Vacancy: PhD Researcher (FWO) – Fiction production and distribution in the age of platforms @ VU Brussel

The PhD research is situated on the crossroads of media economics and production studies. The PhD bursary will work full time on an FWO project under the supervision of Prof. Karen Donders and prof. Tim Raats. The 4-year research track will lead to the defense of a PhD thesis on the topic of Global subscription-Video on Demand services in Europe, and how they re-shape sustainability and content of small television markets.

Over-the-top streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime (OTT’s) are said to be reshaping existing practices of audio-visual production and distribution. These players allow new forms of revenue and outlets, yet they also put pressure on existing forms of financing, most notably from broadcasters. Scholarly attention for OTT’s has seen an uptake in research on these players; but less attention has gone to how production and distribution strategies of OTT’s (coproduction, acquisition of rights, or co-financing) are actually affecting the sustainability of small markets.

In this PhD, we first define what keeps small television markets sustainable. In the empirical work, we analyse how OTT’s invest in different small markets, reshape existing production practices and financing, affect export potential and return-on-investment, and ultimately: how they increase sustainability, or, conversely, put further pressure on already fragile markets. The work should result in a renewed understanding of vulnerability and robustness of small markets within a platform-dominated European media landscape and should contribute to the development of future-proof policies for domestic content production.

Deadline: May 30, 2021.

For more information and how to apply, see: