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Barcelona Media, an interdisciplinary center of research and innovation, hosted Lear Center director Marty Kaplan to speak at its 10th anniversary celebration on March 6, 2012.

His talk was titled “From Attention to Engagement: The Transformation of the Content Industry.”

Digital technology has increased competition for audience attention, increased audience control of media, and fragmented the mass audience. But the same technology that threatens traditional business models is also providing new data streams and new ways to define, measure, and monetize audience attention. The media/entertainment sector, which traditionally has derived value from distribution, is finding new currencies to price advertising and discovering data mining as a profit center.

Kaplan, founding director of the Norman Lear Center for research on entertainment, media and society, explored the impact on the attention economy of new metrics for the audience.

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Marty Kaplan was also a recent guest on the acclaimed Moyers & Company television interview programme, hosted by veteran journalist Bill Moyers. Kaplan talked about how big money and big media have coupled to create a ‘Disney World’ of democracy.