The attention economy describes today’s media landscape, where people’s attention is a scarce resource and content has shifted from scarcity to abundance.1 It’s estimated 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.2 The big commercial players, Google, Facebook, and others, compete for attention to sell advertising and data to third parties.
In the attention economy, terminology usually associated with traditional cultural institutions has been repurposed and applied to online repositories, arguably as a way of legitimising them as authoritative sources. Sites like Wikipedia and YouTube are called ‘democratic digital archives’3 while contributors and collators are ‘curators’.4
Cultural institutions are now competing with big commercial players for a share of the audience, but they operate under different considerations.
The NFSA develops and shares the national audiovisual collection through collaboration with donors, creators and copyright holders. Maintaining relationships with these stakeholders and respecting their wishes with regard to their work is key. Overwhelmingly our approach contrasts with the ‘post first, ask questions later’ approach of online repositories who can use their market dominance to shape industry practice despite the wishes of rights holders.5