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KULMEDIA-Kultur- og mediesektoren

Global Natives? Serving young audiences on global media platforms

Alternative title: Globale innfødte? Unge mediebrukere og globale medieplattformer

Awarded: NOK 12.1 mill.

Global platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and Netflix dominate the media lives of Norwegian teenagers. Global Natives studies whether the media habits of teens mark a generational shift, where teens will not adapt the media habits of older generations. National media organizations raise the alarm for a lost generation and how re-engaging with youth audiences is core to the future legitimacy and economic sustainability of their organizations. Global platforms also cause challenges for media policy, struggling to keep up with the media habits of teens and the increased competition faced by national media players. In the project we study how teens value and experience entertainment media across global and national platforms. We also study the actions taken by national media producers and policymakers to become relevant for a new media generation. Entertainment media include content produced by legacy media players and by online celebrities, influencers, and gamers (which we term personally branded media players). The project investigates the topic from three empirical perspectives: AUDIENCE STUDIES: We investigate how Norwegian teens use media entertainment produced by national and global media legacy players and by personally branded media players. We study how teens integrate and adjust media to their own interests and their local contexts. This part of the project is based on interviews and follow-up interviews with a sample of teens (2022-2024) and a population survey (2023). In 2022, we have conducted the first round of interviews with youth between the age of 15 and 19. These interviews map what types of content, platforms, and media services youth experience as important and why. We have combined interviews with a ranking exercise (q-method). Preliminary analysis shows that youth are more globally than locally oriented in their preferences, and many convey how Norwegian content used to be more important when they were kids and in their early teens. PRODUCTION STUDIES: We study what actions national media producers take to become relevant for a new media generation. This includes addressing challenges related to idea of a lost generation, but also opportunities related to distribution, innovative content, and collaborations. This part of the project is based on field studies (spring 2022), expert interviews (fall 2022/spring 2023) and production/case-studies (fall 2022/2023). In 2022, we have completed a production-study of NRK’s 4ETG, a show that is published on YouTube and in NRK’s player, and we’re conducting a case-study on the media industry’s “adoption” of YouTubers and influencers in TV-productions. We have started conducting expert-interviews with representatives from the legacy media industry and from actors in the content creator/social media entertainment industry. MEDIA POLICY: We study how teens’ media use is framed and understood in media policy, and what goals and instruments are developed to address challenges. This part of the project is based on document analyses (fall 2023) and expert interviews (spring 2024).

The project studies the position of global media platforms among Norwegian teenagers, and how national media producers and policymakers respond to global platforms and the media habits of a new media generation. The term ‘global natives’ refers to teenagers of today, who have always assumed the place of global platforms as part of everyday life. We use the term to rethink how transforming media habits may represent challenges and impetus for reshaping media production and policy models. The project focuses on entertainment services, and it includes both entertainment media produced by industry players rooted in a mass media paradigm and entertainment media produced by users-turning/turned-professional-producers in an online media paradigm. The project is motivated by how the media habits of ‘global natives’ demand an integrated framework to address challenges to knowledge. Our approach combines perspectives from audience and youth studies, production and media industry studies, and media policy studies. It employs a mixed method approach, combining studies of teenagers and their use of global platforms, with industry interviews and production case studies, and analysis of media policy documents. It starts by investigating entertainment media from the perspectives of Norwegian teen-audiences and producers targeting these on global platforms. Next, it investigates implications of global platforms and the media habits of 'global natives' for media policy. Combined, these research activities provide a solid basis for synthesizing implications of global entertainment media for media policy and media industry, and for the theory-building ambition of the project in the final phase. Ultimately, our design allows us to provide most-needed empirical descriptions of current developments in teenager's media habits linked to global platforms and globalization, and to ask fundamental questions about the potential for national media policies in an era of global media.

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KULMEDIA-Kultur- og mediesektoren

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