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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 9, 2011

Cultural products go online: Comparing the internet and print media on distributions of gender, genre and commercial success

Marc Verboord
From the journal


This article examines whether the attention to cultural products on the internet is more democratically structured (in terms of gender and genre distributions) than in traditional print media, and how these types of media attention affect commercial success. For the U.S. fiction book releases in February 2009, I analyze consumer ratings at the web store and the social networking site The results show that on the internet far more books receive attention, and that this indeed comes to the advantage of female authors and authors of popular fiction. Moreover, online publicity positively affects commercial success. These outcomes suggest that online attention to cultural products dampens the effects of institutionally embedded evaluations, while word-of-mouth mechanisms are becoming increasingly prominent in terms of how cultural products are discussed.

Published Online: 2011-10-09
Published in Print: 2011-October

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston