The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the various media industries, highlight the common characteristics mentioned above and familiarize students with the key drivers of industry dynamics. Specifically, the course has three distinct objectives. First, it intends to survey the media industries to make sure that students have a broad understanding of the various media sectors. Special emphasis is given to describing the important platforms that largely define a media sector’s ecosystem. The course covers all content domains, from entertainment and news to B2B content (information). Second, it intends to provide students with relevant experience in “media industry analysis”. This experience is important for other elective classes offered by the Media Program, which are often based on company projects in specific media sectors. Finally, it intends to discuss the fundamental drivers of the media industry in terms of consumer psychology/behavior, key economic drivers and also relevant historical background. The foundations course should be the starting point for students who intend to follow other media elective classes. While it is not strictly required, it is strongly recommended to students taking other media electives.
The content of this course is comprised of three distinct blocks. The first 5 classes will cover broad media platforms/ ecosystems (sometimes combining multiple related sectors). We cover Broadcasting (Television and Radio), Video games, Search and Social networks. The next few classes are devoted to the three content domains: Entertainment (film, books, music), Information (B2B media) and News. The last two classes will focus on specific functions relevant to media: advertising and format innovation or product/concept development. Most classes will use a case study that we analyze in class, usually connected to a lecture/discussion.