What is the Media Industry?

May 16, 2007

„Media companies produce and distribute products to consumers in order to generate revenues and
ultimately profits …”
(Albarran, A. B. (1996): Media economics: understanding markets, industries and
concepts, Ames: Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA., S. 13.)

To get a fast overview of the media industry you will first search for a good definition of media industry? Should be easy, right? Well, I tried… wasn`t easy to find good stuff.

Actually there are very different opinions out there and I couldn`t find a really good definition yet.

I will have a closer look on that in the next days.

An important question for my research is on which segments of the media industry i will have a look at.
Of course there a lot of differentiations.

Bernd Wirtz for example differs between electronic and not electronic segments and defines the media industry like that:


But here for example what means internet market?
The online channel is already in nearly every segment of the industry very important.

So perhaps it makes more sense to differentiate the distribution platforms and the “content categories”.

In a study for the European Commission the authors made it that way:

It mentions here just the digital distribution platforms, but I think the basic concept / idea makes fun.

Conultants make their definition of the media industry often more in a client orientated way, like PriceWaterhouse Coopers who monitors the media and entertainment industry. Which means they look at things like out of home advertising as well as themeparks:

• Filmed entertainment
• TV networks: Broadcast and cable
• TV distribution
• Recorded music
• Radio and out-of-home advertising
• Internet advertising and access spending
• Video games
• Business information
• Magazine publishing
• Newspaper publishing
• Book publishing
• Theme parks and amusement parks
• Casino and other regulated gaming
• Sports

Anyway I have to figure that out in the next weeks.
At the moment for me the best solution is to differentiate the media industry in a content focused way and not distribution focused way (e.g. to have s.th. like a internet market segment).

I will focus on this categories of content:
– TV (progr)
– Music
– Film
– Radio
– Games
– Publishing
– …

The list is not finished yet. What about social networks? Facebook, MySpace? Don’t know yet.

At each media segment I will differentiate the distribution platforms in analog and digital platforms.
Of course I will focus on the digital ones. Analog platforms I will just analyse to see what happens there after the digital wave.

What do you think?
Still searching for some international literature…. do you have any recommendations?


One Response to “What is the Media Industry?”

  1. Norman Says:

    Hello there,

    I am writing an industry report on the magazine publishing industry in the U.K do you have any idea where I can find a Msc thesis or dissertation?

    Thanks in advance.


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