Media ConglomeratesA media conglomerate is a very large, usually multinational corporation that owns a large part ofthe mass media market. These corporations usually have holdings in the news media, as well asmovies, music, book publishing, newspapers, websites, television and concerts. Media conglomeratesare sometimes, but not always, owned by even larger, more generalized conglomerates, which deal inentertainment as well as other ventures.Concentration of media Ownership:Concentration of media ownership refers to the relative proportion between two quantities: first,the numbers of people or parties who own, control, or influence a given medium; and second, thenumbers of people or parties who are exposed to, affected by, or influenced by, that medium. Thistopic is of particular importance as it relates to the sociological study of how peoples beliefs are formed,and how peoples actions are then based on those beliefs. This topic is also important as it relates to thestudy of editorial independence, media bias, and freedom of the press.Concentration of media ownership (also known as media consolidation) also refers to the viewthat the majority of the major media outlets are owned by a proportionately small number ofconglomerates and corporations. In that sense, the term "media consolidation" is used especially bythose who view such consolidation as sociologically detrimental, dangerous, or problematic. This termmay refer to states of oligopoly or monopoly in a given media industry, or to the sociological significanceof the proportionately low number of "mass media", or "mainstream media" media conglomerates.Debate on the topic:Mass media critics often say that the content of the news industry is slanted towards corporate interests.Some see the corporate media as being biased. There have also been accusations of corporatecensorship and whitewashing. Furthermore, media conglomerates are also accused of favoring flashy"infotainment" over relevant news stories.There are also some concerns that the concentration of media ownership into the hands of a few largecorporations causes all mass media to be standardized, presenting the same limited cultural paradigm toevery society in the world. Some say that this is responsible for the homogenization of worldwide cultures,and the introduction of Western consumerism into societies that are unable to support a Western lifestyle.Those who own and work for media conglomerates, however, make a point of emphasizing the objectivityof their news industry holdings. They deny claims of top-down bias in the news. It is also noted that thereare so many media organizations around the world that it is impossible for a few corporations to have anyactual control over the worldwide media.In defense against claims of cultural standardization and heavy commercialism, they say it would be adisservice to not provide customers around the world with desired information and products. Theresponsibility of a conglomerate is to supply goods to meet demand around the world.A list of the largest media conglomerates of the world is as follows: General Electric (United States) Viacom (United States)
Walt Disney Company (United States) Sony (Japan) News Corp (United States) Time Warner (United States) Hearst Corporation (United States) AT&T (United States) Bertelsmann AG (Germany) Liberty Media (United States) Vivendi Universal (France)A brief description of some major media conglomerates of the world is as follows:General Electric:General Electric media-related holdings include television networks NBC and Telemundo, UniversalPictures, Focus Features, 26 television stations in the United States and cable networks MSNBC, Bravoand the Sci Fi Channel. GE also owns 80 percent of NBC Universal. It earned revenue of $157 billion in2009.Walt Disney:The Walt Disney Company owns the ABC Television Network, cable networks including ESPN, theDisney Channel, SOAPnet, A&E and Lifetime, 277 radio stations, music and book publishingcompanies, production companies Touchstone, Miramax and Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar AnimationStudios, the cellular service Disney Mobile, and theme parks around the world. It earned revenue of$36.1 billion in 2009.News Corporation:News Corporation’s media holdings include: the Fox Broadcasting Company; television and cablenetworks such as Fox, Fox Business Channel, National Geographic and FX; print publications includingthe Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and TVGuide; the magazines Barron’s and SmartMoney;book publisher HarperCollins; film production companies 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Picturesand Blue Sky Studios; numerous websites including MarketWatch.com; and non-media holdingsincluding the National Rugby League. It earned revenue of $30.4 billion in 2009.Time Warner:Time Warner is the largest media conglomerate in the world, with holdings including: CNN, the CW (ajoint venture with CBS), HBO, Cinemax, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, America Online, MapQuest,Moviefone, Warner Bros. Pictures, Castle Rock and New Line Cinema, and more than 150 magazinesincluding Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Marie Claire and People. It earned revenue of $25.8 billion in2009.Via Com:
Viacom holdings include: MTV, Nickelodeon/Nick-at-Nite, VH1, BET, Comedy Central, ParamountPictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, Atom Entertainment, and music game developer Harmonix.Viacom 18 is a joint venture with the Indian media company Global Broadcast news. It earned revenueof $13.6 billion in 2009.CBS Corporation:CBS Corporation owns the CBS Television Network, CBS Television Distribution Group, the CW (a jointventure with Time Warner), Showtime, book publisher Simon & Schuster, 30 television stations, andCBS Radio, Inc, which has 130 stations. CBS is now the leading supplier of video to Google’s newVideo Marketplace. It earned revenue of $13 billion in 2009.Bertelsmann AGBertelsmann AG is a transnational media corporation founded in 1835, based in Gutersloh, Germany.The company operates in 63 countries and employs 102,983 workers (as of December 31, 2009), whichmakes it the most international media corporation in the world. In 2009 the company reported €15.354billion revenue and an operating EBIT of €1.424 billion. Among its some 500 subdivisions, subsidiaries,and branches are Random House, RTL Group, Gruner + Jahr, Arvato and Direct Group.Sony CorporationSony Corporation or commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomeratecorporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the worlds fifth largest media conglomerate withrevenue exceeding ¥ 7.730.0 trillion, or $77.20 billion U.S. (FY2010). Sony is one of the leadingmanufacturers of electronics, video, communications, video game consoles, and information technologyproducts for the consumer and professional markets.Vivendi SAVivendi SA (formerly known as Vivendi Universal) is a French international media conglomerate withactivities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet, and video games. It isheadquartered in Paris.Liberty media:The Liberty Media Corporation (commonly referred to as Liberty Media & Liberty) is an American mediaconglomerate and the control is exercised by company Chairman John C. Malone, with a majority of thevoting shares. Liberty Media operates three divisions: Liberty Capital (NASDAQ: LCAPA,NASDAQ: LCAPB), Liberty Starz (NASDAQ: LSTZA, NASDAQ: LSTZB), and Liberty Interactive Group(NASDAQ: LINTA, NASDAQ: LINTB). The tracking stock of each division of Liberty Media trades on theNASDAQ stock exchange.Hearst CorporationHearst Corporation is a privately-held American-based media conglomerate based in the Hearst Tower inNew York City, USA. Founded by William Randolph Hearst as an owner of newspapers, the companysholdings now include a wide variety of media. The Hearst family is involved in the ownership andmanagement of the company.