Roundtable on Platform Media as Traditional Media​

Discussants: Professor Tom Andrew O'Regan & Dr Andrew Ventimiglia

Date: Wednesday 12 June 2019
Time: 1:00pm-2:30pm
Location: Room 827, Level 8, Michie Building (#9) 

It has been customary in media studies to take platform media at their word and consider them as technology companies. This, with some exceptions, has been the case whether or not these companies are being discussed by cultural industries, political economy or new media/digital media scholars. None of these traditions has served us well in identifying how platform media has been adapting longstanding media industry norms and logics. With their focus upon professionally produced media by organisations, institutions and corporations, cultural industries and political economy approaches have tended to characterise social media and search as an identifiably new kind of media product. User generated logics, dispersed production norms and use of big data is seen to bear little relation to media industries properly conceived. By contrast digital media research focuses on the participatory nature of these platforms foregrounding the relation between media users and platforms as they co-create online media. For each platform media is a distinct departure from media industry norms. 

However, the rise of platform media and their extension from social media and search to subscription-based streaming services has brought platforms into the very centre of media studies generating renewed interest in distribution and infrastructures paving the way for a general interrogation of platform media as media industries.  Seen in this light both social media and search are variants on longstanding logics and practices of advertiser-supported media, sharing as they do a common focus on audience markets, the exercise of a dual product logic generating content to capture audience attention to on-sell to advertisers. Each is dependent upon carefully managed and robust market information regimes to negotiate the relation between platforms and advertisers.  Together with their content market platform counterparts like Spotify and Netflix these platforms guide and channel user uptake through manipulating market information via social networks. Each controls distribution vehicles and sets the very terms of market construction. Rather than being intrinsically disruptive, platform media are then applying well established media repertoires.

This Roundtable will scope out these continuities in media repertoires to better clarify their particular working out in platform media.

This event will also provide members of the platform media initiative with an opportunity to intersect with Dr Ventimiglia before he leaves UQ to take up an academic post in Illinois.

About Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS

Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Design is a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences initiative that brings together researchers in the School of Communication and Arts and the T.C. Beirne Law School.  

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