*Kick-Starting Media:*
*Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries*
*One-Day International Symposium: 9 June 2016*

*Media Futures Research Centre, Bath Spa UniversityHeld at Bath Spa
University, Newton Park CampusNewton Park, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BN*
*Confirmed keynotes:*

Professor Gillian Doyle, University of Glasgow
Professor Mario La Torre, University of Rome

With recent threats of change to the BBC’s future public funding at a time
when online streaming providers such as Amazon Prime are thriving, the
subject of new media funding models and their impact on how audiences can –
or should – consume media has become a point of public discussion. Trends
such as crowdfunding and co-creation – where producers and audiences share
responsibility for financing media – as well as subscription-based
platforms like Netflix and video-on-demand services such as iTunes have all
made media more sharable and personal, but all of these trends and services
also raise further questions about the funding priorities, strategies and
policies in the arts, media and culture sectors. It is thus timely to take
stock of cultures of funding in contemporary media industries, and this
symposium provides a platform for analysing the impact of these
contemporary funding cultures, be it on texts, audiences, technologies or

Recent public debates over funding in the media industries seem tied to the
impact of digitalisation, which has provided a catalyst for change in terms
of how media is now produced and consumed across multiple platforms. As
such, basic business models for funding media are changing. While
digitalisation is seen to have redefined ideas of ownership amidst shifts
from a top-down corporate-driven model to a more bottom-up consumer-driven
model (Jenkins 2006), how is such a shift continuing to shape the type of
media now being financed? Moreover, how are digitised media interfaces –
bringing greater individualised choice for media audiences (Tryon 2013) –
impacting funding patterns and creative imperatives for such media? What is
the impact of convergences and the need to spread content across multiple
platforms on license fee funding? Equally, emerging digitalised funding
models such as co-creativity raise questions about entrepreneurship in the
media but also about unequal power structures as audiences may come to
function as free labour (Scholz 2013; Smith 2015). In what ways, then,
might such blurring of power structures redefine basic notions of media
funding? And how do different media industries now orchestrate, manage and
perceive the turn towards crowdfunded, video-on-demand or co-created
content as business models of the future?

To address these questions, the conference organisers invite proposals for
20-minute papers from both researchers and media practitioners. As well as
exploring the broader questions above, proposals can be on, but are not
limited to, the following topics:

   - Contemporary film funding (e.g. Hollywood franchise-based models of
   financing, independently-financed productions, crowdfunding platforms such
   as Kickstarter, public/private sector film financing, etc)
   - Contemporary television funding (e.g. subscription-based streaming
   services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, public service/license fee
   funding models, new sponsorship models, product placement, TV promo
   companies, video-on-demand services such as iPlayer, etc)
   - Contemporary videogame funding (e.g. co-creation, social media gaming
   production, etc)
   - Contemporary comics and book funding (e.g. digital/motion comics,
   online publishing trends, etc)
   - Contemporary music funding and new economic models (e.g. live-touring,
   streaming, downloading platforms such as iTunes, etc)
   - Contemporary advertising and transmedia funding (e.g. social media
   marketing, online apps, intermediary agency funds, branded entertainment,
   - Impacts of contemporary funding practices on audiences (e.g.
   exploitability of co-creativity, crowdfunding as fandom, fan-fiction, binge
   watching, etc)
   - Impacts of contemporary funding practices on media texts (e.g.
   changing narrative formats, participatory content, etc)

* A Special Issue devoted to the conference theme of ‘Funding in the
Convergence Era’ will be published in *The International Journal on Media
Management <>* in 2017,
co-edited by Matthew Freeman and Bozena Mierzejewska. Conference speakers
will be invited to submit their papers to this Special Issue for

Please send proposals (300 words plus a 100 word bio) to Dr Matthew Freeman
([log in to unmask]) by *15 January 2016*. Delegates will be informed
of acceptance by mid-February 2016.

This event is part of the Media Futures Research Centre
<> ‘Economic Futures’ 2015-16 programme of
activities at Bath Spa University.

*Dr Matthew Freeman*

*Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication*
*Director, Media Futures Research Centre*

*Department of Film, Media and Creative Computing*

*Bath Spa University*

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