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Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce (New Edition (2nd & Subsequent) / 1st Harvard University Pres) [Paperback]

Re Caves
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

7 May 2002 New Edition (2nd & Subsequent) / 1st Harvard University Pres
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.

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Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce (New Edition (2nd & Subsequent) / 1st Harvard University Pres) + The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; New edition edition (7 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674008081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674008083
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 15.9 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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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5.0 out of 5 stars A useful toolkit for analysis 13 May 2013
By Steve Keen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In an uncertain world, the creative industries are an uncertain path to success and riches. There is often no way of market testing many of their products before they are brought to market. The music industry moves too quickly, with tastes constantly shifting. What goes down well with your focus group today will likely tank by the time it's on iTunes. By the time you're ready to market test your movie most of the money's spent. Similarly with a painting. And in the acting profession, uncertainty and insecurity are demonstrated by the high proportion of actors who are unemployed at any given time, and the low average incomes of many. There's a story about Michael Caine, in which an interviewer asked him a few years back why he appeared to be in every movie being released at the time. Because, he replied, you never know when any given call will be your last, so you say yes whenever you get one.

In Creative Industries, Richard Caves analyses the issues surrounding this uncertainty and how the creative industries tackle them. A film studio will effectively take out an option contract on the personnel and resources for a movie in production, constantly reassessing its viability, treating past expenditures as sunk costs and proceeding on the basis of their ability to recover costs not yet committed. Art galleries and record companies rely on their own experience but also on gatekeepers who one way or another have influence over what is noticed by the wider public: specialist magazines, affluent socialites and DJs, for example.

Art galleries, he tells us, have only a 25% chance of surviving past five years. 80% of albums and 85% of singles (the book dates back to 2002) fail to cover their costs, the "stiff ratio".
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The underlying economic principles for many industries 12 Jan 2007
By Gabriel Natividad - Published on Amazon.com
Dozens of books on entertainment industries come out every year, but only few survive the test of time. This is one of them, and not precisely for the encyclopedic amount of information and references it presents (you can actually get many more references by sending an email to the author), or for its practical value --which in my opinion is high. The value of this book boils down to its elegant treatment of the economic logic behind seemingly unrelated businesses like moviemaking or ballet. The chapter on contracts for creative products is truly illuminating.

The author provides upfront the seven basic economic principles that affect all creative industries:

1. Demand is uncertain

2. Creative workers care about their product

3. Some creative products require diverse skills

4. Differentiated products.

5, 6, 7: read them yourself.

While everybody in the entertainment world might have their own list, this one is written and carefully developed by Richard Caves.

The format might be intimidating to some (e.g., no pictures, no tables, no flashy stuff), so don't buy it if you are not willing to invest a little time and brains to profit from the author's reasoning.
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it 30 Aug 2014
By Melinda G. - Published on Amazon.com
In excellent condition
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay for a look-see, but maybe not a great buy, per se. 3 Jan 2007
By B. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Upon the suggestion of a very famous academic I purchased this text. This book is written by a famous Harvard economist, and I now know how much these highly esteemed professors can get away with. If you are looking for middle of the road quotes and want a new source for them, this book will easily do the trick. If you are seeking out a illuminating cover to cover text dealing with either Creative Industries or flat out Economics this book may leave you flat.

In all honesty, I did not complete this text and there is a strong likelihood that I never will. This is not to say it is without merits entirely (please note that I did give it 3 stars). It is just that the book very long and lacks an intimate feel of solidarity with either the artistic side or the commerce dealers. It covers a lot of ground, and I do believe that my wallet would have been better served if I had just spent an afternoon at the local University library thumbing the text and xeroxing what I deemed relevant.
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