Skip to main content

Marc Steinberg

Professor, Film Studies, Cinema
Director, The Platform Lab, Cinema

Marc Steinberg
Availability: Upon contact
ORCID: 0000-0002-6560-2980

Marc Steinberg's research focuses explores the impact of digital platforms on media and media industries today, particularly focusing on the role of streaming platforms like Netflix in mediating cultural production and experience. Previous research is in animation studies, focusing on anime's media industries and the "media mix."

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. Anime's Media Mix and its expanded Japanese translation Why is Japan a “Media Mixing Nation”? (Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2015), 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 of platforms, apps and "super apps" have on cultural production and media organization. This includes the role of "super apps" in Asia. His articles "LINE as Super App: Platformization in East Asia" and "Media Power in Digital Asia: Super Apps and Megacorps" are two examples of this work, which continues as part of a group grant research digital transactions and digital money across Asia.

The second, maps the intersection of management theory and just-in-time logistical systems, as well as theories of platform capitalism. This has resulted in several publications: Media and Management (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), an open access book co-authored with Rutvica Andrijasevic, Julie Yujie Chen and Melissa Gregg; and “From Automobile Capitalism to Platform Capitalism: Toyotism as a Prehistory of the Digital Economy”published in Organization Studies. More recently, the co-authored "Platform Capitalisms and Platform Cultures" argues for the need to pluralize our concept of platform capitalism in order to account for multiplicity of state-capital-culture relations.

The third project analyzes the role of convenience in the platform economy, and especially the role of convenience as an aesthetic or feeling that works as a lure to platforms. This includes tracking the role of the Japanese convenience store as a key site for producing many aspects of digital convenience experienced globally today. The forms part of a Volkswagen Foundation group grant exploring Smartness as Wealth.

He is also the director of The Platform Lab, a research group dedicated to the study of platforms.

He welcomes supervisees on topics in platform studies, hardware histories, media industry studies, animation studies, social media, streaming platforms, and media retail.


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

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

Teaching activities


  • The Netflix Effect
  • Animation Ecologies
  • Platform Cultures
  • 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/meson press, 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


"Platform Capitalisms and Platform Cultures" in International Journal of Cultural Studies (2024)

"Introducing the Media Mix" in Mechademia (2023)

"Media power in digital Asia: Super apps and megacorps" in Media, Culture & Society (2022)

“From Automobile Capitalism to Platform Capitalism: Toyotism as a Prehistory of the Digital Economy” 

            Organization Studies

“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

“Kanban” in Proof of Stake: Claims to Technology. A Book of Organizational Objects, ed. Simon Denny, 

            Bettina Steinbrügge, Robin Holt, Claus Pias and Timon Beyes. Forthcoming from Lenz Press, 2022.


Pandemic Platforms: How Convenience Shapes the Inequality of Crisis” (with Joshua Neves), in Pandemic

Media: Preliminary Notes Towards an Inventory, ed. Laliv Melamed, Philipp Dominik Keidl, Vinzenz Hediger and Antonio Somaini. Meson Press, 2020.


Managing the Media Mix: Industrial Reflexivity in the Anime System,” in Transmedia Storytelling 

in East Asia: The Age of Digital Media, edited by Dal Yong Jin (Routledge, 2020).


“Delivering Media: The Convenience Store as Media Mix Hub” in Point of Sale: Analyzing Media 

Retail, edited by Derek Johnson and Daniel Herbert (Rutgers University Press, 2019). 


“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.

Took 2 milliseconds
Back to top

© Concordia University