Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

David Nieborg

Faculty member David Nieborg

Associate Professor (On leave 1 July 2022 – 30 June 2023)

Phone: 416-287-7171
Location: HW 412


Media Studies


David B. Nieborg is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough with a graduate appointment at the Faculty of Information. He holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam and 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, apps and platform economics, and games journalism in academic outlets such as New Media & Society, Social Media + Society and Media, Culture and Society. He is the co-author of Platforms and Cultural Production (Polity, 2021). His research has been supported by grants from the University of Amsterdam, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 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 & 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)


Poell, T., Nieborg, D. B., & Duffy, B. E. (2021). Platforms and Cultural Production. Polity.

Nieborg, David B. Apps of Empire: Global capitalism and the app economy. Games & Culture, 16(3), 305-316.

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.

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.

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. 

Helmond, A., Nieborg, D. B., & van der Vlist, F. N. (2019). Facebook’s evolution: Development of a platform-as-infrastructure. Internet Histories, 3(2), 123–146.

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


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.