2. What is Media Ownership?
• All Media products are owned by a
• Bauer produce Heat magazine
• News Corporation produce The Sun
• New Line Cinema produced Lord of
3. Legal Ownership
• Each of these producers has legal ownership
of the particular media text they produce
• This means that they profit from the
distribution of the media text.
• They are also legally responsible for its
content (complaints, regulation, legal action)
4. Historical Media Ownership
• Historically, Media ownership was reasonably
• Media producers tended to stick to one
channel of distribution (film, TV, radio,
• The producers were smaller, specialist
5. 1980s – What changed?
• Since the 1980s, the world economic climate
has altered rapidly, with companies either
merging or being taken over by other
companies with similar interests.
• This happened in all industries and not just
• Bigger companies = bigger profits
6. 1980s onwards Media
• As well as the economic changes, the Media
industry has changed rapidly in the last 20
• Since the late 1980s, the technology available
to distribute Media texts has exploded.
• This has impacted upon the companies that
produce these texts.
7. 1980s onwards Media
• To take advantage of the changing technology,
Media companies have seen a significant
amount of merger, takeover and buyout.
• IPC now owned by Time Warner (originally 2
companies, Time and Warner Brothers)
• New Line Cinema now owned by Disney
8. Cross Media Ownership
• As a result of the size of the companies which
now operate, they are able to diversify into
more than one Media area.
• IPC – Film/Magazine/News/TV
• The term to describe this is CROSS MEDIA
9. Cross Media Ownership - Advantages
• 1) Reduced Costs – big companies have more
purchasing power (think Tesco) and produce
products at a reduced cost.
• They can then either pass on this reduction to
the consumer or increase their profit margins.
• 2) Synergy – they are able to pool the
resources of the underlying companies to
produce a better product at a reduced cost
10. Cross Media Ownership - Advantages
• 3) Wider distribution – the markets into which
the media text can be distributed are
increased – bigger audience = bigger profit
• 4) Business Security – the diversity of the
products on offer increases the security of the
business – one market fails, can focus on
another – think Sony
11. Cross Media Ownership – Disadvantages –
• The Media is very persuasive – much of this
persuasive power lies in the hands of fewer
producers. Bias and partiality severely
• Campaign for Press Freedom: ‘When media
are concentrated in the hands of powerful
proprieters deep damage can be inflicted on
12. Cross Media Ownership – Disadvantages –
• The issue was again raised in parliament in 2008
when a Lords Select Committee investigates these
• They concluded that ‘It is possible for one voice to
become too powerful’ and that any future mergers
need to be carefully scrutinised by the government.
• They also insisted that the current system of
regulation remain to protect media recipients.
• Many believe little has changed.
13. Cross Media Ownership – other
• Privacy – massive databases of personal information
• Flow of Information – information providers control
selection, organisation and flow of information.
• Time Warner own 1,000,000,000 Google shares.
Google own You Tube. ITV own Facebook.
• Branding – media texts become part of a brand and
lose their individual status.
14. Cross Media Ownership
• There are both advantages and disadvantages
of this global change.
• What is clear is that change is happening
• TASK = Rewrite your Ownership section of
your Learned Response now to take into
account what you have learnt today.