Podcast, Stuart Cunningham and David Craig: “Social Media Entertainment”

In a little over a decade, competing social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and their Chinese counterparts, have formed the base for the emergence of a new creative industry: social media entertainment. Social media entertainment creators have harnessed these platforms to generate significantly different content, separate from the century-long model of intellectual property control in the entertainment industries. This new screen ecology is driven by intrinsically interactive viewer- and audience-centricity. Combined, these factors inform a qualitatively different globalization dynamic that has scaled with great velocity, posing new challenges for established screen industries, screen regulatory regimes, as well as media scholars. Social Media Entertainment: The New Industry at the Intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley maps the platforms and affordances, content innovation and creative labor, monetization and management, new forms of media globalization, and critical cultural concerns raised by this nascent media industry. Media scholars Stuart Cunningham and David Craig propose challenging, revisionist accounts of the political economy of digital media, the precarious status of creative labor and of media management, and the possibilities of progressive cultural politics in commercializing environments, while offering a new take on media globalization debates.

About Stuart Cunningham and David Craig

Stuart Cunningham is Distinguished Professor of Media and Communications, Queensland University of Technology. He has authored over a dozen academic titles including Media Economics (Terry Flew, Adam Swift), Screen Distribution and the New King Kongs of the Online World (Jon Silver), Hidden innovation: Policy, industry and the creative sector.

David Craig is a Clinical Associate Professor at USC Annenberg’s School for Communication and Journalism and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center. Craig is also a veteran media producer and executive nominated for multiple Emmy Awards and responsible for over 30 critically-acclaimed films, TV programs, and stage productions.

About Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Her honors thesis explored literature’s evolving role in the digital age through an ethnographic study of an online literary magazine. She also co-founded and directed the Harvard Organization for Prison Education and Reform, a network of eight volunteer groups that tutor in prisons across Massachusetts and work on advocacy initiatives relating to mass incarceration and education. Before joining CMS, Rachel worked in Boston-area art museums — the Harvard Art Museums and the Peabody Essex Museum — with a focus on developing teaching curriculum for makerspaces as well as integrated digital media experiences for visitors. At MIT, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab under the direction of Lisa Parks. Thesis: Incomplete Sentences: Exploitation and Empowerment in American Incarceration Media


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