Chapter 14

The Dynamics of Digital Multisided Media Markets

How Media Organizations Learn from the IT Industries How to Engage with an Active Audience

Patrik Wikström


Digital technologies have equipped media audiences with tools that have dramatically increased their ability to comment on, create, remix, and distribute media content (e.g., Benkler 2006; Bruns 2008; Shirky 2008). This new kind of audience behavior has considerable implications for traditional media organizations such as newspapers, music companies, movie studios, and book publishers. During the past decade, many traditional media organizations have experienced significant problems when trying to cope with increasingly active audiences (e.g., Küng et al., 2008). Many organizations have perceived the new audience behavior as a threat to their traditional trade, and they have used means of law and technology in attempts to put a leash on the audiences' creative desires (Lessig 2004). Other organizations have made an effort to change and have launched various initiatives intended to adapt their businesses to the new conditions (e.g., Boczkowski 2005; Wikström 2009). This chapter offers a new perspective on these dynamics and explores how traditional media organizations develop new practices and strategies for coping with an active audience. The chapter argues that the information technology (IT) industries have served as a vital source of inspiration in this process and it shows how practices developed ...

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