Media products as dual multiple goods despite the

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Media Products as Dual (Multiple) Goods Despite the fact that there is a vast range of media products, their multiple-purpose use is one of their basic common features. As a result, media products are usually called dual goods (Picard, 1989, pp. 17–19), because they are mainly made up of two supplementary products geared toward two very different markets: content for the audience and the time dedicated by the audience for the advertisers. This makes it easy to grasp the meaning of the metaphor that describes the media as “a bridge between advertisers and audiences” (Lavine & Wackman, 1988, p. 254). Consequently, media product operations warrant, on the one hand, decision making that enables content products and audience products to blend together efficiently while, on the other hand, keeping in mind that each of them demands its own specific strategies encompassing design, product quality, price, distribution, and promotion. Research on media economics and management has traditionally sought to analyze the interrelations between these products by highlighting how management of one product is affected by the decision-making on the other. A few examples that illustrate this reality are the research on the degree of interdependence that news and ad content hold in the press (Gabszewicz, Laussel, & Sonnac, 2000), the analysis of the complexity of price decision making as a result of the interrelation between readers and advertisers’ demands (Blair & Romano, 1993), and the notion that a media product is primarily an audience product, laying the groundwork to comprehend a product from a receptor’s position (Napoli, 2001, 2003). Anintegratingfactorfrombothanadvertisingperspectiveandareceptionviewpointis to contemplate media products as attention goods. Simon synthesised this approach with his now famous words: “What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it” (Simon, 1971, p. 40). Media products compete in an economy of attention (Goldhaber, 1997), in which parameters such as time of consumption, repetition and frequency, compatibility or in- compatibilitywiththeconsumptionofothergoodsareofsignificantimportance(Aigrain, 1997). Hence, media markets can be viewed as time markets (Albarran & Arrese, 2003; Vogel,1998,pp.3–8),wherecontentandadvertisementsstrivetodrawthatbasicresource. That is the reason why both the manufacturing and commercialization stages of media products are greatly conditioned by time factors. Their differences lie not only in their time elasticity—which is more or less durable as far as consumption goes—but also in other time factors that have a bearing on their production and distribution. Picard and Gr¨onlund (2003) state: Although a number of temporal issues affect the market structure and operations of media, the primary contributor is the time sensitivity of the medium or, more specifically, the
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9. MEDIA PRODUCT MANAGEMENT 185 content that it conveys. Media industries vary greatly in terms of time sensitivity, reflecting
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