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Superstars and the long tail: The impact of technology on market structure in media industries

Weeds, Helen (2012) 'Superstars and the long tail: The impact of technology on market structure in media industries.' Information Economics and Policy, 24 (1). pp. 60-68. ISSN 0167-6245

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Abstract

Technological change has transformed creative media industries. Digitization lowers the costs of recording, storage, reproduction and distribution, while computer-based editing facilitates quality enhancement and special effects. Digital technology has altered the distribution of sales in ways that remain poorly understood: while some commentators have highlighted the growth of the “long tail”, others find digitization has raised the importance of “superstars”. This paper develops a theoretical model of differentiated goods with endogenous quality to investigate the impact of digitization on the distribution of firms. It finds that supply-side factors can generate superstars and long tail outcomes, and that coexistence of both phenomena can be explained by either a fall in fixed costs for basic products or a decline in market size.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital media; Creative industries; Superstars; Long tail
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2013 15:51
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 10:06
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/5785

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