Parthasarathi on Interdependencies in the Indian Media Economy

September 20, 2019

In the complex operations of the Indian media economy, the phrase ‘media markets’ requires careful consideration as an analytical concept, CMDS Fellow Vibodh Parthasarathi and Adrian Athique (University of Queensland) argue in their article Market matters: interdependencies in the Indian media economy published in Media, Culture & Society.

According to the authors, “as a noun, ‘media markets’ is typically used to refer to a spread of media businesses and/or consumer sectors. Closer examination reveals that there tend to be multiple markets operating simultaneously within any media business (for products, capital, labour, audience, etc.). This implies an ‘economy of markets’, transacting both across media formats and with markets situated outside of the media production process. Both ‘media exchanges’ and ‘mediated exchanges’ shape the dynamics of the inter-locking markets that constitute the Indian media economy.”

The authors ask several questions: “What are the boundaries of media markets? Who are the key actors? How are these transactional relationships valued?” Their article seeks to identify points of distinction in form and geography along with critical relationships between overlapping markets and underlying interests. They propose a topology of Indian media markets, organized via three levels, with treatment of each taking into consideration the synergistic character of media markets and how interdependency shapes functional norms, rules of exchange, and the embedding of media transactions.

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