With the media industries getting increasing economic importance, there has been a growing interest in understanding the economic functioning of such industries. A common approach has consisted in applying tools developed in economics (particularly industrial economics) to the media sector. Such tools may however be misfit to address the important issues of innovation or diversity.
Innovation and diversity are universally praised for the media, from the discourses of policy-makers to executives in the media companies to the creators themselves. However that does not really make the sector different from the other ones. In fact, innovation plays an important role in economic growth. Diversity and innovation are the most peculiar for media because they are harder to define than in any other sector.
This is because the concepts are complex. Diversity may refer to the expression of a pluralism of point of view, to the picturing of different cultures, etc. Innovation may refer to the use of new technologies to produce, distribute or access content, but also to new contents themselves. The judgment made will depend on the media used, on the content consumed but also in general on who is expressing the judgment.
Contrarily to most other products there are few objective ways of assessing diversity and innovation for media products, e.g. the value of a film will not depend on its length. Subjectivity makes it hard to define and hence to assess diversity and innovation. However we believe that defining and measuring innovation and diversity is crucial in the understanding of the economy of media.
The aim of the workshop is to gather and compare the economic analyses of concepts a priori as different as innovation, diversity, authenticity, quality, originality, etc. in the field of media. It will rely on the growing body of literature that attempts on the one hand to define and assess either innovation or diversity and on the other hand to relate it to an analysis of the economic functioning of the media industries.