental role as usages are created and generated through a process of personalization and integration into the practices and constraints of daily life. Although the impact of technology is less significant when using a longitudinal approach, the two terms user and usage have allowed us to distinguish two very different models in existence in the 1980s: on the one side, the media – which calls upon television viewers, the general public, and specific audiences (Esquenazi & Mouchtouris, 2003) – and on the other, new information and communication technologies for which the concept of the user has been custom-made. The first model suggests the co-construction of meaning and interpretation within a media-based logic of reception. The...

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