A media conglomerate, media company, mass media conglomerate, mass media company, media group, media institution, or media concessionaire is a company that owns numerous companies involved in mass media enterprises, such as music, television, radio, publishing, motion pictures, video games, theme parks, or the Internet. According to the magazine The Nation, "Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world."[1]

Terminology

A conglomerate is a large company composed of a number of companies (subsidiaries) engaged in generally unrelated businesses.

Some media conglomerates use their access in multiple areas to share various kinds of content such as: news, video and music, between users. The media sector's tendency to consolidate has caused formerly diversified companies to appear less diverse to prospective investors in comparison with similar companies that are traded publicly and privately. Therefore, the term media group may also be applied, however, it has not yet replaced the more traditional term.[2]

Criticism

Main article: Concentration of media ownership

Critics have accused the large media conglomerates of dominating the media and using unfair practices. During a protest in November 2007, critics such as Jesse Jackson spoke out against consolidation of the media.[3] This can be seen in the news industry, where corporations refuse to publicize information that would be harmful to their interests. Because some corporations do not publish any material that criticizes them or their interests, media conglomerates have been criticized for limiting free speech or not protecting free speech.[4] These practices are also suspected of contributing to the merging of entertainment and news (sensationalism[5]) at the expense of the coverage of serious issues. They are also accused of being a leading force behind the standardization of culture (see globalization,[4] Americanization) and are frequently criticized by groups that perceive news organizations as being biased toward special interests of the owners.[4]

Because there are fewer independent media, there is less diversity in news and entertainment and therefore less competition. This can result in the reduction of different points of view as well as vocalization about different issues.[6] There is also a lack of ethnic and gender diversity as a majority of those in media are white, middle-class men.[7][8][9] There is a concern that their views are being shared disproportionately more than other groups, such as women and ethnic minorities.[10] Women and minorities also have less ownership of media.[10] Women have less than 7 percent of TV and radio licenses, and minorities have around 7 percent of radio licenses and 3 percent of TV licenses.[11]

Examples by country

Further information: Media cross-ownership in the United States, Category:Mass media companies of Canada, Category:Mass media companies of Australia, Category:Mass media companies of the Philippines, and Category:Mass media companies of New Zealand

In the 2023 Forbes Global 2000 list, Comcast is the United States' largest media conglomerate, in terms of revenue, with The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, & Paramount Global completing the top four.[12]

In 1984, fifty independent media companies owned the majority of media interests within the United States. By 2011, 90% of the United States's media was controlled by six media conglomerates: GE/Comcast (NBC, Universal), News Corp (Fox News, Wall Street Journal, New York Post), Disney (ABC, ESPN, Pixar), Viacom (MTV, BET, Paramount Pictures), Time Warner (CNN, HBO, Warner Bros.), and CBS (Showtime, NFL.com).[13][14]

Between 1941 and 1975, several laws that restricted channel ownership within radio and television were enacted in order to maintain unbiased and diverse media. However under the Reagan administration, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, then led by FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler, began a concerted deregulation over the years 1981 and 1985. The number of television stations a single entity can own increased from seven to 12 stations.[citation needed]

The industry continued to deregulate with enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Signed by President Bill Clinton on 8 February 1996, it was considered by the FCC to be the "first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years".[15] In the radio industry, the 40-station ownership cap was lifted, leading to an unprecedented amount of consolidation. Since this period, IHeartMedia grew from 40 stations to 1200 stations, in all 50 states, while Viacom grew to owning 180 stations across 41 markets.[citation needed]

As media consolidation grew, some in the nation began to speculate how it might negatively impact society at large. In the case of Minot, North Dakota,[16] the concerns regarding media consolidation is realized. On 18 January 2002, a train containing hazardous chemicals derailed in the middle of the night, exposing countless Minot residents to toxic waste. Upon trying to get out an emergency broadcast, the Minot police were unable to reach anyone. They were instead forwarded to the same automated message, as all the broadcast stations in Minot were single-handedly owned by IHeartMedia. As the FCC reviews media ownership rules, broadcasters continued to petition it for the elimination of all rules, while those who are against this easing would often cite the incident in Minot as how consolidation could be harmful.[citation needed]

Canada, Australia, the Philippines, and New Zealand[17] also experience the concentration of multiple media enterprises in a few companies. This concentration is an ongoing concern for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission, and New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority. Other countries that have large media conglomerates with impacts on the world include: Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, China, Mexico and Brazil. Media conglomerates outside of the United States include Fujisankei Communications Group (Fuji Television), Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, Hubert Burda Media, ITV, ProSiebenSat.1, Mediaset, Axel Springer, JCDecaux, China Central Television, Alibaba Group, ABS-CBN Corporation, GMA Network, TV5 Network, Radio Philippines Network, Manila Broadcasting Company, Viva Communications, The Asahi Shimbun, Grupo Televisa, TV Azteca, Grupo Imagen, Grupo Globo, Baidu, GMM Grammy and Bertelsmann.[18]

