G322 Media: Global Insitutions

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Question: “Global institutions dominate media productions, these institutions sell their products and services to a global audience”. How far do you agree with this statement?

I have been studying the current state of the music industry, predominantly looking at the independent music label ‘Warp’ but also comparing and contrasting its methods and successes with the major four record labels: Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner Music Group.

I think it would be foolish to argue against this statement; from my examination of the music industry I have discovered that the major four record labels control just under 75% of the music industry between them, leaving little room for independent label such as Warp to compete against them. These four labels have the oligopoly when it comes to production, promotion and sales of the music industry, their profit margins are huge and this allows them to invest heavily back into the industry - this also allows them to market their ‘biggest’ artists globally, whereas independent companies like Warp predominantly promote their artist nationally.

However, just because I agree that a global giant like Sony does sell its products and services to a global audience does not mean that small independent companies cannot reach a global audience - they just cannot compete on the same scale.

Sony is an example of both a horizontally and vertically integrated company; it is horizontally integrated because it owns companies that are responsible for the many processes that a record goes through from the production stages, the distribution of the record and the exhibition platforms needed for consumption. Sony can also be described as a vertically integrated company because.... But being such a large conglomerate, and having so many finger in so many pies allows Sony to make vast amounts of money - and by using their own subsidiary or sister companies allows them to save money and push out smaller companies competing in the same...
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