IT and digital technologies have resulted in a profound re-evaluation of the historical balances in the culture and communication sectors. By creating new relationships between content providers, the media and technical sectors, digital convergence has had variable effects on different entertainment sectors. At the same time that sectors, such as cinema, radio, television or disk, have felt the full impact of digitalisation, a new digital landscape is developing as we watch it and is evolving incessantly (changes in formats, media or distribution). New entertainment channels and distribution forms are appearing (digital television, downloading, peer to peer…) that simultaneously pose major threats and attractive prospects for the traditional content market. Given the economic and social consequences of these changes, players in the sector must invent new models to describe entertainment production and consumption:
- to redefine the financial and production structures and strategies;
- to renew public policy, rules and regulation;
- to invent new procedures for creating, producing, distributing and adding value to intellectual and artistic works;
- to assist and promote use and practice of innovative consumption;
The first factor is the essential role of the new digital consumers/producers who make great use of all software, including peer-to-peer, who are major content users but are, above all, creation prescribers and players. They represent the new marketing and communication frontier for the entertainment sector who have the same need to seduce this public as the cinema needs film fans or the music industry needs music lovers. They are also the tranlsation of a new relationship between creation, its mass production and its consumption. The second issue is based on the conditions which the content sector’s offer confronts where it has to change from a defensive strategy to an offensive strategy to obtain and take advantage of the vigorous growth of an affluent, informed and creative demand for their products. Philippe Chantepie and Alain Le Diberder, Révolution numérique et industries culturelles (digital revolution and entertainement sector), La découverte, Repères, 2007, p.107. It involves, on one hand, inventing new products and social uses for ‘media devices and services’ that are not yet fixed, especially in the digital audiovisual field and interactive media. On the other hand, an approach in terms of media cultures or by culture mediatics must be implemented which should pay great attention to the crossed redefinition of the technical configurations and the social frameworks for these new media. e.g. this is necessary in the world of music where a cohabitation must occur between tradition and innovation, the major distributors and the stars, independents and young creators, music lovers and enlightened fans who produce and distribute new musical formats on the Internet. Apart from the threats, these new interfaces also carry the seeds for a new growth. The new situation is going to last, but for which economies, which uses, which strategies?