Prepared between November 2019 and March 2020, this report explores how the digital age has changed the cultural value chain and draws on existing literature and insights, as well as a range of actors from across the cultural ecosystem.
Elements of the narrative have progressed significantly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the authors are aware that many in the sector – including the public agencies that support arts and culture through policy, promotion and investment – have new insights, as many have leveraged new and existing digital opportunities in response to the current crisis. However, as the report demonstrates, the opportunities that come with the digital age bring challenges, too: from disparate access to infrastructure and replication of existing barriers; to protecting intellectual property, ensuring diversity of cultural expressions and understanding digital audiences. This makes it vitally important – now more than ever as people seek and adopt digital answers to our current crisis – to understand the effects of the digital age on the sector, and develop well-calibrated strategies and policies that consider the whole cultural ecosystem, to ensure that it is sustainable, diverse, equitable, and accessible.
In light of this urgency, this report has been released as prepared in early March. While it may not include the most recent measures taken, the authors believe the contents may prove useful to those working in the sector and members of the Federation, as they develop medium- to long-term plans, policies and programmes, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath.