Informations and abstract
The economic peculiarities of the audio-visual sector and the criteria used to define its specific boundaries substantiate the different meanings offered by theory, in the absence of an accepted and shared taxonomy. Depending on whether they are considered a part of the audio-visual sector (in the production and distribution of images and sounds, and the producers of the corresponding hardware) or an independent sector, the confines of radio, television, cinema, records, and home video expand or narrow according to the purpose and context of the analysis. This article discusses the criteria (substitutability of different goods on the demand side, interaction between and possibility of separating markets) used by industrial economists to define and measure the same sector, and then it applies them to the audio-visual sector in reference to the mass media. Special attention is dedicated to television and the fact that analysis of public resources and policies must take into account the plurality of markets and complex dynamics of substitutability and competition.