April 9, 2015/ 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

UCLA Royce Hall Room 243

Towards a Contents-Platform Conglomerate?

The KADOKAWA-Dwango merger, NicoNico Video and the user generated media mix

Colloquium with Marc Steinberg, Concordia University, Canada

(Photo: still shot from “Kagerou Daze” video (2011) by Jin and Shidu, uploaded to Niconico Douga)

In October 2014, the publisher and media conglomerate KADOKAWA merged with the parent company of Japan’s largest video hosting site, NicoNico Video. The language used to describe this merger was the unification of contents and platforms. In this talk, professor Marc Steinberg of Concordia University will explore this merger from the angle of these two keywords – contents and platforms – that now dominate media discourse and industry practice in contemporary Japan. It will do so by examining the novel configuration of the media franchising or the media mix made possible by this merger, exploring a recent, representative example of what we might call the user-generated media mix: the Kagerou Project, developed on the video streaming NicoNico video. The goal of this talk is to parse out the layers of meaning behind these keywords, situate the merger in a wider geopolitical context, and examine the aesthetics of emergent, fan-produced forms of the media mix.

Marc Steinberg is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Concordia University, Canada. He is the author of the award-winning book, Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). His work addresses multiple aspects of Japanese and East Asian mediascapes and visual culture, focusing on the industrial and creative practice of the media mix or transmedia in film, animation, comics, and games in Japan in particular. His current research project examines the formation of digital platforms for content distribution in Japan, South Korea and North America.

***NEW TIME: 2:30PM TO 4:00PM***

Free and open to the public.

Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies