Contents as Products in Media Markets
Media products usually comprise two components: a nonmaterial element (journalistic, fiction, persuasive, etc., called content) and a material element (whereby the content is distributed and made accessible to consumers, typically referred to as a platform). While both components function in tandem in the market as regards meeting needs, consumer demand is primarily linked to content; the role of communication or transmission platforms is secondary in this regard, although they may be crucial to such concerns as accessibility (Murphy. How television invented new media. Rutgers University Press, 2011; Chun. Control and freedom: Power and paranoia in the age of fiber optic. MIT, 2006).
Hence, the distinguishing feature of media products as such is their capacity to meet the needs and satisfy the desires of potential consumers by providing information, persuasive communication, and entertainment contents. The material elements can influence what kinds of content can be offered and what demand can be fulfilled, but they do not create a demand per se that would be independent from the contents.
Based on this premise, the distinctive nature of media contents may be defined in relation to a set of key concepts that distinguish such contents from other products. On the one hand, these characteristics relate to the status of media products as economic goods, and on the other, such features stem from the special social and cultural significance of media products (Bates. The political economy of information (pp. 76–94). University of Wisconsin Press, 1988).
This chapter addresses media products as economic goods made available in the media market, wherein the management of such products is based on their distinctive nature. Thereafter, the conditions that shape innovation and the production of high-quality contents are explored. Finally, the relationship between contents and target audiences is analyzed because the latter are imbricated (arranged in an overlapping structure) in content management, and this is characteristic of such products from their very beginning.
KeywordsMedia Product Media Content Media Company Economic Good Media Market
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