Who decides what we watch, read, and listen to in the digital media age? Increasingly the answer is not a person at all, but an algorithm that studies our online behavior and tries to predict what we’ll click, like, and share next. This course will look at how media industries – such as TV, film, music, book publishing, and journalism – are using Big Data to compete in a fierce battle for audiences’ attention. How are data and algorithms shaping the movies we watch on Netflix, the songs we hear on Spotify, the books we read on Kindle, and the news we consume on Facebook and Twitter? What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of this transformation?
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with the analytics and data-driven decision-making techniques that are commonly used in a range of media industries;
- Describe the factors – cultural, economic, and technological – that contributed to the rise of data-driven media;
- Analyze what a media environment based on data-driven predictions of popularity means for democracy, art, and culture.