A new context: digital economics turning to maturity

Social benefits (positive externalities) of digitalization deriving from the development of communication systems, such as deployment of ADSL and first generation terminals, are reaching saturation. The financing of new generation networks have to leverage on vertical relations between publishers and transporters, which are the more and more integrated in the process of delivering quality of service. Moreover, the deployment of new networks needs to internalize the drawbacks that may be caused by digitalization, notably on intellectual property enforcement and more generally on social welfare. This process may be also referred as the definition of intermediaries’ responsibility.

On the Media side, the digital scenario imposes a rethinking of the concept of Media itself. Emerging pricing mechanisms, which exploit new types of discrimination such as the valorisation of consumer preferences, needs to be stabilized. This reflection engages a further analysis on the value creation process in the Media industry: economics of signalling (advertising), « knowledge economics », connotation an co-Branding economics.

From this set-up, two axes of research:

1. What is publishing?

What are the tasks and responsibilities of a Publisher in a digital environment? On the one side, differentiating on the basis of economic criteria, performing technical activities (transport, distribution platform) and creating meaningful contents. On the other side, it implies enlarging the field of activity and the techno-economic characteristics of Editing beyond written texts, to a broader spectrum of Medias and consumption goods with a social connotation. This analysis will be a stepping stone for the adaptation of institutional instruments such as intellectual property, and regulation, which ultimately condition the industrial organisation and the competitiveness of the industry.

2. Digital Economy: growth of bandwidth and internalisation rules

The growth of bandwidth imposes investments in infrastructures. These must be based on new agreements between digital agents. Beyond net-neutrality, how do vertical relations evolve between network operators and online services? How do pricing models evolve? (Interview with Michel Riguidel on net- neutrality)

In the meantime, the development of the internet produces the more and more harmful usage habits: piracy, privacy violations, impersonation, etc... These negative externalities are constantly evolving and will hardly be reabsorbed by central regulation or fiscal policies. Which incitation mechanisms will be effective to make agents responsible for the control of their externalities, or else, for the damages caused to collateral industries?

How could this responsibility be compatible with the objective of increasing competitiveness of European agents?


Research Chaire Medias&Brand Economics CERNA - Mines Paris - PSL


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