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ENGL 107 Week 2

The Economics of the Media Industry

David Raskin

on 8 December 2016

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Transcript of ENGL 107 Week 2

Chapter 2 and Croteau's "Structural Changes"
The Economics of the Media Industry
Changing Patterns of Ownership
: the trend of fewer and fewer companies controlling a growing share of of all media
: media companies are now pieces of much larger corporations that own a variety of different types of companies
Vertical Integration
: owning companies at each step in the chain of production and distribution
Horizontal Integration
: owning companies that produce a variety of different types of media and consumer goods
Consequences of Concentration, Conglomeration, and Integration
Horizontal integration enables more
: companies working together to provide mutual benefits
Vertical integration may lead to monopolies
Conglomeration has led to news media being treated as a for-profit entity
The Effects of Concentration
"The growing concentration of power and the limitation of media access"
Plenty of people fear a totalitarian media that represents the government's interests, but what about media that only represents the interests of wealthy corporations?
Mass Media for Profit
Networks aim to achieve profits by broadcasting programs that attract large audiences and therefore advertising sales
But failure is the norm; the most reliable practice is to repeat formulas and create spin-offs of hits
Reality TV/game shows are cheaper to produce, lower risk
The Impact of Advertising
In print, ads make up 2/3 of revenue; in broadcast media, it's virtually all of the revenue
Advertisers are only interested in "eyeballs," how many are watching
With new technologies of ad avoidance, networks use more and more
product placement
: paid use of consumer products on-screen
This is also a popular technique for financing big-budget films
How does advertising affect news content in the US?
: with expanded number of media outlets, people are more likely to seek out particular styles of programming and political points of view, exposing them to less variety of perspectives
Two Perspectives on Media Regulation
from Croteau's "Structural Changes"
Free Market Perspective
: mergers maximize sales and efficiency, while the proliferation of media outlets (cable, Net, etc.) increase consumer choice and make monopoly worries silly; there should be as little government regulation of media as possible
Public Sphere (or Public Interest) Approach
: consolidation stifles diversity; corporate ownership of the “fourth estate” puts emphasis on profits at the expense of informing public; conflicts of interest arise with for-profit news media; public funding should be available for broadcasting systems that are not dependent on profits and advertising
Full transcript