The Characteristics of Media Goods and the Media Economics Structure

Topics: Economics, Mass media, Advertising Pages: 6 (1537 words) Published: January 24, 2011
The Characteristics of Media Goods and the Media Economics Structure


Media is, to a large extent, a complex industry covering comprehensive areas, ranging from business operation to creative ideas. However, at a fundamental level, the study of media economics mainly focuses on the main players of the industry: companies, consumers as well as the environment. That is to say, the media economy can help us analyze and understand the relations among the producers, viewers, advertisers, government and community. This essay will be divided into three aspects: characteristics of media goods, characteristics of media market and the structure of media industry.

Characteristics of media goods

According to Doyle (2002), Media goods are also known as the cultural products. Media goods have the non-material essence that the value of media products is not a one-time use. When the media and cultural products are bought and sold, the value of the products is the content that is immaterial and will not be consumed. For example, when a DVD is purchased as an object, the demand of consumer is the music or film that is a non-material signal conveyed by material. Doyle (2002) also claimed that media good could also be considered as the public goods because the content of media products will not be consumed and reduced. The same content will be provided over and over again to other consumers. These kinds of media products do not meet the scarcity of media theory (Doyle, 2002).

On the other hand, personally speaking, some products meet the scarcity of media theory. According to Picard (2005), there are two main types of media products and services based on the media content creation that are single creation products and continuous creation products. Single creation products are always one-off distinctively designed content and the creativeness is the core value of them. If the consumption of media products to consumers is a single creation products, the consumer generally does not require re-exchange once the meaning has been transferred. The more the media product is sold, the more the audience will understand the content of goods so that its novelty will be reduced. Stimulating and fresh elements of these sales will be reduced as well, and then the audience will be gradually bored and not willing to buy such media goods. Once the media goods that the main content targets at the dissemination of information, such as daily news, weather broadcast, etc., have been sold, they will lose the initial consumption of originality. This is also reflected in short-lived nature of media products. It could be seen like fresh flowers which is a value-losing products in themselves because the freshness only last in a very short period of time. It will directly result in product sales crisis so that media companies have to sell products within the possibly shortest time and realize the maximal value of them.

Characteristics of media market

1. Media market is a dual market that “media firms often sell their wares simultaneously in two separate and distinct sorts of markets” (Doyle, 2002, p11). There are two types of commodities that produced by media companies. The first one is the content, for example the articles in newspapers or the programs of TV channels. The other one is the audience. The media companies attract audiences through the content, and then sell the audiences to the advertisers in order to gain profit. Therefore, the audience is the lifeblood of the media industry. Another point was claimed by Doyle (2002) is that advertising revenue is the primary source of income of the media industry so that the media industry is closely linked with the macroeconomics. Ups and downs of the overall economic situation have a crucial impact on the media industry.

2. According to Doyle (2002), the main commercial motivation of a company is the pursuit of profit maximization. But many media companies are multi-purposed,...
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