On Dallas Smythe’s “Audience Commodity”: An Interview with Lee McGuigan and Vincent Manzerolle

  • Henry Adam Svec University of New Brunswick
Keywords: Dallas Smythe, digital labour, audience commodity, critical political economy, social media


This interview with Lee McGuigan and Vincent Manzerolle explores some concepts and debates charted by their new co-edited book, The Audience Commodity in a Digital Age: Revisiting a Critical Theory of Commercial Media, which both celebrates and scrutinizes Dallas Smythe’s canonical 1977 essay, “Communications: Blindspot of Western Marxism”. The discussion covers Smythe’s contribution to the field of media studies and the state of current debates pertaining to the theory of the audience commodity, and it also touches on questions of Smythe’s mainstream reception and legacy.

Author Biography

Henry Adam Svec, University of New Brunswick
In 2013, I completed a doctorate in media studies at the University of Western Ontario, where my dissertation explored media theory and the American folk revival. My work has been published or is forthcoming in Fibreculture, the Canadian Journal of Communication, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Popular Music & Society, Celebrity Studies, and Loading.... In 2014-2015 I was the Media Artist in Residence at the University of New Brunswick, and as of August 2015 I will be an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.
Reflections (Non Peer-Reviewed)