Introducing the 2014 CVI Team

Warner Bros. and the Media Industries Project Launch Second Year of Landmark Collaboration

This year, six teams make up the Connected Viewing Initiative, including two projects focused on international media markets like China and Brazil, and four U.S.-focused projects examining such trends as the increasing importance of metadata, the privacy challenges of cloud distribution technologies, the business models of the gaming industry, and new online distribution platforms that are becoming major players in original content production.

To learn more about individual projects, click below:

Connected Viewing in China 2013 will research subtitle teams, describe Chinese online and mobile media consumer types, and examine websites, apps, and social media services that are currently trending. More>


User Engagements with Online Distribution Services in Brazil, India, and Korea will develop a portrait of user attitudes, tastes and behaviors related to online distribution services. More>


Making Metadata Matter: The Business of Connecting Viewers will illuminate how metadata can create more valuable media experiences for consumers. More>


Privacy and The Cloud: Connected Viewing and The Role of Data Security will examine the role that privacy and data security are playing in the realm of digital content distribution. More>


Gamifying Video Distribution will research digital game and video distribution within a comparative frame to demonstrate how content companies may adapt to the convergence of these two media forms. More>


Mapping the Digital Ecosystem: New Opportunities for Content Production and Distribution will identify trends in the circulation of content, both new and library content, through key sites of online distribution. More>


Connected Viewing in China 2013

The China research team aims to explore the ways in which Chinese users discover, share, and engage with various types of Western media content. What motivates their engagement with these services and online communities? Under what conditions might they be willing to pay for services that satisfy their needs? In particular, the team will describe Chinese online and mobile media consumer types who cluster around digital content from Western media sources; they will interview “subtitle teams,” Chinese media fans who voluntarily subtitle and post Western movies and TV shows for the pleasure of their viewing communities; and they will profile some of the most innovative media services now on the horizon.


Michael Curtin is Co-Director of the Media Industries Project at the Carsey-Wolf Center and is the Mellichamp Chair of Global Studies in the Department of Film and Media Studies. He is an expert on global media industries, having consulted, published, and taught courses on U.S., Chinese, and Indian media. Curtin’s books include The American Television Industry, Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV, and Reorienting Global Communication: Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders. He is currently working on a comparative analysis of media capitals around the world, including Hollywood, Miami, Lagos, and Mumbai.


Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh is Professor at the Academy of Film, and Director of the Centre  for Media and Communication Research at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her publications include: Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island (Columbia University Press, 2005, Co-author), Chinese-Language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics (University of Hawaii Press, 2005, Co-editor) and East Asian Screen Industries (British Film Institute, 2008, Co-author). She also edited Rethinking Chinese Film Industry: New Histories, New Methods for Beijing University Press (in Chinese, 2011).


Darrell William Davis is an independent scholar based in Hong Kong, and will be taking up a visiting professorship at NYU in early 2015.He is author of Picturing Japaneseness: Monumental Style, National Identity, Japanese Film (Columbia University Press, 1996), co-author of Taiwan Film Directors: a Treasure Island (Columbia University Press, 2005), East Asian Screen Industries (British Film Institute, 2008) and co-editor of Cinema Taiwan: Politics, Popularity and State of the Arts (Routledge, 2007). Presently he conducts research on China’s film industry and is composing an essay on Ang Lee. 


Wesley Jacks is a doctoral student at UC Santa Barbara.  He earned his Master's Degree in Film Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his BA from Wabash College.  Between 2008 and 2012, he lived and worked in Beijing.  His PhD research at UCSB focuses on Chinese media industries.



Yongli Li is an East Asian Language and Cultural Studies doctoral student at UC Santa Barbara. She earned a bachelor degree from Communication University of China (formerly known as Beijing Broadcasting Institute) and completed her M.A. in International Film Studies from Beijing Film Academy. She’s been working on the Chinese Film Collection at the Moving Image Research Collections at the University of South Carolina for over two years, and been programming for the Chinese Film Festival for the art house Nickelodeon since 2010.


