Beyond big video: The instability of independent networks in a new media market

Aymar J. Christian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This essay explores the possibility of an online video market operating independent of conglomerations. At stake is whether new media can operate democratically, providing more equal distribution of control to producers and distributors within an unequal market. This is the story of a handful of these websites, all of which promise this possibility: Strike TV, My Damn Channel, KoldCast, Babelgum and Quarterlife. Their stories offer telling case studies of new media in their formative years. In the end, without industrial structures in place, independents must grapple with rapidly changing conditions, improvise business strategies and, ultimately, work with the mainstream, traditional structures to which they were, however superficially, in opposition. Independent distribution in early media emerges as a practice as much indebted to the old media as it pushes new forms of engagement, marketing and production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-87
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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