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The Future of Media

Fall 2012 MBA Course

B8699-038: The Future of Media

W - B Term, 04:00PM to 07:15PM
Location: URI 331

Instructor: Roger Neal

This course will explore the impact of digital technology on the future of media businesses. Media is undergoing a prolonged period of “creative destruction,” as digital convergence continues to disrupt traditional media models, and new forms of digital media, such as Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Flipboard, are created.  In this dynamic environment, five tech-focused firms– Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft– have emerged as dominant platforms for accessing digital media and are battling for a dominant share of consumer and advertiser media spending. The course will explore this complex and dynamic landscape from the perspective of traditional media firms (such as print, TV and games), platform providers and start-ups. Through discussion, case studies and guest speakers, we will examine business strategy, product strategy, options for monetization and explore scenarios for the future. This course will be valuable to those interested in media and entrepreneurship, and will provide insight into how digital disruption will impact other industries.

Prerequisite: B6601 "Marketing Strategy".

Draft of syllabus:

Session 1

Media Disruption. What is media, how is it monetized, forces of change, key players and strategies? Focus on Print, Music, Games and TV. Case study: Hulu: An Evil Plot to Destroy the World? Guest speaker.

Session 2

New Forms. Exploration of Venture Capital backed media innovations such as Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Gumroad, Flipboard, Aereo, Airtime. Focus on Social and Mobile. Case study: Entrepreneurs at Twitter: Building a Brand, a Social Tool or Tech Powerhouse? Guest speaker.

Session 3

Platforms: Emergence of “the big five” Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Case study: MLB and the Apple iPad. Guest speaker.

Session 4

Future of Monetization. Examination of options for monetizing digital media – with a focus on advertising technology and marketing directly to consumers. Case study: Radiohead: Music at your own Price. Guest speaker.

Session 5

Future Scenarios. Scenario Modeling. Guest speaker.

Session 6

Presentation of term project. Guest speakers: round table



Class Participation - 50%. Grade is based on attendance, preparation for homework questions and cases, thoughtful participation in discussions and case studies, and engagement with guest speakers.

Final Paper and Presentation - 50%. Students will work in groups of a minimum of five people to present a final project during the last class companied by a brief written proposal or powerpoint deck. Groups will work together and be graded together on the creation of an original digital media product and present the business strategy, product strategy, platform strategy, monetization strategy and marketing plan to launch it.