Cultural economic practices of Gylias
The culture of Gylias is known for economic practices that set it apart from other Tyranian cultural industries, especially regarding production and distribution. These practices are an outgrowth of Gylias' distinctive economic system, and have benefited from a sustained level of government support for culture, the arts, and leisure.
In modern times, Gylian culture and arts first developed strongly in Alscia, taking advantage of its freedom as a province of the Cacertian Empire. This foundation was both expanded and radically altered by the Free Territories. Key developments of the Free Territories included the construction of a non-capitalist economy, the anarchist focus on social revolution, and the use of culture as a means of prefigurative politics.
The environment of the Free Territories shaped the evolution of Gylian culture: it created a context where culture was separated from economics, and the emancipatory and utopian atmosphere encouraged experimentation and awareness of art's potential to influence the new society emerging, and explore what characteristics should be valued. Due to the rationing and challenges faced by the Free Territories, non-monetary means of improving well-being were prioritised, including arts, leisure, and sports.
The transition from the Free Territories to Gylias, lasting roughly from 1958 to 1962, was marked by a high degree of continuity in the system, which was stabilised and implemented nationally. Culture flourished in a time of widespread prosperity and the Golden Revolution. The creation of a market socialist economy, accompanied by cooperativisation, produced a unique system of distribution for cultural industries. The Darnan Cyras government was strongly supportive of culture, having the energetic and charismatic Eoni Nalion and Tomoko Tōsaka in influential posts.
Gylian popular culture achieved regional renown through the Gylian Invasion in the 1960s, which brought challenges to the creative industries that, like other Gylian industries, focused primarily on the domestic market. The cultural sector was recognised as one of the most important components of the services sector, which became the largest of the economy.
Significant developments for the cultural industries included the popularisation of home media in the 1980s — which made films and television series as accessible as music and published works — and the emergence of digital distribution in the 1990s. The growth of the internet in Gylias was shaped by vigorous government regulation and funding, resulting in the creation of publinet agencies to provide publicly-owned digital distribution. The publinet agencies played a key role in the Gylian Invasion's second wave, by making popular culture accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
The business side of Gylian culture is organised in an artist-driven and cooperative manner, in line with the rest of the economy. This organisation has allowed an adventurous ethos and experimentalism to flourish in Gylian popular culture, and has helped attract foreign artists to work in Gylias.
All Gylian companies are cooperatives by law. Companies active in the creation and manufacturing side, such as record labels or production companies, are worker cooperatives. Companies active in distribution, such as publishers, are retailers' cooperatives. They supply the final goods to retail outlets, such as record stores, cinemas, or bookstores, which are consumer cooperatives.
Artists are in control of their careers, with their managers only overseeing the financial and administrative aspects. Managers can make suggestions about distribution and promotion, but the final decisions rest with the artists. In the music industry, it is common for musicians to also create their own labels in order to retain control of their work, a strategy popularised by The Beaties.
In practice, all production and distribution companies are independent, with the majority being small- to medium-sized. Larger companies are formed as cooperative federations, or also through franchising agreements in the retail sector. Some companies pursue a strategy of vertical integration within the framework of Gylias' competition law, combining production and distribution, or distribution and retail.
The distribution side of Gylian culture is based on an honour system. Distribution includes both sold and freely distributed copies of creative works, and artists are supported by their fans through provision of monetary and other gifts, in addition to means such as merchandise.
Publinet distribution allows users to purchase the work at their own price, or gift money directly to the creators.
There is a strong taboo among Gylian cultural industries against making audiences pay for the same material twice. The taboo is especially strong in the music industry: singles, EPs, and albums are released separately, compilation albums are rare (mostly of various artist or box set format), and live albums developed comparatively late, concentrating on performances that differed from studio versions to justify their sale.
Artists commonly follow a model of reciprocity, using free copies of their work to expand their audience. Various musicians have adapted the jam band model of encouraging taping or filming of their shows and giving away copies of fan recordings to increase their following and consolidate fan loyalty.
A unique element within Gylian broadcasting is the use of spin quotas. Introduced by the Gylian National Broadcasting Service, spin quotas are observed by Gylian radio and television stations, and impose a limit on repeated airings of a single work.
Spin quotas are credited with contributing significantly to the diversity of Gylian popular culture and allowing experimental and niche works to gain popularity.
Concert tours as practiced in Gylias have diverged from the Tyranian norm as a result of cultural economic practices and transportation policy. Gylian tours are notable for their short lengths, leisurely pace, and circular paths.
Foreign markets have traditionally been a problem for the Gylian creative industries. The Gylian Invasion made securing promotion and distribution abroad a priority for artists. Many distribution companies concluded agreements with foreign labels in order to meet demand, and counterfeit and bootleg recordings.
The creation of the publinet significantly remedied the issue of foreign distribution, although it remains common for Gylian cultural industries to focus on the domestic market more than the foreign one.