Jie photoJill Tan Jie works as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Fudan University, Shanghai. She recently completed research on historical aspects of early Shanghai movies. "Development of Film Studies in Hong Kong and its Chineseness" was the topic of her PhD thesis (Shanghai University), and the CVI project is a new foray into contemporary circulation of moving images in China.


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User Engagements with Online Distribution Services in Brazil, India, and Korea

The project will gather both quantitative and qualitative data concerning user attitudes, tastes and behaviors related to online distribution services. Among the key questions are the following: What are the main characteristics defining the market environment for online film and television distribution services in Brazil, India and Korea; How are users engaging with those services; What forms of content do users prefer to access online and why; How are users expressing the entertainment value of online viewing? To answer these questions, we will develop a framework for the cross-cultural analysis of online viewing which may be applicable to other international contexts.


Dr. Liz Evans is Lecturer in Film and Television Studies in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham. Her research explores the relationship between audiences, technology and screen narratives and her publications include Transmedia Television: Audiences, New Media and Daily Life (2011). Her current project explores the use of multiple screen devices within the home and the relationship between screen content accessed via different technologies and involved working with industry partners BT, OFCFOM, ThinkBox and RedBee Media.


Prof. Paul McDonald is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and Director of Research in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham. His research concentrates on contemporary screen industries and his publications include Video and DVD Industries (2007), Hollywood Stardom (2013) and co-editing The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry (2010). Currently he is co-editing the collection Hollywood and the Law, and since 2001, he has co-edited the International Screen Industries book series from the British Film Institute. 


Juyeon Bae is a PhD candidate in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham. Her research addresses how contemporary South Korean cinema represents Asian others – migrant workers, Korean Chinese and North Korean defectors – from industrial, social, and political perspectives. The research examines the enlarged landscape of Korean cinema, its filmic negotiation with global flows, and the kinetic definition of national cinema. Previously she completed her MA Cinema Studies at the Korea National University of Arts, where her dissertation focused on Korean action cinema of the 1960s and 70s. She has worked as a programmer for the Sangsangmadang cinema in Seoul and is a former member of the Critics Committee for Jeonju International Film Festival.


Sriparna Ray is a PhD candidate in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham. Her research looks at how the Hindi film industry, based in Bombay, has restructured itself with regard to production and exhibition practices since India’s economic liberalisation. It examines this transformation in relation to wider socio-economic shifts, especially the emergence of a new urban middle class.



Emanuelle Santos is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. Her research investigates the ways in which the contemporary postcolonial African literatures written in Portuguese portrait the ‘nation’ and critically talk back to their local literary tradition set around the intellectual effort of literary nation-building.


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Making Metadata Matter: The Business of Connecting Viewers

The technical process of connecting viewers to content in the contemporary digital media landscape fundamentally relies on metadata, or information about media products. This project will examine the links between metadata, audiences, and content provision, including issues of consumer targeting and access. It will consider how the current use of metadata shapes consumers’ media experiences, how uses of metadata might be expanded and improved, and how the interests of the major metadata companies relate to the interests of media producers and consumers. Ultimately, this project will suggest how strategic uses of metadata can create more valuable media experiences.


Daniel Herbert is an assistant professor in Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan.  He holds a PhD in Critical Studies from the University of Southern California.  His research examines the relations between media industries, geography, and cultural identities.  He is author of Videoland: Movie Culture at the American Video Store (UC Press, 2014).  His essays appear in Canadian Journal of Film StudiesFilm QuarterlyMillennium Film JournalQuarterly Review of Film and Video, and a number of edited collections. 


