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Wealth & Economics > Who owns Big Media?

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message 1: by Graeme (last edited Apr 11, 2019 07:42PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7227 comments REF: https://www.recode.net/2018/1/23/1690...

Nice graphic of a rapidly evolving landscape.

Does anyone care if media is owned by a few hands as long as we are entertained, or is concentration of media ownership an issue for society?

Will Disney's new streaming service spank Netflix into oblivion?

Will Apple, Amazon and Google become media giants?


message 2: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments It seems that antitrust laws no longer apply. But shouldn't they?


message 3: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2144 comments While everyone seems to decry the merger, one of the biggest reasons for Disney was to increase the breadth of content for its upcoming streaming service. Everyone seems to be determined to create their own streaming service exclusively for their properties, but what is that going to mean when you have to spend $8-10/month for each of the major studios? I think, depending on what Disney will charge, people will find real value based on the combined content of Disney and Fox...I doubt people will complain too much when they can get that much content on one service like they used to get on Netflix.


message 4: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) As with all new industries there will be some splintering as everyone gets on the bandwagon then consolidation before splintering again.

I already have too many TV subscriptions. All slowly increasing in cost whilst reducing value. e.g. Sky in UK had all live football, soon I'll need 3 subs to watch the matches. Amazon, BT, and Sky. Sky and BT have put their charges up for the sports package every year above inflation. I don't do Disney (no young kids,) but I cannot believe a young family will be able to afford Sky, Disney the UK TV License,Netflix and Amazon Prime. If the TV/Media companies think they will, they and their shareholders may be in for a shock.


message 5: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7227 comments Philip is right about the prospect of making money in this business. There is not enough to go round and there will be some blood on the floor before it settles - perhaps a lot of blood.


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9495 comments In NZ the position is more difficult because for a while Sky was the only subscription service and it took advantage with the price. The problem is, it has all the sport. That is starting to fragment and it is far from clear where it is all going. Then Netflix arrived, and a modest number of others have sprung up, all offering some "exclusive content". There will almost certainly be some sort of shakeout, but when that happens, the likes of Amazon, Google, etc will probably appear and the whole lot will start again. Added to this, the freeview TV (i.e. surviving on ads) is rapidly degenerating into unending "reality" shows that re probably cheap to make, but "real" is not one of their attributes. Like Philip, I can't see the younger families being able to afford what is coming, and I suspect that here at least they will mainly have the effect of turning people off TV altogether


message 7: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Added to this, the freeview TV (i.e. surviving on ads) is rapidly degenerating into unending "reality" shows that re probably cheap to make, but "real" is not one of their attributes.

Ugh....so many reality shows here in Australia. So much rubbish on free to air TV. Once upon a time we had some great programs, but now, Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Married at First Sight....the list goes on and on and on and on....so much manufactured dysfunctional relationship TV. We just don't watch it.

We use Netflix, and Apple TV, which is rent or buy, but we do like to buy our favourites.

Having said that, there's a few redeeming shows on free to air TV, which we enjoy on occasion - Q&A (not always, depends who's on), the odd SBS show.


message 8: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Graeme wrote: "Philip is right about the prospect of making money in this business. There is not enough to go round and there will be some blood on the floor before it settles - perhaps a lot of blood."


An uptick in niche marketing, eventually? Perhaps? (Following blood on the floor...)?


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9495 comments The trick is to work out how to make money when the blood is flowing :-_)


message 10: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments I laughed out loud, Ian.


message 11: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7227 comments Netflix is burning barrels of cash...

I've no idea when they expect to break even and start making a profit.

Disney doesn't expect to make a profit streaming content for 5 years.


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9495 comments Graeme wrote: "Netflix is burning barrels of cash...

I've no idea when they expect to break even and start making a profit.

Disney doesn't expect to make a profit streaming content for 5 years."


