The Features of Intermediaries
This chapter describes the prerequisites—independence and expertise—that intermediaries must possess to perform their crucial functions, exert power over producers and consumers, and influence the market. Independence has structural, economic, and cognitive dimensions. An intermediary perceived as or known to be corrupted or co-opted by creators or producers would have no, or worse, a negative influence on value construction and market creation for a cultural good. Intermediaries accordingly develop ways of demonstrating their independence. For their discourse to be credible and influential, intermediaries must also possess and demonstrate expertise. Both prerequisites are assets of intermediaries and play a role in maintaining their financial viability, but neither can be actively managed nor speedily built. This has significant implications, examined in detail in this chapter, for new intermediary ventures as well as pioneer intermediaries.
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