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Institutions and Audiences - Media Conglomerates

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Ana-Maria Huluban

on 6 December 2017

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Transcript of Institutions and Audiences - Media Conglomerates

Conglomerates can also collaborate with companies outside of it in order to create media products.

Tie-ins : A media product, such as a book, video game, or movie, that makes use of material presented in another, usually more well-known media product: a video game that was a tie-in to a popular movie.

What about smaller, independent film companies?

consumer choice
Institutions and Audiences

The audience is...
When television became commercially available in the 1950s it was a social experience, families gathered to watch the limited news and entertainment programs that were available.
Nowadays more than half of the audience use a smartphone, tablet or computer while watching television. It also found that many are watching other content on those devices at the same time.
What can you do with a smartphone?

(That you can do with other technologies)
Technological Convergence
This is called...
Technological convergence is where existing technologies merge into new forms that bring together different types of media and applications. e.g an Xbox (Games console) can play TV programs and stream Films.
Changes in Hardware

Technological convergence also leads to devices that are designed specifically to replace a number of different items. Mobile phones, for example, have moved beyond simple voice communication devices and now offer the functionality of personal music players, digital cameras, video recorders and text messenger systems.
Why is this good for a
With advances over time technology is becoming more advanced: good quality products are available at an affordable rate and are relatively easy to get hold of.

Smart phones, tablets and other multifunctional technology aren't just for certain people, anyone can own one.
Proliferation is an increase in the amount or number of something.
It is becoming easier and cheaper to get hold of these technologies.
Ways of consuming films
So we've discussed about audiences and how they have changed/ responded to Technological Convergence and Proliferation...

but what about institutions?
The 'Big Six' in the Film industry
There are six major companies which dominate the film industry: 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Columbia, Universal and Paramount.
The reason they are successful in such a competitive industry is that they are part of multi-million dollar

A conglomerate is a corporation that is made up of a number of different, seemingly unrelated companies. In a conglomerate, the main (parent) company owns a controlling stake in a number of smaller companies. These function independently, but are ultimately controlled by the parent.
What are the concerns about such big companies (conglomerates) dominating the media industries?
Create a diagram of media ownership, using this one as a starting point. Choose a conglomerate and find the main companies that it owns. You can find these through wikipedia, the conglomerate's website, and google.
Choose a conglomerate that owns a company which produced a film/magazine you want to research in order to plan your coursework. Try to group the conglomerate companies into categories (TV, film, Radio, Games etc)
Vertical and Horizontal Integration
Vertical integration

Why is it beneficial for companies to control these processes?
Horizontal integration
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Pictures produces and distributes a wide-ranging slate of some 18-22 films each year, employing a business paradigm that mitigates risk while maximizing productivity and profit. Warner Bros. Pictures either fully finances or co-finances the films it produces and maintains worldwide distribution rights.
2013 was the most successful theatrical year in company history; Warner Bros. Pictures grossed $5.038 billion in global box office sales.

The Dark Knight Rises
By comparison the Imax version of the frame is about 10 times larger with 10 times the resolution. Greater detail makes it in the shot, like the smoke and fog, and also more vivid-looking extras. To allow for as much screen space as possible, Imax runs its film through the cameras and projectors sideways, with the sprocket holes — 15 per frame — at the top and bottom instead of the sides. And the audio track doesn’t appear on the film print, but on a separate program that is synced to the projector. All this makes for more surface area on the frame to create a denser, sharper image.
Filming the Dark Knight Rises
Release date: 20.07.12 screened on 6599+ screens
Exhibition/ Exchange
The viral campaign surrounding the “Dark Knight Rises” was presented as a Gotham City police investigation. "Leaked" police documents were found on the film's official website TheDarkKnightRises.com. An arrest warrant and wanted poster for ‘The Batman’ had been issued along with a ‘police report’ warning Gotham police officers about preparing in case Batman tries to return during ‘Harvey Dent Day.’ The report notes that any graffiti supporting Batman’s return should be photographed and emailed to tdkr07202012@gothampolicedepartment.com or tweeted using the hashtag #tdkr07202012.
When fans found the graffiti and tweeted the photos (from Rome, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, New York City and Melbourne.) frames from the films trailer were unlocked.

The trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises" was set to premiere alongside the theater release of Marvel's "The Avengers" on May 4. But fans could see it early by participating in an online marketing campaign — one that involved tweeting pictures of Batman-based graffiti.
'Blanket release' distributed globally
Traditional posters showing the cast are released
Internet- clevver movies
TV- The Jonathon Ross Show
The Dark Knight Rises was filmed using Imax cameras (72 mins)
these are high quality cameras. In order to keep the quality the
film was shown in Imax cinemas and available on Blu-Ray, which is higher definition than DVD. (See bottom right image).
This limited edition Windows Phone is incredibly unique, with a Batman logo laser-etched on the back, with exclusive Dark Knight Rises themes and applications. The latter includes trailers, trivia about the film, and a rewards-based game that’s built around Foursquare check-ins. Other than that, the phone is pretty much identical to the standard Nokia Lumia 900.

