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Marc Steinberg, PhD

Associate Professor, Film Studies, Cinema
Graduate Program Director, MA & PhD, Cinema

Marc Steinberg, PhD
Office: S-FB 421-9 
Faubourg Building,
1250 Guy
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 8728
Website(s): The Platform Lab
Availability: Mondays, 10am to 12pm. Please schedule appointments via Doodle:

Marc Steinberg's research focuses on animation, media industry studies, and digital media, focusing on the rise of digital platforms in particular.

He is author of the award-winning book
 Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan (Uni
versity of Minnesota Press, 2012) which historically situates the practices of merchandising or the media mix in relation to the anime industry. Along with its expanded Japanese translation is Why is Japan a “Media Mixing Nation”? (Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2015), it won the ITRA-BTHA Book Prize (Senior Prize) from the International Toy Research Association (2014), and the Japan Society for Animation Studies Book Prize (2015).

His second monograph, The Platform Economy: How Japan Transformed the Commercial Internet (University of Minnesota Press, 2019), tracks the platform-led transformation of film,media, and Internet cultures. Offering a comparative study of platformization with a focus on Japan as the key site for global platformization,the book systematically examines the managerial, medial, and social functions of platform theories and platform practices.

Media Theory in Japan (Duke University Press, 2017), co-edited with Alexander Zahlten, traces the politics and parameters of media theorization in the Japanese context.


He is currently at work on three different projects. The first examines the effect media platforms have on animation production and circulation, with a continued focus on media industries and transmedia practices in the wake of platformization. The second, maps the intersection of management theory and just-in-time logistical systems. The third project analyzes East Asian “super apps” KakaoTalk, WeChat and LINE, and their platformization of cultural production.

He welcomes supervisees on topics in media industry studies, animation studies, anime histories, social media, fan studies, transmedia, and platform studies, including streaming platforms.


PhD (Brown University), MA (McGill University), BA (McGill University)

Areas of expertise

Platform studies, industry studies, Asian media industries, Japanese animation/anime, animation studies, material culture, media theory, digital culture, app studies

Anime’s Media Mix - Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan
Media Theory in Japan, co-edited with Alexander Zahlten
The Platform Economy: How Japan Transformed the Consumer Internet

Teaching activities


  • Animation Ecologies
  • Digital Media and Animation
  • Transmedia
  • Global Film Industries
  • Media Theory
  • Material Cultures of the Moving Image
  • Anime Media Histories
  • Managing Media



Media and Management (co-authored with Rutvica Andrijasevic, Julie Yujie Chen, and Melissa 

        Gregg), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming 2021.

The Platform Economy: How Japan Transformed the Consumer Internet, (University of  Minnesota Press 2019) (


なぜ日本は〈メディアミックスする国〉なのかNaze Nihon wa “media mikkusu suru kuni” nanoka Why is Japan a“Media Mixing Nation”?), translation by Nakagawa Yuzuru, supervised by Ōtsuka Eiji. Tokyo: Kadokawa E-Pub/Kadokawa Gakugei Shuppan, 2015. 


Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan,Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. 314 pp. Italian translation 2019.

-Awarded the ITRA-BTHA Prize (Senior Prize) from the International Toy Research Association for 2014.

-Awarded the Japan Society for Animation Studies Book Prize for 2015 (along with Why is Japan a “Media Mixing Nation”?).

Edited Collections

Media Theory in Japan, co-edited with Alexander Zahlten, Duke University Press, 2017. 432pp.


Regional Platforms, co-edited with Jinying Li, special issue of the journal Asiascape: Digital Asia 4(3), Fall 2017


“LINE as Super App: Platformization in East Asia” in Social Media Society 6(2) (June 2020) 

“Media Mix Mobilization: Social Mobilization and Yo-Kai Watch” in Animation: An  Interdiscplinary Journal (2017) 12(3): 244-258. (Invited contribution) 


“Genesis of the Platform Concept: iMode and Platform Theory in Japan” in Asiascape: Digital Asia 4(3) (2017), 184-208.


“Introduction: Regional Platforms” (co-written with Jinying Li) in Asiascape: Digital Asia 4(3) (2017), 184-208


“8-Bit Manga: Kadokawa’s Madara, or, The Gameic Media Mix,” Kinephanos, Vol 5, Issue 1 (December 2015) (Invited contribution)


“McLuhan’s World, Or, Understanding Media in Japan,” in Journal of Visual CultureSpecial 

Issue: “Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media at 50,” 13:1 (April 2014) (Invited contribution),  97-99.

“Copying Atomu,” Mechademia (January 2014) (Invited contribution), 127-136.


 “Condensing the Media Mix: Tatami Galaxy’s Multiple Possible Worlds,” in the Canadian  Journal of Film Studies, Fall 2012, 71-92.

Book Chapters

“Delivering Media: The Convenience Store as Media Mix Hub” in Point of Sale: Analyzing Media Retail, edited by Derek Johnson and Daniel Herbert (under contract with Rutgers University Press) (7500 words). 


“Otaku Pedestrians” (co-written with Edo Ernest dit Alban), in Wiley Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies, edited by Paul Booth. (Oxford, UK: Wiley Pub) (Wiley-Blackwell 2018).

物流するメディア:メディアミックス・ハブとしてのコンビニエンスストア (Distributing Media: The Convenience Store as Media Mix Hub) in ポスト情報メディア論・
Post Information Media Studies, ed. Okamoto Ken and Matsui Hiroshi (Nakashimaya: 2018).

「メディアミックスによる動員―総動員と妖怪ウォッチ事変」(Media Mix and Mobilization: Total Mobilization and the Yokai Watch Incident) in Ōtsuka Eiji ed.,
Dōin no media mikkusu (Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 2017), 13-28.

“Platform Producer Meet Game Master: On the Conditions for the Media Mix,” in World Building: Transmedia, Fans, Industries, ed. Marta Boni (Amsterdam University Press, 2017)


“Converging Contents and Platforms: Niconico Video and Japan’s Media Mix Ecology” in Asian Video Cultures, ed. Joshua Neves and Bhaskar Sarkar (Duke University Press, 2017), 91-113.


“McLuhan as Prescription Drug: Actionable Theory and Advertising Industries,” in Media Theory in Japan, ed. Marc Steinberg and Alexander Zahlten (Duke University Press, 2017), 131-150.


“Introduction” (co-written with Alexander Zahlten) inMedia Theory in Japan, ed. Marc Steinberg and Alexander Zahlten (Duke University Press, 2017), 1-29.


“Realism in the Animation Media Environment: Japanese Debates Around Manga, Anime, and Videogames,”Animating Film Theory, ed. Karen Redrobe (formerly Beckman) (Duke University Press, 2014).

Conference Organization

Society of Animation Studies Annual Conference 2018: Then | Now | Next, co-organizer, Concordia University, June 18-21, 2018.


Porting Media II, co-organizer, Concordia University, October 12-14, 2017.


Media Ecologies, co-organizer and principal investigator for workshop grants, Concordia University and McGill University, December 1-3, 2016.


Porting Media: Asia, co-organizer and principal investigator for workshop grants, Concordia University, May 15-17, 2015.


SCMS Conference: Montreal local organizing committee, March 25-29, 2015.


Media Theory in Japan, organized between Harvard University and Concordia University, held at Harvard University, November 15-16, 2013.


Practices of World Building: Fans, Industries, Media Fields, Concordia University, June 6-7, 2013, Scientific Committee.


Experiencing the Media Mix, President’s Conference Series, Concordia University, February 4-6, 2012.

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