South African Cultural Observatory

Public Lecture: Don’t judge a book by its cover: A discrete choice model of cultural experience good consumption

06 APR 2017 - 06 APR 2017
Category: Multi discipline event - arts, culture & heritage
Region: Eastern Cape
Town: Grahamstown
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Paul Crosby

Paul Crosby

Technological change is transforming the book industry. In particular, the digitisation of books has given rise to a suite of new content delivery formats for publishers, such as the ebook and audiobook. While the rise in popularity of the ebook has been well documented the format’s influence on the future of the book industry is a matter of much conjecture and uncertainty. This conjecture and uncertainty is perpetuated by the fact that books are a cultural experience good, that is to say books can be said to possess varying degrees of cultural content, which may give rise to the presence of a cultural value that exists above and beyond a book’s value in exchange.


This paper reports on the preliminary results of a stated preference discrete choice survey to examine consumers’ book consumption choices. In this online survey a representative sample of 250 Australian book readers were tasked with choosing from a selection of books, divided between four discrete format alternatives: paperback books, hardback books, ebooks and audiobooks. Interacting with each of these alternatives are a suite of attributes, with each attribute corresponding to a particular characteristic that makes cultural experience goods, such as books, so unique.


Venue Name: Seminar Room 1, Eden Grove Complex, RU
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