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Kick-Starting Media Conference 2016 : Kick-Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries


When Jun 9, 2016 - Jun 9, 2016
Where Held at Bath Spa University, Newton Park
Submission Deadline Jan 15, 2016
Notification Due Feb 15, 2016
Categories    media funding   media economics   digital media   streaming services

Call For Papers

Kick-Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries

One-Day Conference: 9 June 2016

Media Futures Research Centre, Bath Spa University, UK

Held at Bath Spa University, Newton Park Campus
Newton Park, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BN, UK

Confirmed keynote:
Professor Gillian Doyle, University of Glasgow

With recent threats of change to the BBC’s future public funding regime, not to mention news of the British broadcaster’s former Top Gear presenters signing to subscription-based streaming service Amazon Prime, the subject of new media funding models and their impact on how audiences can – or should – consume media has become a point of public discussion. Trends such as crowdfunding and co-creation – where producers and audiences share responsibility for financing media – as well as subscription-based platforms like Netflix and video on demand (VOD) services such as iTunes have all made media more sharable and personal, but all of these trends and services also raise further questions about the funding priorities, strategies and policies in the arts and culture sectors. It is thus timely to take stock of the cultures of funding in contemporary media industries, and this conference provides a platform for analysing the impact of these contemporary funding cultures, be it on texts, audiences, technologies or industries.

Recent public debates over funding in the media industries seem tied to the impact of digitalisation, which has provided a catalyst for change in terms of how media is now produced and consumed across multiple platforms. As such, basic business models for funding media are changing. While digitalisation is seen to have redefined ideas of ownership amidst shifts from a top-down corporate-driven model to a more bottom-up consumer-driven model (Jenkins 2006), how is such a shift continuing to shape the type of media now being financed? Moreover, how are digitised media interfaces – bringing greater individualised choice for media audiences (Tryon 2013) – impacting funding patterns and creative imperatives for such media? What is the impact of convergences and the need to spread content across multiple platforms on license fee funding? Equally, emerging digitalised funding models such as co-creativity raise questions about entrepreneurship in the media but also about unequal power structures as audiences may come to function as free labour (Scholz 2013; Smith 2015). In what ways, then, might such blurring of power structures redefine basic notions of media funding? And how do different industries now orchestrate, manage and perceive the turn towards crowdfunded, VOD or co-created media content as business models of the future?

To address these questions, the conference organisers invite proposals for individual 20-minute papers or pre-constituted panels/roundtables (three or four participants) from both researchers and media practitioners. As well as exploring the broader questions above, proposals can be on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Contemporary film funding (e.g. Hollywood franchise-based models of financing, ‘independent’ productions, crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, public/private sector film financing, etc)
• Contemporary television funding (e.g. subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, public service/license fee funding models, new sponsorship models, product placement, TV promo companies, video on demand services such as iPlayer, etc)
• Contemporary video game funding (e.g. co-creation, social media gaming production, etc)
• Contemporary comics and book funding (e.g. digital/motion comics, online publishing trends, etc)
• Contemporary music funding and new economic models (e.g. live-touring, streaming, downloading platforms such as iTunes, etc)
• Contemporary advertising and transmedia funding (e.g. social media marketing, online apps, intermediary agency funds, branded entertainment, etc)
• Impacts of contemporary funding practices on audiences (e.g. potential exploitability of co-creativity, crowdfunding as fan practice, binge watching, etc)
• Impacts of contemporary funding practices on media texts (e.g. changing narrative formats, participatory content, etc)

* A Special Issue devoted to the conference theme of ‘Funding in the Convergence Era’ will be published in The International Journal on Media Management in February 2017, co-edited by Matthew Freeman and journal editor Bozena Mierzejewska. Conference speakers will be invited to submit their papers to this Special Issue for consideration.

Please send proposals (300 words plus a 100 word bio) to Dr Matthew Freeman ( by no later than 15 January 2016. Delegates will be informed of acceptance by mid-February 2016.

This event is part of the Media Futures Research Centre ‘Economic Futures’ 2015-16 programme of activities.

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