Nokia Lumia 900
Harry Potter
And the Deathly Hallows

Film similarities
Warp Films is an independent UK film production company. It is based in Sheffield & London, with a further office in Melbourne, Australia.
Warp Films have been behind an array of critically acclaimed and award winning films, including several BAFTAs.

Their first film, written by Chris Morris, was shot in 2002 and won the Best Short Film award at the 2003 BAFTA’s and became the first short film DVD single in the UK market.

After the success of the film, Mark Herbert raised funds for a Warp Films debut feature, Dead Man's Shoes, directed by Shane Meadows in 2004.

Shot in 22 days on a tight budget, and produced from Warp Films’ Sheffield office (at that time a shed in Herbert's garden). It earned a BAFTA nomination, was nominated for a record eight British Independent Film Awards. It received strong critical acclaim and has been hailed by some as a landmark in British cinema.

Warp Films biggest success to date came with Shane Meadows’ This Is England. Since its release in early 2007 it has gained many awards including the Best Film at the British Independent Films Awards, the Special Jury Prize at the Rome Film Festival and Best British Film at the BAFTAs.

Why is this good for a

The Dark Knight Rises is marketed largely on its celebrity factor; Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway,
Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman. It's director Christopher Nolan is famous for the previous two Dark Knight films, Inception, The Prestige and Memento.
Actors are well-known and of British/ American origin, appeal to a wide audience.
Symbiosis is where two different companies (owned by different conglomerates) merge to promote their products
Cross-media convergence
Cross- media convergence is different media platforms working together to make a product. e.g Batman (comic book character, DC comics) has been made into a (Film) and now a new mobile app (Game) has been made. So here we have a merge of different media.
Released by WaterTower Music
(which is owned by Time Warner)
How is this good for audiences?
(Think Happy Meals)
Production- both part of franchiseses
- both big budget
- star cast (British and American actors)

Distribution- global 'blanket' release
- Film value chain: Cinema, Netflix, TV etc

Marketing- large online presence
- use social media and get audience involved
- British cast/ themes

Exhibition- Widespread release
- Midnight viewings
- IMAX/ 3D screenings

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Batman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939).

Batman became a very popular character soon after his introduction and gained his own comic book title, Batman, in 1940. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended.

Batman has been adapted into such media as film, radio, television, and video games, as well as numerous merchandising items

Why is he so popular?

Film similarities
Production- British based, UK locations
- both small budget & required help with funding
- relatively unknown cast

Distribution- small scale release
- premiered at film festivals
- cinema, DVD

Marketing- websites, facebook, twitter
- online reviews helped promote films

Exhibition- small scale release
- Sub: 60 screens
- FL : 115 screens
Four Lions
The story of Batman
The Story of Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a feature film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J. K. Rowling.

Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, on 30 June 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim, and commercial success worldwide.

The first Harry Potter film, (based on the first book) was released in 2001 and made $90.3 million during its first weekend, breaking the record for highest-opening weekend of all time [The Lost World: Jurassic Park.]

The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and culminating with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)

From the success of the Harry Potter novels and films games, merchandise have been created, with rumours of up-coming Harry Potter spin-off films.

Why is he so popular?

British Cast
Daniel Radcliffe

Rupert Grint

Julie Walters

Richard Griffiths

Bill Nighy
What other British films have these starred in?
Harry Potter was filmed in the UK, in a variety of places from Scotland and Wales to Durham down to London.

Hogwarts is filmed in Durham castle, Alnwick castle and in 'Deathly Hallows Part 2' the demolished Hogwarts is filmed in UK based Leavesden Studios. http://origin2.wbstudiotour.co.uk/about-us

Why UK?

JK Rowling is a British born writer, despite London being the only non-fictional location in the series she took inspiration from places in the UK and wanted Harry Potter to be a 'British film'.

Harry Potter filming locations:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise (8 films in total). It is a British/ American films. Despite their cast and location mainly being British their funding has come from the US (Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Studios).
It was filmed for 2D release with an optional 3D release in mind.
Release date: 07.07.11 screened on 4,375 screens

'Blanket release' distributed globally

In the wake of the success of the 3-D film Avatar in late 2009, Warner Bros. announced that the Deathly Hallows films will be converted to 3-D for showing in 3-D. However, the first film was not released in 3-D due to time constraints. The second film is nonetheless being widely released in traditional 2-D as well for ticket-buyers who prefer that viewing option.

Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the highest-grossing film of 2011 and the 9th film in history to have grossed over $1 billion.

