Edited by Ruth Towse
Chapter 38: Media Economics and Regulation
Gillian Doyle Media economics concerns itself with the economics of making and supplying media content, and covers activities such as film-making, news production, print and online publishing, television and radio broadcasting. The economics of mass media is a lively and diverse area of scholarship that, over a number of years, has developed more or less independently from cultural economics but several areas of shared interest exist between these two subfields, for example, concerning economics of creativity or questions around copyright protection. Throsby (2001, p. 4) has described cultural provision in terms of activities that involve ‘some form of creativity in their production’ and where symbolic meanings are important and outputs embody intellectual property. Understood in this way, most if not all suppliers of media are involved in cultural industries. But the scope of ‘culture’ and of cultural economics extends well beyond media and includes, for example, the arts – literature, drama, dance, visual arts and so on – and heritage. In media economics, the focus is on applying economic theories and concepts to all aspects of media and on developing models and paradigms for the advancement of study of this particular subject area. This chapter sets out to give a flavour of the concerns and issues that mark out media economics as a distinctive field and, also, to provide an introductory overview of the overlap between economics and media regulation. What is special about economics of media? In many respects the media industry is unique. Unlike that of other sectors, the business...
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