Measuring digital cultural products is an international challenge

Québec, February 22, 2017 – The magnitude of the offer and demand of cultural products remains largely unknown in modern times, when digitization has transformed the cultural economy. We should count on new partnerships, legal and regulatory measures, and traceability tools to enhance transparency and innovation in the delivery of quality statistics about digital cultural products.

These are a few observations drawn from articles by international experts, researchers, government advisors, and business and association leaders that were gathered in the Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Measurement of Digital Cultural Products, a publication disseminated jointly today by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Inspirational observations

The Proceedings are a collection of articles aimed at those interested in the experiments on or research into measuring the consumption of cultural products in the digital age. This publication contains a summary of the sessions and discussions on such topics as production and consumption measurement, legal and regulatory issues, metadata, big data, intellectual property, the diversity of cultural expression and data accessibility. In addition, it has a section on the principal observations in the field and suggests a few courses of action.

Statistical agencies

These Proceedings are a call to national and international agencies to participate in the development of new conceptual frameworks, classification systems and data collection tools for the production of reliable, relevant and comparable statistics. According to the authors, this type of initiative is essential to highlight the impact of digital changes on cultural industries.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.