United States

The Walt Disney Company Comcast Warner Bros. Discovery Paramount Global Access Industries[19] Hasbro Amazon
Movie production Walt Disney Studios NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment Warner Bros. Pictures Group Paramount Pictures Corporation AI Film (UK), RatPac-Dune Entertainment (controlling stake[20]), Access Entertainment (US) Hasbro Entertainment Amazon MGM Studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
TV production Disney TV Studios, It's a Laugh Productions, Disney TV Animation, FX Productions, Freeform Studios Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, DWA Television WB TV Studios, WB Animation, WBITVP, Cartoon Network Studios, Discovery Studios, All3Media (50%) Paramount TV Studios, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, CBS Studios Amedia (majority stake[21]) (RU) Hasbro Entertainment Amazon MGM Studios, MGM Television
Broadcast TV network ABC, Localish (US); RTL Zwei (15.75% DE), Fox (TR) NBC, Cozi TV, Sky,
Telemundo, TeleXitos
The CW (12.5%), Three (NZ), Eden (NZ), Living (NZ) CBS, The CW (12.5%), Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (AR), Network 10 (AU), Chilevisión (CL) RGE Group (33%[22]) (IL)
Cable channels Disney Channels, UTV net, A&E Networks (50%), Fox Nets Group, Freeform, FX Networks, NatGeo Net (73%) NBCUniversal Cable, Sky TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, HBO, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, TLC, Discovery Family (60%), Warner Bros. Discovery International Paramount Media Networks, Paramount International Networks, BET Media Group Discovery Family (40%) MGM+
News, business channels/
operations
ABC News, ABC News Radio NBCUniversal News Group, Sky News CNN, HLN CBS News, CBS News streaming service
National sports networks/
operations
ESPN Inc. (80%) NBC Sports Group, Sky Sports, NHL Network (15.6%) TNT Sports, MLB Network (16%), NBA TV, Eurosport (Europe), DSport (India), Play Sports Group (71%, U.K.) CBS Sports Sports Channel (IL)
Audio
industry
ABC Audio, Disney Music Group, Marvel New Media, Radio Disney Networks Back Lot Music WaterTower Music, Williams Street Records Paramount Music Warner Music Group
Publishing Marvel Comics, National Geographic (73%), Disney Publishing Worldwide DC Comics, MAD Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf World; Motor Trend Group (joint-venture) Amazon Publishing, Kindle Direct Publishing
OTT Disney+ (Star; Hotstar, Star+), Hulu,[a] ESPN+, Marvel Unlimited (Comics) Peacock, Hulu,[b]Now, Sky Go, Xumo Max, Boomerang, DC Universe Infinite (Comics), Discovery+, GolfTV Paramount+, Pluto TV, BET+, Noggin, Showtime DAZN (85%[25][26]) Amazon Prime Video, Freevee, Amazon Music, Twitch (Gaming), ComiXology (Comics)
Internet Fandango (70%) Rooster Teeth, Fandango (30%) MTV New Media Deezer Box Office Mojo, IMDb
Telecommunications Xfinity, Sky Broadband ICE Group
Video games Disney Games and Interactive Experiences, Marvel Games, Lucasfilm Games Universal Brand Development Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Rooster Teeth Games, Adult Swim Games Paramount Digital Entertainment Archetype Entertainment, Invoke Studios Amazon Games, Amazon Digital Game Store
Total Revenues US$88.9Billion (2023) NBCUniversal: US$39.2 billion (2022) US$33.8 billion (2022)[27] US$30.15 billion (2022) US$17 Billion US$4.7 Billion[28]

Notes:

  1. ^ Although Hulu is now fully controlled by Disney after Comcast relinquished its control, Comcast still owned 33% stakes of Hulu as a silent partner with their agreement for Disney to purchase the ownership stakes of Comcast in Hulu by 2024.[23]
  2. ^ Although Hulu is now fully controlled by Disney after Comcast relinquished its control, Comcast still owned 33% stakes of Hulu as a silent partner with their agreement for Disney to purchase the ownership stakes of Comcast in Hulu by 2024.[24]

