As Philippe Chantepie said, if the effects of the digital age on the production of content are both profound technically and limited financially, the same can not be said for the downstream part of the chain. Distribution, diffusion and consumption of digital content have been changed for ever.
- disappearance of physical media (CD, DVD, paper, etc.)
- ease of reproduction, distribution and diffusion, exchange of all content on networks
- changes to the technical distribution infrastructure: constant progress in network bandwidth and compression
- abundance of content and changes to value chains
The last century was therefore that of the digital revolution in the way content is used and the previous economic models have become outdated. The virtual nature of all content – publishing, press, phonogram, video, etc – coupled with digitalisation of the recording media and all networks means that in principle, all content can circulate on all media and all networks. As digital content has become highly reproducible, its circulation and the invention of new distribution and consumption models have consequently become the major issues and are difficult to plan. On one hand, companies are now required to innovate and are redefining themselves for this. The development of new skills, the implementation of original organisations, the production of new products and services have become the key to competitive advantage for both small and large companies. The innovation process merges more and more often skills that are internal and external to the company and innovation become the fruit of interactions between numerous and varied players: companies, academic laboratories, public authorities, financiers, clients or users. This new environment and context for economic innovation requires that we exit the supply-demand dichotomy to better invest in the markets:
- the empirical diversity of markets: the market is not an single abstract principle, on the contrary, there are many forms of economic exchange and organisation.
- the constructed nature of markets: markets are artefacts and there are several ways of making or changing them.
- The material aspect of markets: markets are complicated establishments where technical devices have an important role.
On the other hand, new forms of economic coordination have appeared with the development of IT: distinct from Bandard theory that defines the idea of an equilibrium between two autonomic spaces where supply and demand are regulated by independent principles related to coordination. Innovation now consists of considering that supply and demand did not exist prior to coordination.