David Nieborg

Faculty member David Nieborg
Associate Professor (Research Fellowship at Princeton University, July 1, 2023- June 30, 2024)
Telephone number
Building HW 412
Media Studies


Dr. David B. Nieborg is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough with a graduate appointment at the Faculty of Information. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Amsterdam (’22-’23), a Faculty Research Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute (’23-’24) and a Residential Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (’23-’24). He held visiting and fellowship appointments with MIT, the Queensland University of Technology, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. David published on the game industry, app and platform economics, and game journalism in academic outlets such as New Media & SocietySocial Media + Society, and Internet Policy Review. He is the co-author of Platforms and Cultural Production (Polity, 2021) and Mainstreaming and Game Journalism (MIT Press, 2023). His research has been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Teaching Interests

Social media, platforms, globalization, political economy, games

Research Interests

Platform studies, app studies, political economy, cultural production

Awards and Grants

2021 - Partnership Grant (SSHRC, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). “Global Media and Internet Concentration Project” (2021-2028)
2020 - Knowledge Synthesis Grant (SSHRC). “The Impact of Digital Platforms on Canadian Media Production” (2020-2021)
2019 - Project Grant (CIHR, Canadian Institutes of Health Research). “E-GAMES Canada: la monétisation des jeux à l'ère des technologies mobiles et du numérique” (2019-2023)


Nieborg, D. B., & Foxman, M. (2023). Mainstreaming and Game Journalism. MIT Press. https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262546287/mainstreaming-and-game-journalism/

Poell, T., Nieborg, D. B., & Duffy, B. E. (2022). Spaces of Negotiation: Analyzing Platform Power in the News Industry. Digital Journalism, Online First. 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2103011

Poell, T., Nieborg, D. B., & Duffy, B. E. (2021). Platforms and Cultural Production. Polity. https://politybooks.com/bookdetail/?isbn=9781509540501

Nieborg, D. B., Young, C. J., & Joseph, D. J. (2020). App Imperialism: The Political Economy of the Canadian App Store. Social Media + Society, 6(2), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120933293

Rietveld, J., Ploog, J. N., & Nieborg, D. B. (2020). The coevolution of platform dominance and governance strategies: Effects on complementor performance outcomes. Academy of Management Discoveries, 6(3), 488–513. https://doi.org/10.5465/amd.2019.0064

Nieborg, D. B., & Helmond, A. (2019). The political economy of Facebook’s platformization in the mobile ecosystem: Facebook Messenger as a platform instance. Media, Culture & Society, 41(2), 196–218. https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443718818384 

Nieborg, D. B., & Poell, T. (2018). The platformization of cultural production: Theorizing the contingent cultural commodity. New Media & Society, 20(11), 4275–4292. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818769694


App Studies Initiative

The App Studies Initiative (ASI) is an international network of academic experts in app-related media research. Comprised of researchers and PhD candidates in the fields of media and communication studies, the ASI engages with the theoretical, methodological, and empirical challenges of studying different kinds of apps and their environments. To this end, the ASI also designs methods and software tools.

Critical Digital Methods Institute

The Critical Digital Methods Institute (CDMI) is a collaborative research project of The Department of Arts, Culture and Media (ACM) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). At CDMI, we see digital platforms and digital media cultures as too complex, too global, and too vast to be captured by single disciplinary or solo scholar approaches. We seek to build bridges across the gaps that exist between disciplines, media, systems and people. We work across different quantitative, qualitative and creative methods.