Exhibition/ exchange
Harry Potter and the Social Media Storm
Cross-media promotion
Time Inc. (part of Time Warner) owns Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly.
When a new Harry Potter film is due to be released the magazines promote this film.
-What else does Time Warner own that could be used to promote new HP films?
Gameloft made this (same games developer as The Dark Knight Rises mobile app)
Task: Think of all the different methods fans can
interact/ engage with or create Harry Potter content online.
Fan sites
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is available to rent on DVD from Netflix
Gameloft made The Dark Knight Rises mobile game
Available on DVD
Available to rent online

How do Audiences (fans) and Institutions (Time Warner) use social media to promote Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
The way we
media has changed,
instead of using one media device for one purpose we use it for a number of different things e.g...
Film production + film production + film production + Print - Book =
Games production (Time Warner) + games production (Vivendi) + DC comics =
Why would a Harry Potter film in 3D appeal to an audience?
NB: Don't be mistaken that 3D film is a new concept- 3D films have existed in some form since 1915 and were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema.
Why did Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 make so much money on its Opening Weekend?
Cinema as a social experience
A Warp Films Production in association with :
FilmFour, the UK Film Council, Protagonist Pictures, Wales Creative IP Fund,

Optimum releasing £90,000

DSN- Digital Screen Network. Allows films to be distributed to cinemas digitally- much cheaper. Allows independent films to access the market.
Film posters, YouTube and TV trailers.

Cross-media convergence
Warp Films
"Their approach to filmmaking is to support artists with individual visions, providing a platform for left of centre projects. Warp saw the revolution that happened in music 12 years ago, with the accessibility of better equipment allowing artists to lay down tracks in their bedrooms, being mirrored in filmmaking. The rise of digital technology in film, allowing people to shoot cheaply and edit at home contributed to this."
Independent cinemas
What had a bigger impact on Submarine's succes- its quality of production or marketing?
YouTube trailer
About The Film

"A whip-smart, slapstick comedy, Chris Morris’ FOUR LIONS takes aim at Jihadi suicide bombers and illuminates the war on terror through satire and farce. Follow five inept aspiring terrorists on their quest to strike a blow, and how they demonstrate that terrorism may be about ideology, but it can also be about idiots."
Christopher Morris is an English satirist, writer, director, actor, voice actor, and producer, known for his black humour, surrealism, and controversial subject matter.
Writer and director
The project was originally rejected by both the BBC and Channel 4 as being too controversial.
Morris suggested in a mass email, titled "Funding Mentalism", that fans could contribute between £25 and £100 each to the production costs of the film and would appear as extras in return. Funding was secured in October 2008 from Film 4 Productions and Warp Films. Filming began in Sheffield in May 2009
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010 and the UK première took place at the National Media Museum as part of Bradford International Film Festival, on 25 March 2010.

Despite its acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, Four Lions failed to find a distributor in the US for nine months until finally newly formed Drafthouse Films picked it up.
The film had a
limited release
in the US on 5 November 2010.

Despite an initial release on just 115 screens across the UK, the film was successful at the box office on its opening weekend, (£5,292) and making a total of £609,000. Due to its popularity, Optimum Releasing increased the number of screens showing the film to 200.
The internet and funding
Shot on a Sony CineAlta HDW-F900 camera in film fomat.
Cheaply filmed- low budget camera. Filmed in Sheffield
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer (2011)

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010 and was short-listed for the festival's World Cinema Narrative prize
The UK première took place at the National Media Museum as part of Bradford International Film Festival, on 25 March 2010 followed by a nationwide release on 7 May.
-UK distribution
Why do you think it was a limited release in the US?
Tube poster
How has the internet helped produce and promote Four Lions?
Cross media promotion
Cross media promotion is different media platforms working together to promote a product.
Written and directed by...
Richard Ayoade

Known as Moss from the IT crowd. His debut film as a writer and director.
Known for his off-beat comedy.
The film is based on a book by
Joe Dunthorne
The film was shot entirely on location in Wales.
Used an Arricam, lightweight and affordable can be rented out daily/ weekly.
Submarine follows the life
of 15 year old Oliver Tate
[pictured right].

Introverted and shy, Oliver
narrates the film and tries
to win over his love interest
Jordanna Bevan [right]
whilst trying to save his own
parents marraige.

This bitter-sweet 'coming of age' story of life and love is set in the heart of Wales.
Mark Herbert
Ben Stiller
£244,476 (UK) (20 March 2011) (60 Screens)
Production Budget: $1,900,000
No studios needed, filmed on location to add to the
verisimilitude, making the film more realistic.

(Studios are expensive to rent out too).

Budget was $
1.9 million.

