How should we regulate the flow of online content?


He is Knowledge and Community Lead, Future of Information and Entertainment Initiative, World Economic Forum. The rise of digital media platforms has created unprecedented access to information and entertainment over the last decades. The scalability of digital technologies makes it possible to reach much greater audiences than before without spending nearly as much money per consumer. In many countries, digital platforms have also benefitted from less regulation and reduced legal liability over content compared to traditional analog platforms. Media distributors are increasingly acquiring content creators to distinguish their respective platforms from competitors. Further, some platforms are approaching the original content spend, and in the case of Netflix, even spending more than traditional studios. Here are some examples of such platform-content consolidation: – Comcast’s 2013 acquisition of NBCUniversal – Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are expected to spend a combined $10 billionannually on original content – AT&T’s pending acquisition of Time Warner – Sky’s attempted acquisition of 21st Century Fox in the UK, along with its new original movies production arm Platforms also control content by curating user-generated contributions and, for example, deciding which content is promoted on Facebook or YouTube, making it stand out in the vast sea of information. How should we regulate the flow of online content?

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