Spreadability and Non-Traditional Media Production/Circulation

Several recent studies have drawn on Spreadable Media vis-a-vis looking at new models for producing and distributing media content in a digital age. We recommend checking out these studies below:

  • In his 2014 Television & New Media case study, “Clouded Visions: UltraViolet and the Future of Digital Distribution,” Gregory Steirer evokes Spreadable Media, among other work, with models for understanding online distribution practices that he feels should be resisted “or, at the least tempered,” through neoclassical economic principles that can help us better understand the economic logic “underpinning media industry initiatives,” such as his case study of the UltraViolet model for digital distribution. In particular, Steirer uses the case study to advocate for economic analysis to be a more welcome part of media studies.
  • In this piece for IndieWire, “Finding Web TV’s ‘Louie’: Why Views Don’t Matter for Indies,” Aymar Jean Christian argues that indie TV productions shouldn’t focus on being as highly spread as possible but rather on having something to say and being discovered by the right audience.
  • Elsewhere, in his essay, “Indie TV: Innovation in Series Development,” for James Bennett and Niki Strange’s forthcoming book Media Independence: Working with Freedom or Working for Free?, Christian builds on the exploration of “challenges to the process of corporate network piloting in financing, audience behavior and distribution” in Spreadable Media and other media studies texts to explore how independent alternatives to the process of piloting “bridge(s) competing industry stakeholders’ needs through alternative practices and values.”
  • Kate Nash’s 2014 piece for Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, “What Is Interactivity For? The Social Dimension of Web-Documentary Participation,” draws on Spreadable Media’s description of the role active audiences play in circulating media texts in her consideration of Nico Carpentier’s distinction between participating in media texts and participating through media texts and what it means for scholars studying documentary.
  • Samuel Jason Cole draws on Spreadable Media for his 2013 dissertation for the University of Kansas’ Film and Media Studies program, entitled A Qualitative Case Study Analysis of the Current Condition of Niche Market, Independent Motion Picture ProducersHe uses the book to reference his belief that “longtime proponents of audience empowerment have…begun to acknowledge the realities of operating within…larger societal norms,” such as “a society driven by economic profitability,” as well as the blurring of “production” and “consumption” as practices of distribution spread from a model of stickiness to a model of spreadability.
  • In her 2013 Master’s thesis for MIT’s Program in Comparative Media Studies, “Byte-Sized TV: Writing the Web Series,” Katie Edgerton draws on Spreadable Media’s consideration of how the media industries struggle with understanding how to assign value various audiences and various means of participation, as well as various understandings of “value” in market and non-market logics, as well as on Henry Jenkins’ online essay regarding Joss Whedon for the project.
  • In his April 2014 piece for Georgetown University’s Media Theory and Cognitive Technologies course, entitled “Netflix and Video Streaming: The Remediation of the Video Rental Store into the Consumer’s Home,” Master’s candidate Alvaro Espiritu Santo Raba evokes Spreadable Media’s distinction between “consumer” and “multiplier” (inspired by the work of Grant McCracken in his essay for the project) in establishing the overall shifted media landscape in which Netflix operates.
  • On her MFA Not MBA blog post on “House of Cards and the Changing Entertainment Distribution Model,” UC-Irvine’s Deidre Woollard (who also work as a writer, editor, and marketer) draws on Spreadable Media to help set the context of how word of mouth and online circulation is increasingly being built into marketing and distribution strategies for serialized stories.