International conference organised by MSH Paris Nord, MSH des Alpes, MSH d'Aquitaine, MSH de Paris, MSH Nord-Pas de Calais
and Gricis Université du Québec à Montréal, within the ACI programme
« Les mutations des industries de la culture, de l’information et de la communication : bilan, cartographie, observation ».
  Workshop 1.1 - Workshop 1.2 - Workshop 1.3 - Workshop 1.4 - Workshop 1.5
Workshop 1.1 Concentration and changes in the Culture sectors
  Chairman :
- Marc Ménard, University of Quebec in Montreal, GRICIS, Canada

Speakers :
Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, EHESS, Paris, France
« The Television Producer’s and the industrialisation of production »
>>> Download the communication (French)

Jean-Jacques Cheval, Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux 3, France
«The French radio broadcasting between Permanency and Transformation, diversity and concentration»

David Mabillot, Université Paris 13, CEPN - CNRS, France
« Film or Digital ? Changes in cinematography »

Heritiana Ranaivoson, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris 1 - MATISSE, France
«The concentration of Cultural and Media Industries (CMI) in the digital age. The case of the music industry»
>>> Download the communication (French)

Franck Rebillard, Université Lyon 2, France
« The outsourcing of creative activities in the Cultural and Media Industries (CMI) : about some trends observed in the press sector »
>>> Download the communication (French)


« The Television Producer’s and the industrialisation of production »

Nicolas Brigaud-Robert
EHESS, Paris, France

>>> Download the communication (French)

As an individual, as the “manager of a program” or, beginning the mid-sixties, as a corporate entity, partnering with the broadcasters, siding with their economic logic, the producer presents himself as a solution against the costs disease applying a new manufacturing model for programs paired with a new esthetic. Simultaneously, the collective mobilization of the producers was met by the continuous support of the state whose regulatory intervention allowed the assertion and relative autonomy of a new occupational group.

The analysis of the dynamic of the field, that is to say the evolution of the relative positions of the agents and of what is at stake in the field, has shown since then, that in order to survive professionally the producer has to take charge not only of the rationalization or normalization of the production process but also, at the same time, of the permanent search for novations or differentiations. This destructive creative logic is under the constraint of the value hazard which tends to reinforce the importance of face to face relationships, specifically with the television channel’s staff. The strategic failure to build large production companies and the relatively weak concentration of the sector are in part the result of the effects of this dynamic. Forty years after its birth in France, the profession of television producers remains one of dispersed entrepreneurs.

«The French radio broadcasting between Permanency and Transformation, diversity and concentration »

Jean-Jacques Cheval
Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux 3, France

Once more, at the beginning of the XXI-th century the French radio system appears on a bend of its existence between permanency and transformation, variety and concentration.

The current situation maintains strong elements of durability. So the French radio has still a large public sector, heir of a historic period when this one had a monopoly. Questioned variously, it remains a pole of reference. The commercial radio sector, numerous and powerful, get organized in industrial groups, for part, stemming from former stations, known under the name of “peripheral radios”, RTL and Europe 1. Finally, the free radios, been born in the tempestuous 70s and often announced died, persist and establish a 3-rd sector, no commercial and consequent, under the name of associative radios.

According particular statutes, economies and different logics of functioning, these three sectors contribute together to the construction of a diversified and complementary radio landscape. Actually, radios maintain an important daily audience in spite of a sharp increase in the global media world competition (television and Internet).

But the French radios are also subjected to alterations. The regulation of the sector solidly and durably based, applied by the CSA, could be the object of new organization. The passage of non-specialized radio on specialized radio continues. Programs evolve and adapt themselves to the new manners and to the new auditors practices, as well as to a more and more competitive situations. Following the example of what takes place in other European countries; the technological transfers around the digital convergence are outlined also as essential aspects of these alterations, even if their effects do not seem yet determining. In all levels, the economy of the radio plays an essential role. The concentration of the structures and radio formats was widely engaged in the commercial sector around three groups, and in particular around NRJ, a quiet new appearing group. This could concern, also, public and associative sectors. Then, a risk of a reduction of the French radio pluralism could exist

« Film or Digital ? Changes in cinematography »

David Mabillot
Université Paris 13, CEPN - CNRS, France

Le cinéma numérique fait-il partie de ces technologies tant attendues mais qui n’arrivent jamais ? Début 2006, on compte encore sur les doigts d’une main le nombre de cinémas équipés pour la projection numérique en France. Cinq ans ont passé depuis les premières déclarations de Georges Lucas selon lesquelles la distribution numérique des films en salles s’imposerait rapidement et signerait en retour l’arrêt de mort de la pellicule argentique.

