Friday, 11 December 2015

Essay - Media Ownership

What impact does the media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media areas you have studied?

All media products made will have institutions behind them that synergise in order for the work to get the most recognition and success it potentially deserves. Hyperdermic needle theory is used by the bigger companies, because they have the money behind them in order to control the media and allow making change to the products, initially without letting other institutions know, because they have previous talent and success attached to them and at the end of the day, it is a competition in itself.

The Mega franchise Model is the idea that one company owns every step of its own setup. I.e. Disney owns its production companies like PIXAR, and also the distribution companies like Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. This means that at every step of the chain Disney controls the entire franchise, from the movie itself, to the soundtrack and even figurines. However, these big companies are set on making millions. This means that to get a lot of money out, they have to push a lot of money in. They make mainstream films, usually prequels, sequels or superhero movies. All three of these genres already have large fan bases, meaning the films made in these genres will almost always make money.

An example of one of these ‘Mega franchise model’ production companies could also be ‘Time Warner’, who were in the parent organisation of the production overlooking the blockbuster ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, inevitably achieve a wider range of products; because of the amount of money the company has behind it. The most recent ‘Mad Max’ movie, had a big budget of $150 million and grossed almost $300 million back, which proves that the range of products this film made would be a lot bigger compared to the British low budgeted  film ‘Ex_Machina’, produced by DNA Films and Film 4 productions. ‘Ex_Machina’ only made a global gross of $38 million and although this was a huge profit for the moving picture, (as the budgeting was just $15 million), it still only had a DVD gross of $7 million, which is a very low figure in comparison to the ‘Mad Max’ DVD sales figure of almost $40 million. This means, that obviously ‘Mad Max’, figure wise, achieved more success, because of the size and popularity of the companies working behind it.

Films like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ had the ability to use vertical integration, this is when the production company has the ownership of the means of production, distribution and exhibition of the film by the same company; because of this they receive all of the profit. ‘Time Warner’ is the parent organisation of ‘Warner Bros’, ‘Village Roadshow Pictures’ and ‘Village Roadshow Entertainment’, which were the subsidiary companies of the main media ownership of the film. Other moving pictures that the company have produced have all developed a lot of success, some of these include, ‘Harry Potter’, (which is one of the biggest franchises ever made), ‘The Dark Knight’, and other ‘Batman’ films. Institutions like ‘Time Warner’,  tend the follow the ‘7 steps to create a blockbuster’, which means that each film has an A-list star and the best visual effects companies working on the product etc. the company does everything with the money it has, in order to get the most success.

Low budget British films, like ‘Ex_Machina’ and ‘Kill List’ (also produced by small, independent British companies), have to synergise with other production companies in the industry to enable to make firm connections, enough the find the right amount of money to make and produce the film.  One of the production companies that produced the British film ‘Kill List’ was ‘Warp X’.  Warp Films is an independent film production company based in Sheffield and London. Warp Films is a well-known company in UK but doesn’t get much notice globally, it has produced many successful films in the UK like Four Lions, this film made $41,512 at the opening weekend in the US and £608,608, it also grossed at £2,932,366 (UK Box office) and $4,658,570 (US Box office).  Although Four Lions gross wasn’t as big as ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, it still made a huge profit. Warp film is a much smaller production company, mainly because Warner Bros is has much more power and money because of a higher conglomerate and links with subsidiaries because with other subsidiaries, they are able to use them as advertisement for a product or service, which brings more money input, this allows Warner Bros (Time Warner) to have a more dominant position in the media as it knocks out or knocks out other competition, giving Warner Bros more global success, whereas Warp films would only be popular with Britain and partly America.

Production companies based in America will have the automatic ‘jump’ into success compared with British filmed, purely based in the UK. The whole concept of blockbusters and success came from Hollywood and hit moving pictures made in places in America like New York, LA and California. The films that are produced by institutions like ‘Warner Bros’ will have a pre-judgment filter pasted through them by the mass audience, which links back to the Hyperdermic needle theory, which therefore substitutes the low budgeted movies made by smaller production companies into the band of unsuccessful films.

With new technology and a wider range of product available to the public now, more movies can become successful. For example, apps and games can be distributed to the apple app store and movies can be distributed to ITunes also. With this new marketing routine, movies can produce a lot more money from their distribution in the post-production stage of their journey as a piece of media produce.

The media ownership of a product, like a movie, has a huge impact on the range of products that are available to global and local audiences, because of the fact that money is a big factor to the success of a film. If a possible blockbuster potentially flops in the post-production stages of its journey, like how well it does in cinemas, then a bigger production company wouldn’t feel the loss as much as a smaller and independent company that doesn’t use horizontal integration or links in the production stage.




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