The cultural industry It is the set of companies and institutions whose main economic activity is the production of culture, for profit. Although a priori it can be considered that the cultural industry has nothing different from all other industries dedicated to producing goods or services, it is a special case of industry, because the good to be marketed does not correspond to the categories of the majority. of economic goods. For instance: film production, book editor, magazine illustrator.
The goods that are distributed in this industry have symbolic content, and are conceived on the basis of creative work, and are destined for their consumer markets with a function of ideological and social reproduction.
The coinage of this idea of cultural industry was given by the theorists of the Frankfurt school, at the time when they observed great changes in the way of reproduction and distribution of culture. The expansion of a cultural market was observed, and the formation of a new idea that is mass culture. This is the form of culture that manages to manufacture on a large scale certain products that are liked by large numbers of people, and therefore are massively consumed.
This brings with it the implication that profit multiplies, and therefore it is offered as a usually attractive alternative for capital: in the same sense, the product starts to use tools like marketing or advertising.
The latter raises an elementary question, which is the commodification of culture and the transfer of the maximizing tools to it. There is a fusion between culture and entertainment, and a necessary transformation of cultural goods into products that, first of all, must be simple and adaptable to mass consumption.
This is enhanced much more to the extent that from the globalization process, it is frequent that certain cultural products are even exported to the whole world, and the technologies imply a reinforcement in this sense.
It should not be concluded, however, that there is an opposition between the mass condition and the quality of the cultural industry: however, sometimes it is necessary to go a step further and take some licenses that are not usual in the cultural industry. to fully appreciate certain products.
Anyway, undoubtedly the Great value The growth of the cultural industry is the enormous growth in the possibilities of access to cultural content, for the great majority. Compared to the first half of the 20th century, an inhabitant of any country in the world has access to a much greater quantity of cultural products with a much simpler way of access, despite the fact that the products are standardized in certain ways, and despite the fact that usually the origins of these products are the most developed countries.
In this way, the cultural industry massifies the product delivery that previously seemed forbidden for small minorities, but it is no less true to affirm that at the moment this potential is not exploited as a function of creativity and free development but for the expansion of profit margins.
Examples of cultural industry
The cultural industry, then, includes the set of integrated services so that the cultural content is of quality, and standardized for its massive distribution. The following list includes some examples from those industries:
- Film production.
- Multimedia content.
- Designers, directors and theater technicians.
- Book editor.
- Representative of musicians.
- TV service providers: cameras, lights, sounds, editing.
- Book distributor.
- Programmers of festivals, exhibitions or theater or cinema networks.
- Publisher of electronic publications.
- Magazine illustrator.
- Playful videogame designer.
- Production of television series.
- Cultural magazines.
- Video game programming.
- Video game testing.
- Book editorial.
- Design and Advertising.
- Music producer.