Call for papers
Special issue of the journal Media Studies (Medijske studije):
‘Platformisation of cultural and audio-visual sectors in the European Union: new policies for new stakeholders’
Regulation of digital technologies is high on the EU policy agenda. Platforms capture the attention of policy makers due to their dependence on user data, impacts on traditional cultural and audio-visual supply and demand, transnational reach, and excessive concentration of power. Academic approaches focusing on different facets of platforms have been many (e.g. Gillespie, 2010; Jin, 2015; Mansell, 2015; Srnicek, 2017; Rochet and Tirole, 2003) with selected authors speaking of the rise of platform society (van Dijck et al, 2018). The process has taken a new dimension with the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has amplified citizens’ usage of online platforms, both for work and for leisure. However, this is a multisided story where the level of digital inequalities in access and skills needs to be taken into account on the demand side. Moreover, the structural implications of supply of European cultural and audiovisual products via platforms also needs to be addressed. Policies are always lagging behind these practices, and in the context of dynamic platform infrastructures (Duffy et al, 2019) this is even more so. European Union has been active in this regard (e.g. Evens and Donders, 2018; Evens et al 2020), particularly with regard to developing strategic goals. The future impact of these policies, however, remains to be tested and verified.
Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy has been one of the priorities of the former Commissions’ objectives. Small and medium size platforms can contribute to growth of skills and jobs in the EU, but the domination of large, mainly US, businesses (e.g. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix) opens up questions related to European identity, European integration objectives and the role EU plays in the globalised world (Vlassis, 2020, 2021). This is a recurring issue with the development of European media policies, particularly when it comes to balancing industrial and competitive goals with cultural and public service goals (e.g. Michalis, 2014; Murdock, 2014). With this special issue, we aim to go further from the established discussions of platformisation of cultural production (Poell et al, 2021). The main focus will be on the role of European Union policies on online platforms that affect supply and demand of cultural and audiovisual production. Attention will be given to unpacking social, political and economic dimensions of platformisation, moving beyond deterministic usage of term.
We invite papers that examine (but are not limited to) the following questions:
How can we interpret changes in European Union policies relating to online platforms and cultural and audiovisual sectors? How well, if at all, are they challenging US platform monopolies? How are they balancing market competition with cultural diversity and pluralism? What new stakeholders are emerging and what new policies are drafted/created? Analysis tackling policies and practices in other countries that bring some comparative approaches are also welcome.
How do cultural content producers grapple with changes in platform governance (e.g. pricing strategies, content curation, privacy policies)? What are the implications for produced and distributed content?
What new types of creative labour practices are brought about by the online platforms and how can we best analyse the policies developed to mitigate these changes?
What are the consumption patterns of audiovisual and cultural content through platforms? What, if any, EU policies are targeting citizens’ access and skills to use such content?
With the increase of the usage of online platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic has there been an acceleration of the (re)creation of digital cultural policies (in Europe)? What theoretical frameworks would be best suited to interpret these changes?
Please note that guest editors welcome submissions on a wide variety of theoretical and/or empirical contributions to the study of the impact of platforms on (policy) developments of cultural and audiovisual sectors.
Jaka Primorac, Paško Bilić and Aleksandra Uzelac, Department for Culture and Communication, Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO), Zagreb, Croatia
Papers should be up to 8000 words, including footnotes and references. Detailed instructions for authors can be found here.
Papers should be submitted directly through the Media Studies OJS system, available here where they will undergo peer review following the usual procedures of the journal.
The special issue is scheduled for publication in December 2022.
Deadline for submission of papers: 1st of May 2022
More information about the journal Media Studies
This Special issue is part of activities of the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet project ‘European Union Policies and the Platformisation of Cultural and Audio-visual Sectors – platEU’ (2020-2022) dedicated to promoting discussion and reflection on EU policies related to the impact of online platforms on cultural and audio-visual (AV) sectors in Europe. More information about the project can be found at the website of the project: https://plateu.irmo.hr/en/