Amazon took yonks to make a profit, but it seems to be everywhere now. Netflix's losses are probably through content and that could be an important asset in the coming fight.


message 13: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 2889 comments Netflix is in real trouble. Their strategy has been using their excellent capitalization to loss lead in order to secure market share. Now they face the House of Mouse. Disney's available assets and capital dwarf Netflix like the Ocean dwarfs a koi pond. Add to that the fun fact that the Fox buyout gave Disney 60% of Hulu and you can see the tsunami that is about to inundate Netflix.


message 14: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9495 comments Nobody would expect Netflix not to be in a lot of trouble, but they probably had to do it that way. Their best bet might well be to be absorbed by someone like Apple, which is probably not short of funds, it wants to get into the game, but it has no content yet. As J suggests, Disney is hardly likely to be swamped out, but the trouble is, if so many big players get involved, the viewers will drop some of them. Disney is fine - it has such a reserve of family content it can't fail. As for the rest, who knows?


message 15: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments J. wrote: "Netflix is in real trouble. Their strategy has been using their excellent capitalization to loss lead in order to secure market share. Now they face the House of Mouse. Disney's available assets an..."

It seems like you are saying that Disney already has such a clear brand identity; such a clearly defined target demographic/market share; (and as Ian has suggested) such a huge portfolio of content that (because children/families like repetition and tradition) can be redeployed for pure profit, let alone their capital resources for creating new content--because of all this their acquiring streaming capacity can only take up a huge portion of the available entertainment pipeline.

Netflix's error would have been to not imagine Disney as a competitor? Were they shooting for a family market, though? Perhaps the market share of Netflix can be preserved by software like Hulu or Roku, which allows users to select from a variety of streaming services? Quality programming might count in that context.

Just speculating. What I know about media economics is all of what you, and others responding on this thread, have just said. Wish I knew more so I am shamelessly sending my curiosity your way :).


message 16: by Kris (new)

Kris Haliday (krishaliday) | 127 comments Graeme wrote: "REF: https://www.recode.net/2018/1/23/1690...

Nice graphic of a rapidly evolving landscape.

Does anyone care if media is own..."


Graeme wrote: "REF: https://www.recode.net/2018/1/23/1690...

Nice graphic of a rapidly evolving landscape.

Does anyone care if media is own..."


Ian wrote: "Graeme wrote: "Netflix is burning barrels of cash...

I've no idea when they expect to break even and start making a profit.

Disney doesn't expect to make a profit streaming content for 5 years."
..."



Thanks for sharing the graphic. I downloaded a copy (trying to educate myself: I know so little about the media playing field).


The first thought I had when I looked at the graphic was something along the lines of your initial question: is the concentration of media power in relatively few hands something to worry about?

Questions like that? My go-to position is paranoia, and I thought: even at this point, how many phone calls would it take to try influencing/limiting/choking 100% of media streaming? But would anyone ever want to? Is that a moot point?

Somewhere, Marshall McLuhan says that our psyches are not formed by social interaction; they are formed by the media we consume. I'm not sure how much I agree with McLuhan, but my paranoia brought McLuhan's apothegm to mind, I'm sure, because it says that media is about more than entertainment.

It seems possible that our brain--rather than our psyche, necessarily--very much likes some kinds of entertainment more than others. I think that's what McLuhan meant: media can constitute an alternative socializing force because it can access brain at the level of primary perception and immediate response. (I'd guess that that is why people born and raised on US media find the European tradition of film making less that "stirring"?).

Anyway, streaming media makes it much easier to pander to the ever-hungry brain (by "pander" I don't mean to fault what the brain wants to enjoy; I'm just thinking about the power of media). Daily socialization and acculturation from interacting with other humans has been an evolutionary means to create socio-historical stability and the orderly formation of a psyche that is suited to the world in which it finds itself. Might we have reached a tipping point--or did we reach it long ago--where media most decidedly overrides that interpersonal evolutionary strategy?

I've strayed into first amendment territory. Sorry. And that straying leads me to conclude that the legitimate power issue is economic, as in antitrust. Except, perhaps, to the extent that economic power is political power.? (That's where I thought I was going, initially, a la Orwell? )

Cheers! Kris


.


message 17: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7227 comments Ian wrote: "Nobody would expect Netflix not to be in a lot of trouble, but they probably had to do it that way. Their best bet might well be to be absorbed by someone like Apple, which is probably not short of..."

