Web-Based Periodicals as an Emerging Cultural Form: Incumbent and Newcomer Producers in the Early Stages of Industry Revolution

Alan B. Eisner, Quintus R. Jett, and Helaine J. Korn
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 5, Number 2, Winter 2000-2001, pp. 75.

Abstract: This research is an investigation of Web-based periodicals, an emerging cultural form that presents magazine content in an electronic medium. Specifically, it compares incumbent producers of Web-based complements to paper publications with newcomer producers of independent Web-based documents. Drawing on evolutionary perspectives from organizational theory, hypotheses are developed predicting differences between incumbent and newcomer producers of an emerging cultural form. Hypothesis tests on a random sample of 114 Web-based periodicals, combined with a rigorous qualitative analysis, show that incumbent producers have more characteristics that suggest longevity than newcomers, such as symbolic ties to other organizations that add credibility, advertising solicitations that attract environmental support, and clear target audiences that confer market viability. Newcomer producers are technologically more sophisticated, but the new media applications that distinguish them are impractical for mainstream use.

Key Words and Phrases
: Electronic media, market incumbents, new market entrants, publishing industry, technological change, Webzine.