WMEMC 2021
14th World Media Economics and Management Conference

May 20-21, 2021 | Rome, Italy

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WMEMC 2021

The World Media Economics and Management Conference (WMEMC) is the leading biennial meeting of the global community of media business scholars. Over the last 25 years the academic conference brings scholars worldwide together to reflect on contemporary issues in the management and economics of media industries and firms.


Latest research on Media

Global Leading Researchers & Educators

Unique Networking Opportunities

Great Location at Villa Blanc, Rome


27 July 2020 - Online submission opens for uploading

24 August 2020 - Early bird conference registration opens

7 December 2020 - Deadline for submitting abstracts

15 January 2021 - Notification of acceptance of abstracts

10 February 2021 - Early bird conference registration closes

15 April 2021 - Last day for conference registration

30 April 2021 - Deadline for submitting full papers

20–21 May 2021 - World Media Economics and Management Conference

Emerging Technologies and Cross-Innovation in the Media Industries

Previous research has shown that media industries differ from traditional industrial sectors, in some ways greatly. Media industries have more limited common traits due to the heterogeneous nature of the various platforms, which correlate with often different company structures, turnover rates, employment patterns, markets, the economics and management of distribution channels, and characteristic business models. Especially in the new media space, competitive advantage depends on low capital intensity and heterogeneity of markets. This enables lower market entry barriers and higher start-up dynamisms. However, these beneficial traits are countered by a more limited availability of capital which may prevent new media enterprises from growing due to lower opportunities for investment in market research and development. This goes some distance in explaining the unique reliance of media industries on human capital for economic success.

To an important degree, these characteristics of media industries are influenced by the scope and speed of technological innovation in the context of advancing digitalization and correlated disruption. More so than in many industries, media firms are increasingly compelled to invite collaboration along the entire value chain. As mass media decline and online platforms proliferate, customers are also empowered to a novel historic degree to both influence and contribute to innovation. Artists, musicians, designers, architects and other creative professionals can play a decisive role in media innovation, especially in the initial phase of development. And economic players searching for new opportunities for investment are increasingly venturing into media sectors and markets.

All of this creative, economic and technological ferment contributes to a scale of ongoing innovation in media that is unique in human history, and has profound implications for the management and financial dynamics of media industries. Spillover and cross-innovation between media industries with other industrial sectors are becoming the new normal. The era of tightly protected boundaries is rapidly vanishing to a degree that makes it difficult to give a straightforward answer as to what counts as a media company today. Creative services developed and provided by media industries become inputs to innovative activities by other enterprises and industrial sectors, and companies in every industry are making proportionately greater uses of media-related services in everything from selling to networking to branding to cloud storage of data.

This suggests an emerging focus of long-term importance for media management and economics research. Evidence suggests that companies engaged in cross-innovation perform significantly better in both R&D results and implementation of them. It also suggests that such companies struggle with challenges that are endemic to collaboration with other companies and constituencies which typically have different priorities, competencies and self-interested motives. What mechanisms facilitate cross-innovation as a pursuit and in practice? Can we identify factors that account for successes and failures to a useful extent? How are media firms accelerating innovation, technology exchanges and learning between companies? How do emerging technologies foster and influence cross-innovation opportunities, objectives and practices? And what should researchers and managers take seriously from critical perspectives on issues that include the potential dehumanizing impact of artificial intelligence, worries about growing threats to privacy and human rights, concerns about concentration and conglomeration in media industries, and historic inequities that matter greatly to the potential for people who are marginalized and struggling to achieve parity in opportunities? This important vein of critical investigation articulates a darker side that suggests the importance of collaboration as a way to resist the interests of big capital and digital giants.

The 2021 World Media Economics and Management Conference invites scholarly original submissions on the theme of cross-innovation in media industries. We anticipate a lively dialogue about the roles of emerging technologies with an emphasis on cross-innovation processes. As an enabler, new technologies fuel novel forms of cross-sector cooperation. Big Data, for example, allows organizations from different industries to cooperate in developing innovative solutions for problems related to analyzing and understanding markets. For instance, the acquisition of data from a platform for crowdsourced music making and performance can facilitate discovering patterns in audience engagement and participation. These results can be then be applied to other interactive platforms, such as developing new educational tools. Moreover, some applications of AI technology can be viewed as a substitute for human competences in the practice of online journalism.

As a reinforcement of cross-innovation processes, emerging technologies can encourage correlated innovation in business models. Machine learning, for example, helps audio-visual streaming services shape their catalogues by assessing and incorporating choice behaviors that account for content success. This facilitates efforts to optimize the production of original movies and TV series and encourages renewed agreements with content distributors.

As an outcome of cross-innovation processes, emerging technologies can lead to the creation of innovative products or services for markets. Thanks to the unprecedented service-oriented connectivity approach, 5G networks will be a disruptive element as we see more connected industries producing synergic services and more efficient operationalization. This will create opportunity for some companies to use their own competencies to more easily enter an industry in which they have no experience – especially media.

Cross-innovation is an essential driver in the emerging context of media development. The 2021 World Media Economics and Management Conference invites research investigating the new context with a thematic focus on economic, social and technological aspects of the economics and management of media companies. The conference welcomes quantitative and qualitative research and is keenly interested in work that crosses interdisciplinary boundaries to expand our general understanding of current and future trends in media industries. Submissions that develop and apply novel methods and theories will be appreciated. The following topics have obvious importance to the theme, although topics of potential interest are not limited to these areas of research:

Below are the conference’s major themes for the submission of research papers:

  • Strategic management
    • Understandings of ‘cross-innovation’ in theory and practice
    • Technology development as an enabler, reinforcement or outcome of cross-innovation.
    • Factors that account for successes and failures in cross-innovation projects.
    • Characteristic opportunities and complications in cross-sector innovation.
    • Managerial challenges of particular importance in cross-innovation projects.
  • Entrepreneurship within media sectors
    • Cross innovation for emerging media start-ups
    • Cross collaboration and team management in the media field
    • Media innovation and entrepreneurships
  • Media industry and society
    • The economic impact of cross-innovation results in media on society.
    • Investment trends and patterns in pursuit of cross-innovation.
    • Clarification of trust issues related to emerging technologies and media.
    • Critical research on the societal impact of cross-innovation and media industries.
  • Evolving business models as an outcome of cross-innovation in media industries.
    • Emerging technologies and business model innovation in media industries.
    • Delivering and capturing value as an outcome of cross-innovation.
    • Innovative business models for emerging technology-based services in media.



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Early Bird

  • Includes online access to all keynotes, panels, and academic presentations
  • Includes registration & online access to digital conference program
  • Includes all conference material
  • Include Italian Food Box

Full Registration

  • Includes online access to all keynotes, panels, and academic presentations
  • Includes registration & online access to digital conference program
  • Includes all conference material
  • Include Italian Food Box


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