International

Sony (Japan) Bertelsmann (Germany) Vivendi (France) Liberty Global (UK/US/NL) Essel Group (India) CT Corp (Indonesia) Televisa (Mexico) Grupo Globo (Brazil) TV Azteca (Mexico) Grupo Imagen (Mexico) ABS-CBN Corporation (Philippines) The Times Group (India) PLDT (Philippines) Viva Communications (Philippines) GMA Network (Philippines) GMM Grammy (Thailand)
Movie production Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, PlayStation Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (Japan) UFA StudioCanal (FR) Lionsgate Films (US, 3.5%) Zee Studios Transinema Pictures Videocine Globo Filmes Azteca Cinema Star Cinema Mirchi Movies Limited, Junglee Pictures Limited Cignal Entertainment Viva Films GMA Pictures GDH 559
TV production Sony Pictures Television (US) Fremantle (UK) Red Production Company (UK), TANDEM Productions (GR) All3Media (UK, 50%), Lionsgate Television (US, 3.5%) Essel Vision Productions Estúdios Globo Azteca Estudios ABS-CBN Studios, Dreamscape Entertainment, Star Creatives Television, RCD Narratives, RGE Drama Unit, RSB Scripted Format Metropolitan Media Company Limited Viva Television GMA Entertainment Group GMMTV, GMM Bravo
Broadcast TV network Get (US) Buzzr (US)
RTL Group (LU)
Canal+ Group Telenet (BE, 58%), Ziggo (NL, 50%), ITV plc (UK, minority), Virgin Media Television (IRL) Zee Media Corporation, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Trans TV, Trans7 Las Estrellas, Canal 5, Canal 9, FOROtv TV Globo Azteca 7, Azteca Uno, ADN 40, A Más Imagen Televisión ABS-CBN (content provider), A2Z (blocktime with ZOE Broadcasting Network), TV5 (entertainment production partner), Knowledge Channel, PIE (co-owned with BEAM TV), GMA (entertainment production partner) Times Global Broadcasting and Zoom Entertainment Network TV5 TV5 (entertainment production partner) GMA, GTV, Heart of Asia Channel, I Heart Movies, Hallypop (under Jungo TV), Pinoy Hits GMM 25, One 31
Cable channels Sony Pictures Television Networks Televisa Networks Canais Globo, Globo Internacional TV Azteca Internacional TV de Paga Kapamilya Channel, Cine Mo!, Creative Programs, ABS-CBN Global Ltd. Times Music, Movies Now, Romedy Now PBA Rush, Sari-Sari Channel (50%), Pilipinas Global Network Ltd. PBO, Viva Cinema, Sari-Sari Channel (50%), TMC: Tagalized Movie Channel, History, Crime & Investigation Network, Lifetime, Celestial Movies Pinoy GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, GMA News TV GMM Z
News, business channels/
operations
CNews Zee News CNN Indonesia (franchise), CNBC Indonesia (franchise) Noticieros Televisa GloboNews Azteca Noticias Excélsior TV ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, ABS-CBN News Channel, TeleRadyo Serbisyo (co-owned with Prime Media Holdings) ET Now, Lead India, Mirror Now, Times Now News5, One News, One PH GMA Integrated News, GMA Public Affairs
National sports networks/
operations
Sports Channel (IL) Canal Sport Ziggo Sport (NL, 50%) Golf Channel Indonesia (JV), Golf+ Televisa Deportes, TUDN SporTV Azteca Deportes One Sports, One Sports (TV channel), One Sports+ GMA Sports
Audio
industry
Sony Music Group (US), EMI Music Publishing (UK), Sony Music Entertainment Japan (Japan) BMG Zee Music Company Trans Talent Management Som Livre (former) Imagen Radio MOR Entertainment, MyxRadio, Star Music, One Music PH, DWPM (co-owned with Prime Media Holdings) Zoom, Radio Mirchi Radyo5 Viva Records, Halo-Halo Radio, Vicor Music, Ivory Music and Video GMA Music, GMA Playlist, AltG Records, Super Radyo, Barangay FM Chill FM Online, EFM 94, Green Wave 106.5 FM, Hot 91.5
Publishing Gruner + Jahr, Penguin Random House (US, UK 53%), Bertelsmann Printing Group Prisma Press, Editis Editorial Televisa, Intermex Editora Globo Excélsior ABS-CBN Publishing The Times of India, The Economic Times, Navbharat Times, The Illustrated Weekly of India The Philippine Star (51%), BusinessWorld (70%) Viva Books Publishing Inc. Image, Madame Figaro Magazine, In Magazine
OTT Crunchyroll, Funimation Videoland (Netherlands) ZEE5 Blim Globoplay iWantTFC Gaana, MX Player Cignal Play Vivamax GMA On Demand
Internet Dailymotion playwin detik Network Comercio Más, Televisa Digital, Televisa Interactive Media Globo.com Azteca Internet Imagen Digital ABS-CBN Digital Media, Kapamilya Online Live, ABS-CBNnews.com BoxTV.com, CricBuzz, TimesJobs, SimplyMarry, MagicBricks, ZigWheels GMA New Media, GMANetwork.com, Kapuso Stream, GMA News Online
Telecommunications Sony Mobile, So-net UPC Broadband (Europe), Virgin Media (UK), Telenet (Belgium) (58%), Vodafone Netherlands (50%) Izzi Telecom ABS-CBN Convergence (68%), Sky Cable Corporation (59.4%) PLDT, Smart, TNT, Cignal TV
Video games Sony Interactive Entertainment, Unties Gameloft ABS-CBN Digital Media GMA New Media
2023 Revenues Sony Entertainment: US$15.1 billion[29][30][31] US$20.30 billion €16.02 billion US$12 billion US$110 million Trans Corp: US$207.6 million US$4.81 billion[32] US$4.4 billion US$390 million US$760 million US$1.5 billion (2016)[33] US$3,381 million US$391 million US$204.44 million

See also

References

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