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Digital Renaissance: What Data and Economics Tell Us about the Future of Popular Culture

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  9 reviews
How digital technology is upending the traditional creative industries--and why that might be a good thing

The digital revolution poses a mortal threat to the major creative industries--music, publishing, television, and the movies. The ease with which digital files can be copied and distributed has unleashed a wave of piracy with disastrous effects on revenue. Cheap, easy
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Princeton University Press
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Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it

“Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”​ ~Stephen Fry

I chose the above quote because I've heard no small number of times that e-books herald the end of books and reading. Usually this is by library patrons who assume that because I work in a library, I therefore deplore e-books and e-readers. ​ These people are often surprised to learn that I actually prefer to read them over a physical book. To be sure, there is a certain "thing" about reading a physical book that y
Teodora Todorova
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
This is the definition of renaissance - a revival of or renewed interest in something, but this is hardly the subject of the book.
I finished it just to see how it will end and how far the author will go. The whole book felt like constant nagging that the world has changed and it is not the same as it used to be. Many have and are still struggling to adapt to the fast changing world and technologies but is it really necessary to write 500 pages of praising Hollywood, the biggest record labels an
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing and great non-technical overview for anyone looking to understand the economics of digitization.
Chris Esposo
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best nonfiction that I’ve read in 2019, particularly for anyone working with modern digital media infrastructure or who is interested in a rigorous analysis of the impact of digital media usage on the economics of producing and publishing such media. Waldfogel applies basic microeconomic principles to address one main question, with several associated but equally important sub-questions: Does digital media (media produced traditionally and digitally distributed), and the accompa ...more
Sean Keeley
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
An economist's Panglossian take on culture (we live in the best of all possible worlds thanks to digital platforms) that seems more interested in the quantity of new works being produced than their quality. There are some helpful economic lessons here, to be sure, but Waldfogel seems to assume that the health of our culture can be determined by popular metrics and rankings, so he uses dubious proxies like Rotten Tomatoes scores and Rolling Stone lists as data points to argue that we are living t ...more
Michael Rourke
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
My Kindle was destroyed by water (left out in the rain) but despite money concerns I want to get another one (ad-free version) because it's a pure immersive experience free of notifications. I do check out old syle paper books at the library but the convenience and portability of e books is undisputed.
I am on page 134 where the authors mentions goodreads. This prompted me to download the app and hopefully be an active reviewer (yes, my book on internet freedom of expression and 1st amendment is
Pedro Martinez
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
An academic and well-documented take on the hypothesis of how the digital transformation is helping popular culture to thrive, providing additional enjoyment to consumers globally. On the harder side, the quantity of statistical explanation can become tiresome and fall into a "confirmation bias" mode is some of the comments. ...more
Robert Martinez
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Excellent presentation of the data and story behind the digitisation of cultural and creative industries. I especially enjoyed the chapter near the end, showing how unfounded the fears of American cultural imperialism among a certain type of European can get. Highly recommended.
Fernando  Hoces de la Guardia
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Excellent example of how to balance overall welfare vs distributional effects for industry-level policies.
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Joel Waldfogel holds the Frederick R. Kappel Chair at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. His previous books include Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays (Princeton). He lives in Minneapolis.

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