The structure of the cultural industries

Global corporations to SMEs

Authored by: Global Fitzgerald

The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415706209
eBook ISBN: 9781315725437
Adobe ISBN: 9781317533986


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The cultural industries have long been characterised by complex connections between large corporations and a swarm of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Critical analysis of these connections has emphasised that control of distribution and finance has been central to governance and value capture in networks of cultural production. SMEs, connected through a myriad of horizontal relationships in specific locations, remain an essential aspect of cultural production; yet in the last three decades the position of a few large corporations across a range of cultural industries has been reinforced via horizontal and vertical integration, ostensibly at the behest of ‘convergence’ and ‘synergy’ in the related fields of media, telecommunications and ICT. Conglomerate firms have increasingly gained control of access to cultural markets.

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