segunda-feira, julho 13, 2015

Culture isn't free by Edward Picot

What has happened is that the Web, which initially seemed to offer small producers a level playing field with the big ones, has been carved up by the new digital mega-corporations: Amazon, Google/YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Twitter. All of these are content-hosts: they make their money by offering a hosting framework within which people or businesses can place their content or products. Apple and Amazon make profits by actually selling product, whereas Google/YouTube, Facebook and Twitter milk their audiences via advertising, but all of them are trading on the fact that they pull in so many viewers/consumers every day. On the Web, money follows attention, and if you can set up a site or a service which pulls in millions of visits per day, you’ll be in a position to make a fortune. The people who use the host services - who place their videos on YouTube, who put their self-published books on Amazon, or who release their musical offerings on iTunes - may or may not be able to build themselves a sizeable online audience for their work: the vast majority of us won’t: but essentially, whether we make any money or not, we’re just acting as cannon-fodder for the big corporations.

So, as artists we’re caught in the middle of a double-whammy. Grants, funding, commissions, higher education placements and so forth - top-down funding - are drying up because of the economic crisis. But bottom-up funding - the possibility of being able to make yourself some money by selling your work directly to the public - a field in which the Web initially seemed to offer such enormous promise - is drying up too because of the restructuring of the marketplace.

from Tumblr

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