The movie premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, received a good reception.
Cinema release:
Won 6 awards including 1 BAFTA and
British Independent film award
Cross-media convergence
Release of submarine soundtrack
Posters- teaser and main
Ben Stiller- famous name
Grossed: Worldwide: $864,659

Online promotion
DVD / Bluray
Streaming/ rental
Online rental
DVD/ Blu-ray
Synergy is the companies of a conglomerate working together to release products at the same time to promote something. This is usually beneficial for the conglomerate.

e.g The Dark Knight Rises film (WB Pictures) is released
At the same time...
The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack (Water Tower Music) is released

Both are owned by Time Warner
What is an
• An audience is a group of people that consume similar media in a certain way
– a passive model of consumption suggests that the audience cannot choose what to watch and when & texts can have an effect on the audience
– an active model instead suggests that audiences interact with the text to create meaning, choose what to consume and also can offer feedback to the producers, along with being media creators themselves.
Vertically integrated companies are those that own the hole or most of the chain of production of the good or service they are selling. In the media industry, imagine a newspaper that not only owns the plant where they make the paper, but also owns the paper company, the ink company, the distribution truck company.

Horizontally integrated companies are those that set up and own different companies that produce and sell similar goods or services. In other words, they own companies that make different products inside the same industry. In the media industry, think of a company that controls a TV channel, a magazine, a newspaper, a radio station.

Vertical Integration is when a Media Company owns different businesses in the same chain of production and distribution. For example, a 20th Century Fox owns the studios in Hollywood, they also own the cinemas, the TV channels and the DVD rental shops. They own parts of chain so that they can make money from every part of it.
Advantages of vertical integration:
- increase a company's or entity's power in the marketplace.
-increase revenues, all profit acquired by one big company.
Horizontal Integration is a Media Company’s Ownership of several businesses of the same value. A Media Company can own a Magazine, Radio, Newspaper, Television and Books. Almost all Media companies have horizontal integration. It helps to create more money and makes the company more popular among readers. Also, not all media readers prefer reading magazines. The more technology literate people will read the magazine online, so horizontal integration helps to reach a wider audience.
Advantages of cross-media ownership:
- reduced costs
- wider distribution
-business security
What are your own consumption preferences for media and why?
owned by Sony Pictures
User-generated content
The distinction between producers and consumers or users of content has faded, as users play the role of producers whether they are aware of this role or not. The hybrid term produser refers to an individual who is engaged in the activity of produsage.
A prosumer is a person who consumes and produces media. It is derived from "prosumption", a dot-com era business term meaning "production by consumers".
When a company expands its business into areas that are at different points on the same production path, such as when a manufacturer owns its supplier and/or distributor. Vertical integration can help companies reduce costs and improve efficiency by decreasing transportation expenses and reducing turnaround time, among other advantages. However, sometimes it is more effective for a company to rely on the expertise and economies of scale of other vendors rather than be vertically integrated.

The merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster created a vertically integrated entertainment company that manages and represents artists, produces shows and sells event tickets.

In terms of the magazine industry, They own the Forests where their resources come from, in this case, the paper. They also own the buildings where the magazines are designed, they own part of the publishers, and the newstands where the magazines are sold.
e.g Time Warner owns: Warner Bros. Pictures (film) Warner Bros. Games, Time (magazines) and DC (comic books) =
Cross-media ownership
Synergy is the
simultaneous (at the same time) release of different products to boost both.
They have a large effect than if just one product existed alone – they have a mutually beneficial relationship. (this means they are symbiotic).

Film / Soundtrack / Phone App / Game

Synergy can be used most often by bigger companies as the different elements of them (often a media conglomerate) work together to promote linked products across different media. Conglomerates (like Sony) are able to use synergy to boost profits because of their diversity – i.e. they own lots of different companies
Eg a film studio, record label, video game division all create linked products eg the film, soundtrack, video game.
= The combining of two or more mediums
: TV / film / computer graphics / radio/ website etc
Cross-media convergence can happen in production, distribution or consumption.

Ex: when the music industry comes together with the film industry - Adele releases the new single for Skyfall.
• Synergy and cross media convergence are quite similar. • The key difference is that
cross media convergence involves media products
synergy can involve non media products
eg. merchandise.

Cross-media convergence can be considered to be a form of synergic media promotion - if occurs at the level of distribution.
In a merchandise license transaction, an artist, designer, trademark owner or celebrity (the "licensor") grants a license to a manufacturer or retailer (the "licensee") to manufacture and sell articles of merchandise which use the property that is the subject of the license, in exchange for a royalty from sales

-----------Product Tie-ins:
product that ties in, relates, or connects especially in a promotional campaign : usualy media products promoted in the food industry

A conglomerate expands its power through mergers and acquisitions.

Time Inc. and Warner to Merge, Creating Largest Media Company
Published: March 5, 1989

Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announced yesterday that they plan to merge, creating the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world. The merger would insure Time Warner a place in the 1990's as one of a handful of global media giants able to produce and distribute information in virtually any medium.
Planned obsolescence
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