Studies of media industries have formed a distinctive strand of media scholarship. Foundational traditions in this field are marked by the political economy of communications, sociology of media occupations and institutions, media economics, media industry historiography, and critical and cultural studies. Subsequently, insights drawn from critical legal studies, cultural policy studies, economic geography, creative labour, cultural economy, Internet studies, production cultures and informal media economies have diversified and enriched the field.
In part this interest arises from contemporary changes within the media industries themselves, with the global extension and integration of media markets, digitalization of media production and distribution, changing business models, proliferation of supply channels, patterns of corporate convergence, and the blurring of producer/consumer relations. These are only the most recent development, however, of industries built on complex and contested histories.
With the boom in media industries scholarship and emergence of dedicated degree programmes or single modules, studies of industry have gained a visible place in media curricula. This conference is therefore providing an international and interdisciplinary forum for reviewing the past and present state of media industry studies, and defining the future of the field.