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Privacy and The Cloud: Connected Viewing and The Role of Data Security

As most connected viewing initiatives rely on streaming media, digital storage lockers and a connection with viewers’ personal preferences, privacy and data security have become key issues for all involved with social, digital, multi-platform, and cloud-based media.  The necessity for securely managing digital identity and maintaining the confidentiality of online data has become increasingly important for governments, individual citizens, and private corporations. The international nature of cloud storage has only made this more challenging, given the gaps and fissures in international data jurisdiction, regulating third party hosts, and the global difficulties defining “personal information.” This project will focus on the role that privacy and data security are playing in the realm of digital content distribution and analyze those issues and initiatives critical for content providers to consider in this environment.   


Jennifer Holt is Co-Director of the Media Industries Project at the Carsey-Wolf Center, and Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Empires of Entertainment and co-editor of Media Industries: History, Theory, Method and Connected Viewing: Selling, Streaming & Sharing Media in the Digital Age. Her work has also appeared in journals and anthologies including Cinema Journal, Moving Data, and Media Ownership: Research and Regulation. Currently, she is working on a book about policy issues related to digital media infrastructure, including broadband regulation, distribution protocols and platforms, cloud-based media, and data servers. 


Steven Malčić  is a PhD student in the Film & Media Studies Department at UCSB.  He is interested in media historiography, information infrastructures, and network culture. Steven has peer-reviewed articles forthcoming in Book 2.0 and the Journal of African Cinemas, and has presented research at MIT, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, UCLA, UC-Irvine, UCSB, and the Pop Culture Association national conference.  He holds an M.A. in Film & Media Studies from UCSB and BAs in Latin and Linguistics from the University of Missouri, Columbia.


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Gamifying Video Distribution

Reflective of increased industry convergence, this project examines digital game and video distribution within a comparative frame to highlight how these models can be developed and applied across divisions. In a media distribution landscape awash with diverse models of content delivery, the video game industry has pursued a policy of experimentation and innovation with respect to the digital distribution of their goods and services and has therefore upended earlier approaches to monetization and radically changed consumers’ relationships to games and game-related properties. These models of digital game distribution have important implications for the digital distribution of long-form video, and this project will examine how these models could be adapted to “gamify” video distribution.


Matthew Thomas Payne is an Assistant Professor of Telecommunication and Film at The University of Alabama. His research interests include video games and interactive entertainment, convergent media industries, new media literacy, media representations of war, and ethnographic audience research. Matthew is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the production and reception of military-themed shooter games following the September 11th terrorist attacks. He was also a member of the 2011-2012 Connected Viewing Initiative research team.


Gregory Steirer is an Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at Dickinson College. His research focuses on the impact of technological and economic changes on the production and consumption processes surrounding old and new media forms. Greg’s current book-length project, Narrative Inc., looks at big-brand media franchises and the changes they have wrought to traditional processes of narrative creation and consumption. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.


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Mapping the Digital Ecosystem: New Opportunities for Content Production and Distribution

This project will examine trends in the circulation of content, both original programming and library content, to identify opportunities available for content producers through new distribution outlets and more personalized engagements with consumers. The desires of consumers—easy access to content across platforms—are often at odds with the strategies of providers. Developing a portrait of consumer expectations alongside a discussion of various industry strategies (e.g. exclusive licensing agreements), Dr. Petruska will examine how these two stakeholders view the opportunities and challenges of the evolving ecosystem differently to provide a set of best practices for content companies to engage different audiences with a range of programming types.


Karen Petruska is the Project Lead for the Media Industries Project’s Connected Viewing Initiative at UC Santa Barbara.  Her research interests include digital distribution, television history, and regulatory policy. Karen earned her Ph.D. at Georgia State University in 2012. She has published a book chapter in TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural that features a media industry studies approach to analyze the longevity of the CW program Supernatural and has co-authored with Alisa Perren an essay in Moving Data: The iPhone and the Future of Media about how prominent divisions within two particular conglomerates, Time Warner and Disney, have responded to Apple’s ambitious efforts to build a consumer electronics ecosystem. She has also published through In Media Res and Antenna.

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