Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce by Richard E. CavesCreative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce by Richard E. Caves

Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce

byRichard E. Caves

Paperback | April 30, 2002

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This book explores the organization of creative industries, including the visual and performing arts, movies, theater, sound recordings, and book publishing. In each, artistic inputs are combined with other, "humdrum" inputs. But the deals that bring these inputs together are inherently problematic: artists have 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 organized, 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 nonprofit 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 organization and aesthetic properties, whether high or low in cultural ranking, creative industries share the same underlying organizational logic.

Richard E. Caves is Nathaniel Ropes Research Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University.
Title:Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and CommerceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:464 pagesPublished:April 30, 2002Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674008081

ISBN - 13:9780674008083

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Economic Properties of Creative Activities

Part I: Supplying Simple Creative Goods

1. Artists as Apprentices

2. Artists, Dealers, and Deals

3. Artist and Gatekeeper: Trade Books, Popular Records, and Classical Music

4. Artists, Starving and Well-Fed

Part II: Supplying Complex Creative Goods

5. The Hollywood Studios Disintegrate

6. Contracts for Creative Products: Films and Plays

7. Guilds, Unions, and Faulty Contracts

8. The Nurture of Ten-Ton Turkeys

9. Creative Products Go to Market: Books and Records

10. Creative Products Go to Market: Films

Part III: Demand for Creative Goods

11. Buffs, Buzz, and Educated Tastes

12. Consumers, Critics, and Certifiers

13. Innovation, Fads, and Fashions

Part IV: Cost Conundrums

14. Covering High Fixed Costs

15. Donor-Supported Nonprofit Organizations in the Performing Arts

16. Cost Disease and Its Analgesics

Part V: The Test of Time

17. Durable Creative Goods: Rents Pursued through Time and Space

18. Payola

19. Organizing to Collect Rents: Music Copyrights

20. Entertainment Conglomerates and the Quest for Rents

21. Filtering and Storing Durable Creative Goods: Visual Arts

22. New versus Old Art: Boulez Meets Beethoven




Editorial Reviews

Caves presents an excellent and readable discussion of the economics and organization of the creative arts industryUsing 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.