New Media Economics: Music, Mobile, Gaming, and Online Markets

Author: Jeanine Cowen | Course Code: OLSOC-226

As the digital revolution continues to unfold and new global markets emerge, new media has become a growing economic influence. In this course, you will explore how technological innovation and convergence impact the production and consumption of media content, including music, mobile, games, and online content. You will learn how key economic concepts influence and evolve within this economy, including choice, supply, demand, opportunity cost, valuation, pricing, economies of scale and scope, allocation of resources, and markets. This course frames these concepts in the context of globalization, societal change, and governmental policies and regulations, placing a  special focus on the exploitation of digital rights. The material is presented in terms of how it may shape your own career and opportunities, with no expectation of prior economics study.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Define the concept of the new media economy
  • Examine the economic concepts and issues affecting new media industries
  • Analyze the economic impact of technological innovation on the evolution of creative industries, their content (product), and their consumers (markets)
  • Connect the evolution of consumer knowledge (demand), digital content (supply), and networks (markets) as they influence economic growth and expansion in the new media economy
  • Make connections among networks, established and evolving markets, and globalization in the new media economy
  • Distinguish between content and audience as marketable products in the new media economy
  • Explain the influence of governmental policies and regulations that attempt to manage access and growth of new media opportunities
  • Explain the role of intellectual property in the new media economy

Lesson 1: Introduction to the New Media Economy

  •  Exciting New World
  •  What Is Economics and Why Is It a Social Science
  •  Basic Principles of Economics
  •  How Is Media Unique in Economic Study?
  •  What Is New Media?

Lesson 2: Economic Theories of the New Media

  •  What Is Theory?
  •  What Is Economic Theory?
  •  Characteristics of Primary Economic Systems
  •  Definitions of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  •  The Firm

Lesson 3: Economic Building Blocks of the New Media Economy

  •  Establishing Wants, Needs, Utility, and Value
  •  What Is a Market?
  •  Supply, Demand, and Pricing Concepts
  •  Defining Common Economic Terms and Concepts

Lesson 4: Economic Influences of Digital Convergence and Multiplatform Applications

  •  The Origin of New Media Economy in Digital Innovation and Convergence
  •  Economic Implications of Providing Media Content over Multi-Platform Applications
  •  The Pace of Technological Innovation and “Creative Destruction”
  •  Interdependence of Supply Chain Stages in New Media

Lesson 5: Economic Growth Through Concentrated Media and Evolving Markets

  • The Challenges of Evolving Market Descriptions and Segmentation in New Media
  •  Economic Motivations for Expansion
  •  Media Concentration and Conglomeration
  •  Evaluating Economies of Scale and Resource Allocation in the New Media

Lesson 6: Redefining Markets through Networks and Globalization

  •  The Emergence of Networks and Their Influence on Consumer Choice
  •  Positive and Negative Aspects of Globalization
  •  Shifting Market Expectations and Online Content Distribution
  •  Social Networks and Micro-Connections as Drivers of Economic Growth

Lesson 7: Evolution of Demand within New Media

  •  The Internet and User Empowerment
  •  From Mass Consumption to Individual Preference
  •  Consumption in New Media Has Transformed Experience
  •  Cultural Impacts on Media Behaviors and Consumption

Lesson 8: Content Creation, Supply, and Valuation

  •  How Convergence Has Changed the Supply of Media Content
  •  Economic Challenges of Making Media Content “On Demand”
  •  Content Novelty and Production Risk
  •  Maximizing Content Value through Branding, Differentiation, and Segmentation

Lesson 9: Economic Considerations of Intellectual Property Protection and Copyright

  •  The Origins of Copyright and Alternative Strategies for Compensation of Creative Works
  •  Digitization and Enforcement
  •  The Role of User-Generated Content in New Media Economy
  •  What Really Drives Piracy?

Lesson 10: Economic Effects of Demand Creation and Advertising in New Media

  •  The Power of Advertising and Its Impact on Choice
  •  The Changing Role of Advertising in the New Media Economy
  •  How Does Advertising Find, Follow, and Engage Markets in the New Media Economy?
  •  The Economic Pros and Cons of New Media

Lesson 11: Economic Pressures of Public Policy and Political Economies in New Media

  •  Governmental Regulation and International Political Influences on New Media
  •  Free Market vs. Intervention
  •  Governmental Influences on Media Content and Accessibility in the U.S. and Abroad
  •  Protectionism in New Media

Lesson 12: Assessing the Future

  •  Today’s New Media
  •  Tomorrow’s New Media
  •  Trends and the “New Normal”
  •  Evaluating the Future

Jeanine Cowen

Author

Jeanine Cowen, Vice President for Curriculum and Program Innovation at Berklee, is a frequent lecturer on the topic of music technology and new media industries. She is an active composer, music producer, and technologist, working primarily with sound and music for visual media. Jeanine studied at Northwestern University as a classical percussionist and graduated with a degree from Berklee College of Music, completing a dual degree in film scoring and music production and engineering. Her graduate coursework focused on interactive design and game development at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Jeanine has worked on development teams at the Education Development Center, Inc., Turning Point Software, and Turbine Entertainment. Her compositions can be heard in a wide variety of art and media, in works that include the documentary The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo, the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play Rapt, and Midway Games’ MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. Her work as a percussionist can be heard on fellow Berklee composer and music technologist Stephen Webber's Stylus Symphony. Jeanine is an active advisor to the Alliance for Women Film Composers.

Prerequisites

  • Proficiency with common business applications for completing reports and presentations
  • Students should have basic college-level math proficiency
  • Familiarity with traditional micro and/or macroeconomics theory is recommended but not required

Required Textbooks

Understanding Media Economics, Second Edition by Gillian Doyle, SAGE Publications Ltd

The Media Economy by Alan B. Albarran, Routledge

Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free by Cory Doctorow, McSweeney's


Software Requirements

  • Business document software such as Microsoft Office Suite or Google Docs

Mac Users

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Chrome (recommended), Firefox, or Safari

Windows Users

  • Windows 7 or higher (click here for system requirements)
  • Latest version of Chrome (recommended), Firefox, or Edge

Hardware Requirements

  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 500 MB hard drive space
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Webcam
  • Internet connection with at least 4 Mbps download speed (http://www.speedtest.net to verify or download the Speedtest by Ookla app from your mobile app store)



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Next Term Starts April 3


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