The video bubble: Multichannel networks and the transformation of YouTube
Number of Authors: 1
2016 (English)In: Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, ISSN 1354-8565, E-ISSN 1748-7382, Vol. 22, no 4, 361-375 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Multichannel networks (MCNs) are intermediary companies that sell advertising, cross-promote affiliated YouTube channels, and develop video brands. They have often been criticized as driving YouTube's commercialization, a seemingly recent phenomenon that sees hithertho informal practices of video making and sharing being increasingly formalized. This article challenges such beliefs about YouTube's sudden makeover, based on archival evidence that allows to reconstruct YouTube's long commercial history and on fresh field study data relating to one specific MCN and its content providers. Debunking the myth of 'cocreation', the article uses simple analogies market, infrastructure, and franchise - to describe how MCNs contribute to establish asymmetrical relations between users and emergent industry systems online. It demonstrates how MCNs since 2006 have streamlined and standardized production inputs, reorganized cost per mille-based ad sales, and redefined the value of video in line with a more general financialization of media markets. The methodological framework for this empirical inquiry into YouTube's first decade is based on economic sociology and infrastructure studies, and the argument itself framed by critical research on 'connected viewing', a larger trend across the media industries to integrate digital technology and socially networked communication with traditional screen media practices.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 22, no 4, 361-375 p.
Connected viewing, content aggregation, digital media infrastructure, media industries, multichannel networks, social industry, Spotify, user-generated content, YouTube
Media and Communications
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140373DOI: 10.1177/1354856516641882ISI: 000392807400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140373DiVA: diva2:1085168