The internet has allowed new forms of creation and distribution to flourish, benefitting creators and aiding in the development of artistic and cultural pursuits.
Research from McKinsey shows that it is generally individuals and entrepreneurs who have experienced the greatest impact from the internet. As these users from a variety of cultures and backgrounds have come online, they have dramatically expanded the richness of the internet’s offerings in terms of products, services, and content, as well as the range of creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation that are displayed (McKinsey 2012).
Examples abound of creators around the globe using the tools, connections and platforms available on the internet to raise their profile and build up their fan bases. For instance, Moroccan band Hoba Hoba was having trouble attracting fans and planning in-person concerts, but identified the internet as the easiest forum to spread its music. After posting its music on YouTube, the band has received nearly 500,000 hits and has even performed at one of Morocco’s largest music festivals alongside artists such as Kanye West, Lionel Richie, Shakira and Earth Wind & Fire (McKinsey 2012).
Internet access has also facilitated retention of culture and growth of artistic pursuits in remote regions. For example, Tromsø, Norway faces barriers to generating economic activity and social development given its large distance from metropolises. However, the internet is used by locals to enhance service offerings and develop artistically. For example, the “World Opera Project” uses the internet for complex music interaction in their productions. It is estimated that Tromsø's economy would be 10% lower today without the internet (DAMVAD 2013).
As creators and innovators are reaching audiences like never before, individuals across the world are spending significant – and increasing – amounts of their time online consuming cultural, musical and artistic content. In Sweden, the amount of streamed TV and music doubled between 2010 and 2013 (Boston Consulting Group 2013). In Morocco, 71 percent of internet users go online to download movies, pictures, music, and to watch TV. New platforms have also arisen to highlight these creators and their work, from Tudou, the leading video sharing platform in China where users watch more than 100 million videos each day, to VinaGame, a Vietnamese online gaming company that had 20 million accounts in 2009 (McKinsey 2012).