Paradoxalement, les technologies du numérique sont disponibles tout au long de la filière traditionnelle du cinéma. Si les caméras numériques sont de plus en plus utilsées pour les tournages, la distribution numérique reste marginale, le déploiement stagne et l’opposition des exploitants de salles reste vive. Face aux bénéfices annoncés, cette situation surprend.

Force est de constater qu’une partie de l’industrie du cinéma résiste au numérique... La projection numérique oppose d’un côté les distributeurs qui sont les gestionnaires mondiaux des droits de l’actif versionnable (le film) et de l’autre les exploitants qui sont les responsables de l’infrastructure locale (salles de cinéma) dédiée à la version de qualité cinéma (pellicule argentique).

L’objet de cette contribution est d’expliquer les raisons de cette résistance et de révéler les enjeux qu’elles cristallisent. Pour ce faire, nous appliquerons les travaux de M. Porter (2004, pp. 29-46) et de la nouvelle économie de l’information et des réseaux (Varian et Shapiro).

«The concentration of Cultural and Media Industries (CMI) in the digital age. The case of the music industry»

Heritiana Ranaivoson
CES-Matisse, Université Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, CNRS, France

>>> Download the communication (French)

Last summer’s merger between Sony Music and Bmg (subsidiaries of respectively Sony and Bertelsmann may at first sight be considered as just another step in the concentration process. This process has led to the current situation where 4 recording companies, the majors, have a market share of 75% of global distribution of records. Moreover, 3 of them belong to some of the most important communication companies.

However, the new technologies may further complicate things. On the one hand, they theoretically foster entrance and development of small independent producers and distributors since they favour the reducing of production and distribution costs and enable the access to a potentially global market. On the other hand, among the new entrants, one finds powerful companies issued from software and hardware industries, such as Apple and Microsoft.

This paper focuses on concentration in the cultural industries, mainly in the music industry. What are the causes of this concentration? What does it look like? What are its consequences, notably in terms of competition and diversity?

We will first investigate which are the reasons for concentration. From the firms’ point of view the existence of economies of scale, transaction costs or synergies are to be taken into account. Nevertheless global strategies are influenced by characteristics of national markets, such as the nature of retail, and by new practices on the Internet, such as the development of peer-to-peer. We will also remind how new technologies have until now influenced the music industry (Alexander, 1994).

We will then take a look at the nature, the level and the extent of concentration. To do so, we will mainly use data furnished by national branches of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Ifpi). We will especially consider concentration of production, distribution and retail, notably since the advent of the cd.

Finally, we will consider the consequences of concentration. First, we will study the economic and sociological literature on the impact of concentration on the level of prices, innovation and diversity of production (Berger and Peterson, 1975; Dixit and Stiglitz, 1977). Then we will investigate these consequences from the point of view of competition policy, notably in the case of antitrust cases and Digital Rights Management systems (DRMs).

« The outsourcing of creative activities in the Cultural and Media Industries (CMI) : about some trends observed in the press sector »

Franck Rebillard
Université Lyon 2, France

>>> Download the communication (French)

In the press industry, creative activities (journalistic work) still frequently take place within firms which simultaneously operate in manufacturing (publishing, printing) or even marketing (sales and ads).  In comparison with other CMI fields in which the design level is far more separated from production and distribution ones, the vertical integration of newspaper companies can be seen as a kind of exception that however seems to progressively diminish.

A trend towards the outsourcing of creative industries can be observed in the three main directions the press industry recently took in France. Special-interest magazines predominantly rely on freelance journalists for their editorial content ; Online newspapers offer fewer original informations (because of too reduced editorial teams) than multi-channels contents ; Free dailies strongly integrate agency copies and press releases in their pages.

These tendencies can be first analysed as a progressive alignment of the press industry with the most generic structuring of the CMI. They also can be linked to large-scale evolutions of the industrial process, giving priority to flexibility and productivity. This logic of costs reduction (including the outsourcing of creative activities) might appear, considering the long time of social changes, to be hardly reconcilable with the logics of cultural renewal in the CMI, and especially news pluralism in the press.