I would not be surprised if this happened. Apple has extremely deep pockets and needs a new business direction.


message 18: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7227 comments Thoughtful comments Kris.


message 19: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7227 comments Netflix are borrowing another $2B. REF: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...

That should buy a few shows.


message 20: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2144 comments It better because they're going to lose more and more content as the studios continue to build their own streaming services...and it's going to get worse when Disney launches theirs at a lower price than Netflix.


message 21: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan | 7227 comments I've got a bad feeling that Netflix is not gonna make it.


message 22: by P.G. (last edited Jun 28, 2019 07:05AM) (new)

P.G. Sundling (pgsundling) | 20 comments Think of these memorable words from the Outer Limits.

"For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCcdr...

The concentration of media in a few hands means that what we believe can be influenced, even though we think we have hundreds of channels. They can control all that we see and hear.

Such things can silently influence elections and what we believe. Perception is reality.

I spent most of my career working for multiple Fortune 500 entertainment companies. So, I pay a lot of attention to what brands roll up to what conglomerate. Disney was the most ruthless of the entertainment companies I worked for, with bottom-line thinking.

I'm rooting for Netflix and I certainly don't like the way Disney pulled Marvel series from them.


message 23: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments Hi, P.G. What you say is interesting and based on personal experience. I think that large corporations have too much power to influence our thinking. Hope to hear from you on other topics here.


message 24: by P.G. (last edited Jun 28, 2019 07:06AM) (new)

P.G. Sundling (pgsundling) | 20 comments Scout wrote: "Hi, P.G. What you say is interesting and based on personal experience. I think that large corporations have too much power to influence our thinking. Hope to hear from you on other topics here."

There's a really great speech on the topic from 1976 movie, Network. "The world is a college of corporations."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35DSd...

I couldn't agree more with you more, Scout!

If anyone has any doubts about the ability of corporations to influence us, think about what's happened to Thanksgiving!

Really when they're getting us to shop on a sacred day, what is really sacred anymore? Just the bottom line.


message 25: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13467 comments Some interesting input, P.G. and we have quite a few threads on consumerism in this very section.
Referencing the book too often, may dilute the actual message, as some would look at it as a bit too self-promotional -:)


message 26: by P.G. (last edited Jun 28, 2019 07:22AM) (new)

P.G. Sundling (pgsundling) | 20 comments Book quotes have been removed.


message 27: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13467 comments Cool, no problem!
Thought you might want to share your thoughts on some of those:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 28: by P.G. (new)

P.G. Sundling (pgsundling) | 20 comments Well, half the fun of having written an "everything book" like mine is being able to quote from it on a variety of topics. So, I'll steer clear of the 30 or 40 topics from my first book and probably join the cyberwar discussion in 3-6 months.

In the meantime, I'll share on one of the threads about something not book related.


message 29: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments I didn't see your quotes, P.G., but I did watch that clip from Network, and it says what I've been thinking for a while. Corporations rule the world. I'm going to re-watch the movie. Recently, I've seen the clip replayed in which Howard Beale shouts from a window: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" I think Trump appeals to that sentiment more than any other political person, and that's why he was elected. He has his faults, but he doesn't seem to be bought. Thoughts, anyone?


message 30: by P.G. (new)

P.G. Sundling (pgsundling) | 20 comments A populist was going to get elected in 2016. The Democrats sabotaged their populist in the primaries, so we get Trump. Most people voted AGAINST something instead of for something.

They were quotes from my novel, The Internet President: None of the Above. There are moments like the "mad as hell" and the world is a college of corporations" speech in my book and I bring up the point that corporations have now even co-opted Thanksgiving into a high-holy shopping day. To anyone that takes a step back, that should really give us all pause about the direction America is heading.


message 31: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments I first noticed big media's attempt to influence people years ago when a president's speech would be televised, and then talking heads would come on afterwards to analyze and explain what he had said. I would never watch this because I had my own take on what he had said and I didn't need anyone to interpret for me. It has become even worse these days, with "news presenters" giving their opinions on events presented on morning shows. Shaking their heads and condemning - or smiling and approving of - events reported. There's no longer even the pretense of being objective. They're blatantly attempting to shape the opinions of the public.


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