Tensions Between Access and Ownership in the Media Marketplace

Markus Giesler, York University
Ashlee Humphreys, Northwestern University
In this paper we explore the implications of a reorientation from a paradigm of ownership to a paradigm of access. Rather than argue that access has predominance over ownership, the studies presented elucidate the dynamics of moving from one paradigm to another. Two ethnographic field studies of book and music consumption were undertaken including depth interviews, archival data, and extended experiential participation in a cultural context. In the case of the bookselling industry, the transition from ownership to access, while on-going, has been relatively smooth and takes place through a process of continual gifting between company and consumer. In the case of the music industry, on the other hand, the transition from ownership has been contentious, heavily debated in popular and industry circles, and has taken the form of a powerful cultural drama. To theorize these dynamics, we present a model of cultural legitimation of access and ownership.
[ to cite ]:
Markus Giesler and Ashlee Humphreys (2007) ,"Tensions Between Access and Ownership in the Media Marketplace", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 696-700.