Amanda D. LotzApr 27, 2022
Surviving Pirates, Cannibals, and Streaming Wars
MIT Press 2021
Has the internet really been the main culprit behind the upheaval of the contemporary media industries? In Media Disrupted: Surviving Pirates, Cannibals, and Streaming Wars (MIT Press, 2021), Professor Amanda Lotz provides a rebuttal to persistent myths about disruption across the mediascape of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. Through a granular reading of four media industries – newspapers, recorded music, film and television – Lotz demonstrates that the internet has had diffuse and divergent effects in each, none of which are adequately explained through simplistic narratives of piracy or cannibalism. Lotz suggests that the speed and scale of reconfiguration in these industries has stemmed more from built up consumer demand and business (mal)practices, often with deep historical roots, which have only then been catalysed by the advent of the internet.
Alongside laying out what we often get wrong about the internet and the media industries, Lotz provides detailed analyses of those media businesses which managed to negotiate this tumultuous period successfully. Media Disruption helps us understand how the media industries got to where they are today and provides valuable lessons for those seeking to weather disruptions to come.
Professor Amanda Lotz works at the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology.