Tag Archives: conglomeration

The Scope of Media: Time Warner’s Broad Target Audience and International Presence

     For this blog post, I chose to focus my research on Time Warner Inc.. Time Warner is one of the “big 5” (or 6) entertainment conglomerates and they own a wide variety of companies prevalent within the media industry. Although many people are familiar with the name Time Warner, few people, including myself until doing this research, are familiar with exactly how wide the company’s reach extends. In order to give an idea of just how powerful Time Warner is, I will list some of the company’s assets below.

Time Warner Inc.

Home Box Office

–       HBO

–       Cinemax

Time Inc.

–       Fortune

–       Health

–       In Style

–       Life

–       Money

–       Time

IPC Media (U.K.)

Grupo Editorial Expansión (Mexico)

Turner Broadcasting System

–       truTV

–       TBS

–       TNT

–       TBS

–       Cartoon Network

–       Adult Swim

CNN News Group

–       CNN en Español

–       CNN Latino

–       CNN International

–       CNN Radio

Warner Bros. Entertainment

–       Warner Bros. Consumer Products

–       Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures

–       Warner Bros. Pictures International

–       DC Entertainment

  • DC Comics

(Extensive list of companies can be found at http://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=timewarner)

 

     While researching the corporate web of Time Warner, there were many interesting thoughts that popped into my head regarding the relationship between the companies and the influence they may have on the public. First, I was surprised at how many international companies are a part of Time Warner. Before realizing this, I had only been thinking about the effects of the “big 6” on citizens of the United States. However, seeing the number of foreign outlets on the Time Warner list makes me wonder just how far reaching the influence of large media conglomerates really is.  With American corporations controlling media in foreign countries, it is not outrageous to assume that those countries could be influenced by any American culture included within the media. Furthermore, the American owned outlets could be giving off a pro-American bias. This bias could be shedding America in a more favorable light, which would benefit the U.S. making the global view more positive, but in a less-than-truthful manner.

     A second major idea that came to mind during observations of Time Warner was the audience range within the variety of companies. Time Warner owns media geared towards children, adolescents, and adults. From cartoons to news, Time Warner feeds information to all ages. This means that any agenda the company has, be it a set of ideals or simply an opinion on a certain matter, could be directed towards each age group. This would be a powerful tool in the sense that it would be received by an even larger number of people than if it were directed towards only one age group. It could also have the potential to be more effective because it would get everyone on the same page, ingraining the idea even deeper. I think the notion of children and adults alike being influenced by the same company is a frightening one  because it really bring to light the fact that from youth through old age we are under the thumb of media conglomerates.

     On a similar note, having to take an in depth look at one of these media conglomerates has given me greater overall knowledge of just how broad the reach of the media stretches, as well as making the concept of media influence all the more real. Seeing the sheer number of assets possessed by Time Warner all laid out in front of me forced me to think more critically about not only the influence of Time Warner, but how I have been influenced over the years by companies and products in general. Concluding my thoughts for this blog, I just wanted to express how doing this exercise has improved my critical thinking by giving me the tools to look deeper into the world around me. In the future, I will be better prepared for the daily bombardment of media.

– Andrew

 

 Sources

http://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=timewarner

http://www.timewarner.com/our-content

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_Time_Warner

Facebook and the Social Media World

FACEBOOK

Owned by:

Mark Zuckerburg and other individuals

Microsoft owns 1.3%

Digital Sky Technologies owns 10%

Owns:

Instagram

Although the Facebook ownership map may not look big, in fact it only consists of one other company, but they dominate the social media sphere. After researching big conglomerate companies such as Disney and GE, I realize it is in no way on the “big 6” level, but I think it has potential to reach that level. Facebook bought out the rising photo editing and sharing application Instagram while it was booming and most recently attempted to buy out the ever so popular Snapchat, signs that Facebook is entering into the business side of social media.

The “big 6” may be huge conglomerates that own consumer products, media outlets, theme parks, film productions, and so much more, but what they lack that Facebook has invested in is the future generation. Apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have a potentially huge future awaiting them. Facebook does not have a concentration of ownership on the social media world yet, but they have and are clearly trying to attempt to monopolize the revenue of social media. Theories on why they bought Instagram consist of Facebook wanting to get rid of the leading competitor and to eventually create a revenue model for Instagram.

Facebook buying Instagram and attempting to buy out Snapchat shows an attempt at horizontal integration. If FB were to end up owning Snapchat and Twitter on top Instagram, they would have ownership across the social media sphere. The challenge with getting a monopoly on social media or of integration within the social media world is that new social media apps pop up daily and whether or not they will be successful is solely up to the users. So realistically a monopoly of this world would be impossible.

Just like with other media, especially newspaper as we discussed in class, Facebook’s main revenue comes from advertisers. If FB were to dominate the social media world, companies would only want to advertise with Facebook, which would result in synergy. No other company would be able to compete in the social media world unless they had many strong investors which would be unlikely because smart investors would invest in Facebook and the companies they own because they would be the successful ones.

What’s different about social media compared to news media is that the public creates the content so the fact that profit is the main goal for investors and owners has yet to cause a problem. News media only focusing on the business side results in poor content or infotainment. News media has a presence in social media, but it is completely up to the public what they post. Therefore I don’t see harm in concentration of ownership, but I also don’t think it is as realistic in the digital age. New application will be forever popping up and who knows which one will make it big.