Last week, Patrick Vonderau attended the 65th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico . Presenting a paper with the title MCNs, Local Talent, and the Transformation of YouTube, Patricks abstract read:
“What are the new industry structures that emerge in the course of YouTube’s transition from an open platform for online video to a content farm for Internet television? How do multi-channel networks (MCNs) manage local creative inputs and communities? And how does temporal or cultural lag between various national MCNs, communities or talents affect the performance of this industry system as a whole? These questions are central to this paper. Using comparative case studies in two European contexts (UK and Germany), this paper examines YouTube’s emerging television infrastructure, corporate acquisition policies, and the ways teenage and young adult media performers interact with MCNs. My paper asks specifically how the perception of value of content relates to forms of labor at the “bottom” and principles of strategic management at the “top” of YouTube’s digital ecosystem.”
Apart from discussing transformed cycles of video content production, Patrick also visited the NYC event where Spotify’s Daniel Ek announced the company’s latest move: teaming up with several major media conglomerates in order to provide video and other non-music types of content. As Rasmus Fleischer has noted, this move does not only reflect a shift where Spotify now appears to be transforming itself into a wider entertainment portal, but also indicates a hightened attentiveness towards providing tailored “soundtrackings” of, well… everything.
As the market for streaming platforms for music is moving into an increasingly tense competitive state, capturing the emotions and “moods” of audiences appears to be envisioned as the hottest ticket to survival.