To what extent does media ownership have an impact on the successful distribution of media products in the media area that you are supposed to have studied.
- Media ownership integration etc makes distribution easier. Many companies are owned by the larger companies in the film industry. 86% of the film industry and products originate somewhat from the big 6.
- The big 6 are the most influential companies in the media industry. They are the 6 biggest companies in the world.
- The 6 biggest companies are integrated horizontally and vertically. Disney owns many different sub-companies, which feature the vertical integration system. They also operate in the horizontal integration.
The Big 6
- Big 6 companies.
- Different, smaller companies.
- Easier to distribute.
- Tentpole releases vs standard releases.
- Lucasfilm & Disney – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Tentpole release by Disney. 306$ million budget.
- Generated 163.6$ million in revenue (in the UK).
- Generated 2$ billion worldwide.
- Lucasfilm is owned by Disney – worth 169$ billion
- The film was distributed by Walt Disney Studios – vertical integration.
- Film 4 Productions – A Field in England
- Budget of £316,879. £112,000 for P&A.
- Theatrically screened in 17 cinemas on 5th July.
- Theatrical distributor was Picturehouse cinemas.
- Also screened non-theatrically via the Film 4 TV channel.
- The Film 4 TV channel is owned by Channel Four TV corp.
- Film 4 Productions is owned by Channel Four TV corp.
Media ownership is, in today’s world, a large thing. Large players in the media industry are conglomerates of larger organizations, known as The Big 6. These big 6 integrate with all different types of media, especially the film industry. The big 6 are the most influential media companies in the world, with up to 86% of the film industry originating from some stage of their integration. The big 6 utilise horizontal and vertical integration methods, which allow them to operate easier, and for their processes to flow smoother.
The big 6.
The big 6 is made up of large companies such as Time Warner, GE, News-corp, Viacom, Disney and CBS. These companies work by the use of lots of smaller companies. Disney operates Pixar, Miramax, Marvel Studios and many more, which allow them to produce a large amount of content. The big 6 also operate with their own distribution and production assets, which are also usually integrated vertically into the conglomeration.
For these big 6, many different productions are produced yearly, with some even coming out every few months. These big six companies work with both tentpole releases and standard releases; those releases that are a large proportion of the total income, and those that are not. Usually, tentpole releases are stuffed with large operating budgets, and large prints and advertising budgets. The smaller standard releases, are usually smaller gambles, which have a substantially smaller budget.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Disney, one of the big 6 produced Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film was also produced by Lucasfilms. It was one of Disney’s Tentpole releases, with a budget of £236,787,126 million. In the UK alone, the film generated $+ million in revenue, although worldwide it generated in excess of $2 billion. The film was distributed by Walt Disney Studios, a vertical-integrated conglomerate of Disney. Similarly, the second producing company, Lucasfilm, is also owned by Disney. The film was another addition to the series of films, which were all produced by Lucasfilm, and rights also owned by them. This produced a great advantage for Disney over other companies – they had lots of previous experience distributing the same film.
A Field in England
Film 4 Productions created the smaller film A Field in England. Like Disney, Film 4 are part of a larger network, with experience in distributing smaller films and less-popular content. This film had a budget of £316,879 and a P&A spend of £112,000. The film theatrically screened in 17 cinemas on the 5th July. The film was also non-theatrically screened via the use of the Film 4 television channel. Film 4 Productions is owned by the Channel Four TV corporation, along with the Film 4 TV channel. In terms of distribution, this gave the film a large head-start. The film reached 367,000 viewers from the TV broadcast alone. The cinema screenings brought at least 8,000 views, which in comparison is a tiny amount – 2.1%. Without this broadcast, a much smaller pool of viewers would have actually seen the film.
Smaller companies can also be successful in film-distribution. One such example is Ping Pong, a film produced by Banyak Films and Britdoc in synergy. The two companies worked together to produce the film, and Britdoc acted as a distributor for the film. The two companies split the revenue of the film, proportionate to the amount of money spent on the film. Initially, Banyak Films was to receive 25% of the revenue, and Britdoc 75%, until their production costs had been gained back. After that, the revenue was to be split at 50% each way. This is a perfect example of how media ownership impacts the production and distribution of films, and also represents how smaller film-companies are stretched to independently produce quality films. The synergy that the two companies entered here was used as to ensure that a failure in the film’s exhibition was not to collapse either company.
Altogether, the partnerships and integration between large and small companies is a massive hurdle for film-producers. For smaller producers, films would act as a gamble on the business’ success, if the film unfortunately failed. For larger companies, such as Disney, although the company would not collapse, they would lose out on a substantial profit for their film, and would also be forced to spend more, as they are working outside of their own corporate empire.