UoA 34 - Communication, Cultural and Media Studies


We have a strategic focus on creating distinctive research on digital and participatory cultures, that drive positive social, cultural and economic change through collaboration with public stakeholders and beneficiaries.

The two case studies selected for the REF2021 submission epitomise our strategic approach to impact, which aligns with the Concordat for Public Engagement with Research and operates along the principle that impact is often best generated by producing research in consultation and collaboration with user communities.

The following impact case studies have been entered for the REF2021 submission. Find out more below.


Case study: Changing Industry, Regulatory and Policy Responses to the Impact of Video Streaming Platforms on Television and Public Service Broadcasting

The mainstream adoption of video streaming, with Netflix reaching 200m global subscribers and YouTube being used by 2bn people worldwide, is transforming the TV industry. Broadcasters are losing audiences to streaming services and operating in an online market dominated by global platforms that set the rules of engagement. This threatens the revenues of commercial TV providers and the viability of public service broadcasting (PSB). Research conducted at the University of Huddersfield generated novel insights about the ways in which video streaming platforms are transforming TV that has had the following impacts of reach and significance on national and international beneficiaries:

  • changed the strategy and policy response of the primary public service broadcasters (PSBs) in the UK (BBC, Channel 4)

  • increased business opportunities for the UK’s leading broadcast creative agency, including generating new international clients

  • generated new ways of thinking about the changing nature of content experiences for the world’s biggest video streaming platform (YouTube)

  • shaped policy-making processes and increased understanding of the contemporary TV ecology for UK and international policy-makers and regulators (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Ofcom, Australian Government)

  • helped industry, advocates and publics to understand the impact of streaming platforms on TV and PSB (VLV).


Case study: Informing Anti-Violence Strategies and Training for National Charities and Live Music Venues

Sexual violence at live popular music events is a widespread problem in the UK, as demonstrated by a 2018 YouGov poll that reported one third of women attending festivals have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour. This impedes women’s musical participation and presents a challenge to venues and promoters. Research conducted at the University of Huddersfield has had the following impacts of reach and significance:

  • increased access to anti-violence training for 13 businesses in Northern England;

  • created sharable resources to facilitate high-quality safer spaces policies;

  • altered the anti-violence strategies and training offered by national campaigning organisations Good Night Out and White Ribbon;

  • created a mutually beneficial network of campaigning organisations; and

  • increased funding for anti-violence training for music venues from the Musicians’ Union, Music:Leeds and Kirklees Council.