User generated content – users, community of users and firms: toward new sources of co-innovation?

Jean Paul Simon
  • Info, September 2016, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/info-04-2016-0015

What is it about?

The paper aims at dealing with the role of users in the creation (or curation) and distribution of digital contents. User generated contents (UGCs) refer to a variety of media such as Wikis, question-answer databases, digital video, blogging, podcasting, forums, review sites, social networking, social media and mobile phone photograph. It attempts assessing their potential role as co-innovators. The paper follows the progressive creation of a new space for users, tracking its specific forms in each subsector of the media and content industries. Each subsector reveals a disruption in the production and circulation of new content.

Why is it important?

The paper argued that since 2007 (release of iPhone and Kindle) the landscape went through a dramatic change, scaling up. It illustrates how the entire value chain of content (production/ distribution/consumption) has opened up. The amount of UGC produced triggered a qualitative jump, ushering in new modes of interaction between the customers and creators, without necessarily turning the consumer into a full-fledge producer. The UGC model adds another source of production, thereby increasing diversity, ushering in new ways for talent scouting. It reveals various forms of co-creation and the role of a community model while also showing its limits.

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