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The digital transformation of business models in the creative industries: A holistic framework and emerging trends


  • Li, Feng


This paper examines how digital technologies facilitate business model innovations in the creative industries. Through a systematic literature review, a holistic business model framework is developed, which is then used to analyse the empirical evidence from the creative industries. The research found that digital technologies have facilitated pervasive changes in business models, and some significant trends have emerged. However, the reconfigured business models are often not ‘new’ in the unprecedented sense. Business model innovations are primarily reflected in using digital technologies to enable the deployment of a wider range of business models than previously available to a firm. A significant emerging trend is the increasing adoption of multiple business models as a portfolio within one firm. This is happening in firms of all sizes, when one firm uses multiple business models to serve different markets segments, sell different products, or engage with multi-sided markets, or to use different business models over time. The holistic business model framework is refined and extended through a recursive learning process, which can serve both as a cognitive instrument for understanding business models and a planning tool for business model innovations. The paper contributes to our understanding of the theory of business models and how digital technologies facilitate business model innovations in the creative industries. Three new themes for future research are highlighted.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Feng, 2020. "The digital transformation of business models in the creative industries: A holistic framework and emerging trends," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:techno:v:92-93:y:2020:i::s0166497217300536
    DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2017.12.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xu Chen & Chunhong Liu & Yao Jiang & Changchun Gao, 2021. "What Causes the Virtual Agglomeration of Creative Industries?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(16), pages 1-18, August.
    2. Oderanti, Festus Oluseyi & Li, Feng & Cubric, Marija & Shi, Xiaohui, 2021. "Business models for sustainable commercialisation of digital healthcare (eHealth) innovations for an increasingly ageing population," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 171(C).
    3. Yishao Shi & Danxuan Liu, 2020. "Relationship between Urban New Business Indexes and the Business Environment of Chinese Cities: A Study Based on Entropy-TOPSIS and a Gaussian Process Regression Model," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(24), pages 1-22, December.
    4. Coskun-Setirek, Abide & Tanrikulu, Zuhal, 2021. "Digital innovations-driven business model regeneration: A process model," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    5. Zheng Liu, 2021. "The Impact of Government Policy on Macro Dynamic Innovation of the Creative Industries: Studies of the UK’s and China’s Animation Sectors," Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-17, July.
    6. Gao, Yang & Zhao, Xin & Xu, Xiaobo & Ma, Fei, 2021. "A study on the cross level transformation from individual creativity to organizational creativity," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 171(C).

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