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  • Far from an Alternative: Intermediation Apparatuses

    Vincent Rouzé

    Chapter from the book: Rouzé, V. 2019. Cultural Crowdfunding: Platform Capitalism, Labour and Globalization.


    In this chapter Vincent Rouzé approaches crowdfunding through the question of the ‘alternative’. Something alternative may be promised by the ‘apparatus’ of crowdfunding or it may be more directly defined by platforms’ work, where the expression ‘alternative finance market’ is used. In either case, it is argued we should question this potential alternative, and its ‘disruptive’ character—in terms of the logics of intermediation involved, the partnerships forged by crowdfunding platforms, and the competitive economic logics they establish. This chapter shows how, far from being ‘alternative’, these platforms are new intermediaries in this creative ‘ecosystem’, which effectively reinforce the tried and tested logics and strategies of the capitalist cultural industry. These are ‘apparatuses’ adapted to market strategies. Five types of platforms are outlined: generalist, niche, local, combined and integrated which function to stimulate extensive partnerships. The chapter also discusses legislation of platforms, how they normalize behaviours and the nature of the experience and perceptions of artists and creators who use platforms. Overall competitive logics dominate in a ‘collaborative market’ that also generates additional rivalries but which has the experience of the consumer/citizen at its heart.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Rouzé, V. 2019. Far from an Alternative: Intermediation Apparatuses. In: Rouzé, V (ed.), Cultural Crowdfunding. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book38.c

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    Published on Nov. 29, 2019