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About SRP Media

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SRP Media represents the third Strategic Research Programme on media economics at imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Its focus lies on understanding algorithm-driven media industries and how they reshape value in small markets. 

SRP Media clusters four PhD trajectories and affiliated research projects that deal with Streaming, Recommenders and Platformization in European Media Industries. By doing so, SRP Media aims to foster collaborations and knowledge exchanges across several national and international research projects, and to function as one centralised hub towards external stakeholders. 

Streaming, Recommenders and Platformization in European Media Industries

The research is conducted within the broader field of media and communication studies, more particularly in the research fields of media economics, political economy, innovation studies, and media policy. The importance of the research is confirmed by existing academic research, current media company practices, and ongoing policy developments in the field. Recent academic research has already been exploring the topic of algorithms in media industries. However, this body of work remains limited, mainly due to the ongoing changes in algorithm use, as well as the limited data publicly available on how algorithms and content recommendations are made in practice.

In order to contribute to scientific evidence on the topic, as well as to industry- and policy-related debates and developments, the SRP follows three main research industries, namely news media, public service media, and global and domestic streaming platforms. Each industry will be analysed from four perspectives: media companies, media content, media audiences, and media policy. It also aims to analyse the interplay between the three, to identify their effects on audience consumption, and the ways in which algorithms are used and regulated. The research combines qualitative and quantitative methodology and specifically focuses on small media markets. It also applies case studies, both individually and in comparative analyses, either between different media service providers, or between different EU Member States.

The programme will provide media stakeholders with the necessary knowledge on the usage and effects of algorithms on media production, distribution, and consumption. The findings will also help policymakers to formulate legislation that will accurately measure and efficiently regulate the implementation and use of algorithms and recommender systems.

Principle Investigators

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Pieter Ballon

Supervisor

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Tim Raats

Supervisor / Track Lead

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Annelien Smets

Track Lead

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Wendy Van den Broeck

Track Lead

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