Case Studies of Spreadable Media

We have been excited to find a range of particular case studies that examine issues raised in Spreadable Media and explore them deeply with particular texts. Check out some of the studies below to dive deep into the spread of Makmende within Kenya; the popularity of “Gangnam Style” globally and, in particular in Indonesia; the development of Annoying Orange on YouTube; a look at Shakesperian content on YouTube, case studies of the TV shows Mad Men and Black Mirror, a look at the development of the Pixar brand, and an analysis of the popularity of the home video “Para Nossa Alegria.” See below for further information:

  • In their 2014 Critical Studies in Media Communication piece, “Makmende Amerudi: Kenya’s Collective Reimagining as a Meme of Aspiration,” Brian Ekdale and Melissa Tully draw from the book as they build on the examination of Makmende’s transnational circulation in Spreadable Media and in Ethan Zuckerman’s essay for the project to “situate this meme in its cultural and social context to analyze how and why Kenyans used Makmende to represent themselves.”
  • Sun Jung and Doobo Shim’s 2014 International Journal of Cultural Studies piece, entitled “Social Distribution: K-Pop Fan Practices in Indonesia and the ‘Gangnam Style’ Phenomenon,” references Spreadable Media in explaining the means by which media texts circulate online and the labor that fans and other active audiences exert which “shapes and rams the circulation of content.” The piece provides an in-depth case study of how “Gangnam Style” spread in Indonesia through a mix of “bottom-up grassroots aspects” of K-pop fan communities, “as well as corporate-controlled top-down aspects” of more traditional media participants.
  • Georgia State University Department of Communication graduate Sookeung Jung uses Spreadable Media as a foundational text in analyzing the spread of the video for “Gangnam Style,” as part of Jung’s 2014 thesis, “Global Audience Participation in the Production and Consumption of Gangnam Style” (work Sookeung also presented at the International Association for Media and Communication Research’s 2013 conference, in a presentation entitled, “An Encounter of Spreadable Media and Active Users on YouTube: A Case study of ‘Gangnam Style’ Videos”).
  • In her 2014 piece for Journal of Consumer Culture, entitled “From Homemade to Store Bought: Annoying Orange and the Professionalization of YouTube,” Joanne Morreale draws on Spreadable Media’s description of the ways that parody invites spreadability.
  • Joyce Goggin’s “‘Is It True Blondes Have More Fun?’ Mad Men and the Mechanics of Serialization,” in Rob Allen and Thijs van den Berg’s 2014 book Serialization in Popular Culture, draws on Spreadable Media’s comments about Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s desire for tight control around the production and reception of his show from the book’s introduction.
  • In their study on subjectivity, control and media ubiquity using the case study of the series Black Mirror (“Subjetividade, controle e ubiquidade midiática: o seriado Black Mirror”), presented at the XVIII Congress of Communication Sciences in the Southeast in Bauru, Brazil, in May 2013, and available via the Brazilian Society of Interdisciplinary Communication Studies, Francisco Beltrame and Thiago Siqueira draw on Spreadable Media’s definition of spreadability and description of a “bottom-up and top-down” hybrid circulation model.
  • Stephen O’Neill’s 2014 book Shakespeare and YouTube: New Media Forms of the Bard draws on co-author Henry Jenkins’ work on participatory culture in its introduction—in particular acknowledging that, while Jenkins’ theories of participatory culture are sometimes categorized as being too broadly optimistic, Spreadable Media acknowledges their existence within larger commercial forces/platforms that shape that participation.
  • Felipe da Silva Polydoro’s examination of the 2012 home video “Para Nossa Alegria” (“To Our Joy”), entitled “O Vídeo Caseiro “Para Nossa Alegria” e a Captação do Imprevisto,” was also presented at the XVIII Congress of Communication Sciences in the Southeast in Bauru, Brazil, in May 2013, and available via the Brazilian Society of Interdisciplinary Communication Studies. The study draws on Spreadable Media’s mention that people first have to have access to the tools to share but that what and how they share are shaped even more fundamentally by cultural practices surrounding their sharing.
  • In his 2013 doctoral thesis for the University of East Anglia’s School of Film, Television and Media Studies, entitled Towards Infinity and Beyond: Branding, Reputation, and the Critical Reception of Pixar Animation Studios, Richard John McCulloch includes Spreadable Media among the references which shaped his study.