Media Economics and
Campbell, R., et al. (2011). Media
Essentials: A Brief Introduction.
Aitza M. Haddad Nunez, J.D., LL.M.
Introduction to Mass Communication
Analyzing the Media Economy
• What role government should play in regulating media
• Should citizens step up demands for more accountability
• Is American culture, expressed through our mass media,
hurting other cultures?
• Is concentration of ownership in the media damaging
How Media Industries are Structured
– A single firm dominates production and distribution in a
– Few firms dominate an industry.
• Limited Competition
– Media market with many producers and sellers but only a few
products within a particular category.
How Media Companies Operate
• Making Money
– Direct payments – buying the product
– Indirect payments – advertisements
• Formulating Business Strategies
– Performance criteria
• Internet changed the game
– Pressure for online presence
– Less prohibitions
– Lost of revenue
The Transition to an Information
• Mid 20th century shift from manufacturing-based
economy to an economy fueled by information
• Early regulation gave way to deregulation
– Creation of media powerhouses
– New trends in the industry shaped a new local and global
– Broadcasting is no longer a scarce resource
Business Trends in Media Industries
• Today, regulation of the industry is even looser.
– Sovereignty powers limits nation’s ability of imposing
• Growth of flexible market
• Decline of labor unions
• Downsizing and growing wage gap
• The age of Hegemony
– Importance of selling an idea as “natural” and of “common
Specialization and Global Markets
• NAFTA AND WTO
– Global spread of media products and cultural
messages through transnational media corporations
and business deals across national borders.
• Specialization of companies
– Synergies – Disney
» Growth of global audiences
Social Issues in Media Economics
• Media Effects
– Limits on antitrust laws
– The building of monopolies and oligopolies through
– The silence
• Free markets ≠ Democracy
• Consumer choice v. Consumer control
• Cultural Imperialism
The Media Marketplace in a Democratic
“Democracy suffers when news coverage is determined by
fewer decision makers and when media powerhouses
increadingly shape the regulatory environmemnt.
Grassroots organizations and the Internet have enabled
media redorms groups to form globalyy, suggesting that
consumers might be willing to look more closely at the
media marketplace’s impact on our lives” (p.415).