Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (10 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


Content industries are undergoing structural changes driven by both technological innovations and customer behaviours. This course examines the transformation of content industries, namely publishing and music, and the of a multimedia competitive space in which traditional media, digital media and live events interplay, and addresses the conditions for sustainability of different business models. The goals of the course are: - To analyse digitalization as a context for content industries transformation: what has happened and is happening, its disruptive potential, the emergence of digital platforms as key incumbents. - To examine consumption processes of content, and the different role of citizens, public and consumers in content access, use, diffusion and co-creation. - To discuss the relationship among technology, content providers and audiences in music and publishing (news, books, magazines) during industries reconfiguration. - To analyse the evolution of offering configuration and changes in value appropriation - To analyse the conditions of sustainability for different business models.


The course is divided into three modules:

  1. Digital platforms and the new ecology for content production, diffusion and access.
  2. Transformation of specific industries: Newspapers – books – music - advertising.  
  3. Entrepreneurial and project management in content industries. These aspects are highlighted in specific sessions and are tested in practice through the field projects.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify the drivers of transformation in content industries.
  • Recognize different business models in content industries and assess value appropriation mechanisms.
  • Compare business models across content industries and appreciate competition and cooperation opportunities.
  • Analyse the transformation in consumption patterns for hedonic goods.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Integrate knowledge, manage complexity and make judgements even with partial information, on highly turbulent competitive environments.
  • Test students' abilities in:
    • Problem setting and customer orientation (field projects).
    • Information selection and analytical skills in complex settings (individual essay 1).
    • Problem solving and synthesis (individual essay 2).
    • Synthesis and macro-trends elaboration (wrap-up case presentation).
    • Multimedia narratives and presentation (wrap-up case and field project presentation).
    • Constructive and active participation (class participation).

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments


  • Guest speakers are involved to provide hands' on experiences and to give opportunity to students to meet potential employers.
  • Case studies are chosen so as to highlight different mechanisms of value appropriation and to foster analytical skills.
  • Individual assignment develops students' skills in  information selection and analytical skills in complex settings
  • There are two group assignments The first is an exercise in scenario building addressing "the next big thing" in content industries and is meant to work on problem solving and synthesis.
  • The second group assignments consists of field projects developed for specific external public or private "customers", that stimulate participants abilities in  problem setting and customer orientation (field projects).
  • Several presentations and discussions strenthen students' ability to speak in public and to effectively present their ideas and fact based narratives.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • Peer evaluation


Attending students participate to class activity, and prepare all required tests (as detailed below). The status of attending students is valid until June session of exams. Students not completing all requirements automatically become non-attending students.

  1. The two individual essays account 20% of final grade each.
  2. Wra up group presentation accounts 20% of final grade (15% faculty 5% peers).
  3. The field project accounts 30% of the grade (25% faculty 5% peers).
  4. Class participation acocunts 10% of the grade.


  1. Individual essay.
    • This first essay should be focused on content industries as a whole, and urges you to put the consultant’s glasses on, depicting what’s hot and relevant out there, mainly supporting your ideas by figures, numbers and real examples. Main skills expected: analytical thinking and problem setting, relevant information selection, synthesis, and prescriptive argumentation. Pick a title among those provided below; as the topics are very broadly defined, make sure your essays start with a precise definition of your specific object of analysis:
      • Performance metrics: measuring content industries in transition.
      • Paradoxes in content industries economics.
      • The changing role of consumers (and consumption patterns).
    • Individual essay 2. This essay should address hurdles common to all content industries, spotting trends, practices and processes with respect to specific issues, and synthetizing them up in a sort of “how-to guide”. This assignment pushes students to put the manager’s/entrepreneur’s glasses on, and to address strategic decisions impacting publishers - being either music labels and publishing houses - in their business sustainability. Main skills expected: business models understanding, problem solving, and synthesis. Titles for Individual essay 2 is provided during the semester. Assessment Criteria for essays:
      • Level of analysis (research depth, information selection, fact-based opinions, figures-supported reasoning).
      • Level of elaboration (information presentation, originality of point of view, internal consistency).
      • Quality of writing (arguments organization, thoughtful structure, discourse fluency)
  2. Wrap up group presentation. Students are asked to work in groups to the elaboration of a case (a list of cases is provided, each group one case) to be presented in class. Each case emphasises issues covered during the semester and focus on the converging phenomena of content industries and IT, hardware, software industries. In preparing the case, students  have to search for further materials and complementary information, in order to deliver a 20 mins lesson upon their assigned theme. Further instructions are provided during the course.
  3. Field project. Projects test students’ ability to analyze the environment, select critical information, assess alternative options, organize evidence, and persuade others, interacting with real opportunities offered by real companies/institutions. As the professional future in these industries are in many instances entrepreneurial in nature, the goal of the project is to increase students’ ability to think and act in an entrepreneurial way. Therefore, all projects are open to an array of alternatives, and students  are strongly encouraged to be proactive in their search for information and in providing suggestions. Projects are presented at the beginning of the semester; attending students are divided into groups according to their preferences on which project to work on.
  4. Class participation acocunts 10% of the grade.


The final exam is administered at the end of the course (May or June sessions). It takes the form of an essay, with articles or blog posts provided as starting point. The purpose of the exam is to assess the ability of students to address a specific issue with accuracy, but at the same time relate to a broader context in rapid transformation. In order to pass the exam, a minimum grade of 18/31 is required. The exam is open books. The essay accounts for 100% of the grade.

Teaching materials


Course material are made available via course reserve or through EGEA. Slideshows with links to updated material available on the web are distributed via Bboard.

Last change 09/06/2019 16:21