Media industries in most Asian countries have undergone remarkable transformation over recent decades due to a combination of technological change, regulatory innovation, and newly unleashed market forces. While the media sectors of other countries and regions are also being transformed, Asian markets have been at the forefront of this wave of change and, as such, may serve as the best early indicators of the future of media industries. Because these changes are in large part responses to emerging economic opportunities, a deeper understanding of the economics of Asian media systems and their implications is valuable not only because the region comprises a major and increasing share of the world media market, but also because developments in Asian media might reasonably be viewed as harbingers of developments in media business strategies and industry structure elsewhere. This paper critically reviews the current state of the economic study of Asian media. The opportunities and challenges that this scholarship faces on its way towards increased research sophistication are identified and discussed. While work in this field is advancing, there is still a need for new research on a broader scope of issues that is based on more rigorous theoretical and empirical underpinnings.
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