User-produced content and the future of the media industries

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Ed Steinmueller
University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Thursday, 18 February 2010 - 12:30

Recent trends in the use of the Internet suggest that user-produced content (blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube, and many other forms) is engaging a growing amount of user effort and also user attention. The history of the media industries has involved important audience displacement effects -- e.g. television had major impacts on magazines by diverting audience.  New media have also had more direct competitive effects -- e.g. Internet competition for 'classified advertising,' an important source of some newspaper revenue.  Media like other industries take a long time to adjust to changes in the conditions that provided their economic rationale or business model.

In media, changes in conditions are largely about the nature of the advertising market as most media is advertising supported.  Many of the new user-produced content activities are also advertising supported and their growth has potential for audience displacement and direct competition effects on existing media.  Even if some may lament the quality or social value of these new media, their effects on existing media as economic activities may be substantial.  In addition, existing media companies may develop strategies for joining with the new media.

The seminar will involve an examination of the effects of user-produced content on existing media, on the creation of a new cadre of media creators, and on the strategies of both new and old media companies particularly focussing on their role as intermediaries for creative content more generally.


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación | Edificio 8E Planta 3ª

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n

Short CV: 

Professor Steinmueller has been Professorial fellow at SPRU since 1997. He began his studies in the areas of computer science, mathematics, economics, and Chinese language and history at the University of Oregon and Stanford University.  At Stanford (1974-1994), he was engaged in teaching, research, consulting while being a Deputy Director of what is now the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.  He was selected for a chair at MERIT at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands where he developed a Doctoral training school prior to coming to SPRU. He has published widely in the field of the industrial economics of information and communication technology industries including integrated circuits, computers, telecommunications, software and the economic, social policy issues of the Information Society. He has also contributed to research in science policy and the economics of basic research.

Professor Steinmueller has been an advisor to several Directorates at the European Commission, the National Academies of Science and Engineering (US), and the Department of Trade and Industry and Office of Telecommunications (UK).  He established the research group in SPRU called Information, Networks and Knowledge (INK) with Professor Robin Mansell and remains its Director.