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How Many Media Economists Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?

Mar 21 2014, 2:10am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

How Many Media Economists Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

I’ve been attending a monthly seminar that is undeniably geeky, yet wonderfully thought-provoking. The invitation-only New York City Media Seminar Series brings together economists working on media topics.

It’s true that there is no shortage of conferences about all manner of media topics. But academic talks are truly different from a regular industry conferences because academics have the luxury of time to explore topics and phenomena in great detail and discover fundamental drivers of industry dynamics. They have the time to collect good data and analyze these thoroughly. And analyzing anything carefully is a luxury that I’ve come to deeply appreciate.  When many of us are forced to make decisions on the fly in a media industry that is practically careening as it evolves, it’s inspiring to see what you can actually know – not guess at – with facts and theories that are tested.

The monthly two-hour seminars, sponsored by The Media Program at Columbia Business School and the Associated Press, is organized by Professor Lisa George  of Hunter College and Professor Miklos Sarvary  head of Columbia’s program. “Although there are lots of  New York area universities which all have academics studying media, these experts are all scattered around and belong to departments in disparate basic disciplines,”  explains Sarvary in an email. “They rarely have the chance to come together.”

The sessions are open to all researchers with access to New York City and the speakers are from across the US and abroad. “This is different than the usual academic seminar, in that it is not simply discipline-based, but industry focused on the media sector,” Sarvary continues. “The group consists of academics (researchers, professors, doctoral students) from a diverse set of disciplines: economics, marketing, anthropology, political science, sociology. But we do have some practitioners like  Hal Vogel whose book, Entertainment Industry Economics,  is a sort of reference for the industry.”

At the seminars, I’ve heard compelling papers about motion picture supply and demand, viral video ad campaigns, and the difficulties of digital movie and music product discovery among other topics. Attending is mind expanding and therefore by my definition, fun.

There will be two more seminars (one on newspapers and the other on social media behaviors) before the summer break. The Media Seminar Series page has copies of the past and future papers and how to wrangle an invitation to attend.

 

So, how many media economists does it take to screw in a light bulb?  One to screw it in and two grad students to index the entertainment value of screwing it in.

Disclosure:  I am an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and was invited to join the seminar by Prof. Sarvary. 

Source: Forbes

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