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Understanding Media Economics

Understanding Media Economics

Second Edition

April 2013 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'This book provides an extremely well written and informative introduction to the subject of media economics, characterized by clarity in the explanation of concepts or frameworks and by a balanced discussion for the respective positions in areas of debate' - Paul MacDonald, Roehampton Institute

'This book is a very valuable contribution to the media economic literature' - Richard van der Wurff, Dept of Communication, University of Amsterdam

Understanding Media Economics provides a clear, precise introduction to the key economic concepts and issues affecting the media.

The book: explains the fundamental concepts relevant to the study of media economics; considers the key industrial questions facing the media industries today; relates economic theory to business practice; covers a wide range of media activity - advertising, television, film, print media, and new media; and looks at the impact of economics on public policy.

The Second Edition of Understanding Media Economics is has been fully updated, and offers a stimulating perspective on the contemporary media environment. This book remains an essential purchase for all students of the media and mass communication.

Chapter 1: Introduction
What Is Media Economics about?

Macroeconomics and Microeconomics

The Firm in Economic Theory

Competitive Market Structures

Market Structure and Behaviour

What Is So Special About Economics of the Media?

Key Economic Characteristics of the Media

Economies of Scale

Economies of Scope

Changing Technology

Chapter 2: Convergence and Multi-Platform
The Vertical Supply Chain

Changing Market Structures and Boundaries

Digital Convergence

Technological Change, Innovation and Creative Destruction


A New Cornucopia?

Chapter 3: Corporate Growth and Concentration Strategies
Strategic Responses to Digitization

Managerial Theories

Horizontal Expansion

Diagonal and Conglomerate Growth

Vertical Expansion

Transnational Growth

Chapter 4: Networks
Economics of Networks

Broadcasting Networks

Global Networks in Transnational Publishing

Online Content Distribution

Social Networks and Microblogging

The Changing Role of Networks in Media Economics

Chapter 5: Demand: Push to Pull
Mass to Niche

User Empowerment

Segmentation and Branding

Audience Flow Management

Market Failure in Broadcasting

Public Service Content Provision

Chapter 6: Economics of Content Supply
Novelty and Risk Spreading


Repetition and Formats

Hollywood and Risk

Funding Models: Cost Plus Versus Deficit Financing


Chapter 7: Copyright
The Economic Origins of Copyright

Copyright and Welfare Losses

Digitisation and Enforcement


Territoriality and Free Trade Areas

Commercial Models Other Than Copyright

Non-Market Alternative Means of Incentivising Creativity

Adjusting Copyright to the 'Open' Internet

Chapter 8: Media and Advertising
The Advertising Industry

Why Does Advertising Take place?

Are Firms in Control of Their Own Markets?

Informative Versus Persuasive Advertising

Advertising as a Barrier to Market Entry

Advertising and the Performance of the Economy

The Rise of Internet Advertising

The Firm's Advertising Decision

Chapter 9: Digital Media Economics and Public Policy
Free Market Versus Intervention

Support Measures for Media Content


Concentrated Media Ownership

Promoting Competition

Monopolies and Technological Change

Maximising Efficiency

PSBs and State Aid Rules


This is an excellent textbook on media economics, which takes into account the full complexity of the subject matter in the context of structural, technological and creative transformations that characterise digital media at the start of the twenty-first century.
Milan Todorovic
London Metropolitan University

Gillian Doyle's book provides a wide-ranging, accessible introduction to media economics and their application to a broad range of media topics from advertising and business models to copyright, audience demand and public policy. Whilst critical of the certainties and simplifications of economists, Doyle delivers not only a lucid overview of economic concepts like merit goods, deficit financing and economies of scope, but shows how these continue to be relevant and useful for understanding how media work. The book is alert to the disruptive effects of technology, but highlights the continuities between old and new media, and between economic certainties and media complexity. Some of the chapters could work as self-contained extracts for a seminar or specialist module (each chapter helpfully includes a list of learning outcomes), but the book perhaps works better as a single narrative, with recurrent themes and motifs. What's refreshing about the book is Doyle's willingness to move beyond the boundaries of media economics and forge connections with a diversity of topics, policies, practices and debates. The book is generous with its expertise, covering the basics for a non-specialist and providing up to date insights from current research for more advanced readers, intercut with interviews and examples from the industry. Throughout the book Doyle's experience as a teacher shines through, a reminder that the virtues of good teaching - clear structure, avoiding jargon, questioning received wisdom and providing the resources for readers to form their own opinions rather than expounding one's own - can also inspire good research.
Chris Bilton
Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Warwick

In this accessible and thoroughly up-to-date book, Gillian Doyle expertly synthesizes economic theory and contemporary cases to both explain the structure of the contemporary media industry and shed insight on the significant challenges and controversies confronting the sector. A hugely valuable resource.
Lucy Küng
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University, and Jonkoping University, Sweden

This second edition of Understanding Media Economics is a welcome overhaul that gets to the heart of the issues and challenges in today’s media industry. It is more applicable beyond the classroom than the previous version and should be on the reading lists, not just of students in media economics course, but also of many in Westminster, Brussels and Strasbourg.

Sally Broughton Micova
Research Officer for the LSE Media Policy Project at the London School of Economics and Political Science

A much needed and highly welcome update of this key text.

Professor Julian Petley
School of Arts, Brunel University
September 27, 2014

Still the best introduction to the economics of media industries

Paul Dwyer
Business Administration , University of Westminster
July 1, 2014

This is second edition is still the standard text on media economics as well as the best introduction to the economics of the media industries

Paul Dwyer
Business Administration , University of Westminster
July 1, 2014

May be adopted if course changes are effected to incorporate more on the business of journalism.

Mr Paul Lashmar
School of Arts, Brunel University
March 2, 2014

The first edition of this work has proven extremely useful for students in understanding how the media operate as businesses. This edition will prove to be as useful and popular for students and lecturers alike, due to its clarity and accessibility in an area that, for some students, is difficult for them to engage with, yet it is an extremely important area for anyone embarking on a career in the media.

Ms Lesley Albon
Department of Media, Chester University
February 21, 2014

Doyle's book provides an excellent introduction into the field of media economics for non-economics students, as it resonates well with scholarly debates in other disciplines, such as cultural policy and media studies.

Dr Martijn Stevens
Comparative Art & Cultural Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen
November 22, 2013

This is a valuable book for all those studying media economics. Not only does it furnish a picture of current media industries but it also discusses changes in both advertising and media sectors. I will be recommending it to my MA students.

Dr Nelson Ribeiro
Faculty of Humanities, Catholic University of Portugal
October 26, 2013

In looking at the broader picture of economics that underpin an industry that has always concerned with producing products, Doyle examines the models that form its bedrock and how it continues to adapt to continual change.

Mr Ato Erzan-Essien
Media, Chester University
September 26, 2013

Gillian Doyle

Gillian Doyle is Professor of Media Economics and Director of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (CCPR) at the University of Glasgow where she runs the MSc in Media Management programme. More About Author

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