People's work and leisure time have changed significantly over the past decades. The proliferation and everydayness of digitization, advanced digital solutions and platforms has made it possible to combine leisure and work - and even to turn leisure into work.
The combination of work and fun can be seen in e.g. as the development of new service models and ideas, such as digital exchange economy services, but also as people's way of immersing themselves in social media channels. In them, content consumption has effortlessly become content production as well, through simple and even playful actions, such as liking, sharing content and commenting. The modern consumer of digital and social media has developed into a so-called incomer, i.e. a consumer who also produces digital content. With the development of digital platforms, leisure media behavior has become more professional.
This dissertation examines the combination of work and fun, especially in the activities of video content producers - such as private streamers and YouTubers. Through five separate publications, the dissertation examines the behavior, motivations and practices of video content producers and their impact on the professionalization of leisure activities. The dissertation utilizes previous conceptual and theoretical understanding, e.g. from media studies, game studies and social psychology. The studies are mainly based on quantitative research data using inductive and deductive approaches.
The first publication of the dissertation examines previous literature related to the professionalization of leisure video content production and thus aims to create a basis for understanding the subject area. The second publication analyzes the content producers' own views of their activity as a leisure activity, work, or a form between them, and the impact of this view on the results of the activity. The third publication, on the other hand, examines the motivations of video content producers to produce content and the effect of motivations on the outputs of the activity. The Fourth and Fifth editions examine the practices of video content producers, specifically how they increase their popularity in action, and the practices of the most popular video content producers on Twitch, a streaming service that specializes in gaming content.
The results of the dissertation show the professionalization of leisure video content production, but also the importance of fun in the activity and its development. In the second publication of the dissertation, it is found that the content producers who viewed their activities as work were clearly the most productive of the three evaluated groups and also received the most benefit from their activities, e.g. economically. However, even the content producers, for whom the activity was mainly for fun, achieved good results, although they clearly put less effort into the result. They also had the longest operating experience. In the third publication, the findings were similar. Although external motivations, such as earnings and career development, had a clear connection to the producer's weekly productivity, the continuation of the operation was nevertheless connected to internal motivations,
In the fourth and fifth releases, the same theme was repeated. Although both publications found strategic practices and tools that have a connection to the professionalization of the activity, the results also clearly showed the importance of social interaction in the activity and its practices. Also, e.g. the importance of authenticity and identification was emphasized. Based on these results, it can be argued that the professionalization of content production develops through different practices, behavior and motivations, but the connection of the activity to the pleasures of leisure time and the fun produced by the activity is important in the continuation and development of video content production.
Publishers: #TampereUniversity (Tampere University)