International Seminar

Communication and Cultural Digital Platforms

Post-Conference IAMCR 2019

Friday 12th July 2019

Carlos III University of Madrid – Puerta de Toledo Campus (Madrid City Centre)

Call for papers open until 4th March 2019


  • Audiovisual Diversity research group, Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain)
  • Laboratoire d’excellence Industries culturelles & création artistique – LabEx ICCA, (France)
  • IAMCR’s Political Economy Section

In the past decades, digital technologies have altered the cultural and communication scene profoundly. New forms of creation, production, distribution, promotion, access and participation have revolutionized entire industries, such as book publishing, music or cinema. Changes have brought both opportunities and challenges to the cultural industries chain of value, in a process that has affected both the Global North and South.

In this context, a new actor has emerged that has the whole world as its reference market: the online communication and cultural platforms (video, audio and other aggregators). The emergence of powerful transnational online platforms that trade in cultural goods and services, whose particular logics and practices may adversely affect cultural diversity, has attracted the attention of both international organizations (e.g. UNESCO) and national and local authorities.

The ‘Statement about the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity in the Digital Era’ (ULEPICC 2013), for example, highlights the process of re-intermediation effected in the digital ecosystem by these new agents in alliance with traditional cultural media conglomerates and condemns the difficulties of visibility faced by a section of cultural production. This document postulates the need to produce knowledge about ‘the strategies developed by these intermediaries within the digital landscape in sensitive topics such as the alliances between the large culture-communication groups, the labelling of contents or the secret algorithms deployed in the search engines that guide the visibility of contents’. Next, the Statement advances the necessary implementation of portals and search engines capable of promoting knowledge about new creators ‘paying special attention to the development of initiatives in countries with hard economic conditions and/or difficulties of access to the means of production and distribution in the international markets’.

High business concentration at international level, tax evasion strategies, the processing of vast amounts of data about users or the circumvention of national support schemes for independent productions are worrying aspects of the action of online transnational platforms. Faced with a scenario that calls into question the regulatory and financial provisions established to ensure the availability of cultural goods and services, for which new policies and measures are required, government delegations and civil society entities have been voicing the need to examine the impact of digital technologies and to promote the modernization of policies and cultural tools in the digital era.

We are seeking contributions that discuss how operate online platforms? What are the characteristics of “platforming” compared to other forms of organization of the culture and communication industries? Do online platforms contribute to the online diversity of cultural expressions? Do they express a more concentrate cultural and communication worldwide market? How do they challenge existing public policies, especially policies for the cultural and communication industries, or how do they rely on some of these policies to assert themselves?

This IAMCR 2019 post-conference aims to bring together insights from scholars all over the world working on the current presence of the online communication and cultural platforms. We seek to broaden ideas of what are the main characteristics of online platforms, raising questions about the ways in which this new enterprise form is connected with previous long-term trends and what is really new in his performance. Complementary, we are interested in thinking about the design and implementation of public policies whose purpose is to regulate the functioning of digital platforms in the field of information, communication and culture.

The post-conference, in particular, welcomes, yet is not limited to, contributions with a myriad of topic explorations surrounding shared leitmotifs listed below:

  • Typologies of existing digital platforms.
  • The role of cultural and communication digital platforms in the contemporary capitalism and especially in the capitalism in the culture and communication industries (platforms, concentration and financialization ; the role of cultural platforms as joint products in the broader offerings of the actors of electronic materials, electronic commerce, the Cloud, search engines, telecommunications operators ; the degree of competition or oligopolisation generated by the platforms, etc.)
  • Cultural diversity and platforms (offer diversity, consumed diversity).
  • The stakes of the platforms for the transnationalization of the players of the cultural industries and the contents
  • Cultural industries and online platforms (publishing, music, cinema, TV, radio, videogames).
  • Audiovisual streaming platforms.
  • Small and medium sized online platforms.
  • Global digital platforms (e.g. Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Deezer, etc.)
  • Public policies for online cultural platforms (catalogue regulation, taxation, mandatory contribution, etc.).
  • Cultural online platforms and rights holders.
  • Digital platforms and data mining.
  • The governance of the platforms and the role of algorithms in this governance
  • Content visibility inside the platforms.
  • The platforms’ place in the cultural industries’ value chain.
  • Online platforms in the trade of cultural goods and services.
  • Relationship between creators -musicians, artists, writers, film makers, news reporters, content producers and others- and large online platforms (e.g., fair remuneration for creators).
  • Content-driven social media platforms.
  • Social networks and user-generated content.
  • New business models for e-commerce and streaming.
  • Online platforms and the net neutrality principle.
  • Platforms and censorship.

Please send title and abstract of no more than 500 words, and a short bio (150 words), along with a selection of key references no later than MONDAY MARCH 4th 2019.

Abstracts and enquiries should be sent to the following electronic address:



Call for Paper launch: November 2018

Abstracts due: March 4th 2019

Notification of abstracts accepted: April 1st 2019