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A media conglomerate, media group, or media institution is a company that owns numerous companies in various mass media; i.e. television, radio, publishing, motion picture, theme park and the Internet. According to the magazine Nation, "Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world."
As of 2007, it has been questioned whether media companies actually are unrelated. The practice of conglomeration has been used for the sharing of various kinds of content such as news, video and music. The media sector's tendency to consolidate causes formerly diversified companies to appear less diverse as a result. Therefore, the term media group may also be applied, however, it has not so far replaced the more traditional term.
According to the 2015 Forbes Global 2000 list, The Walt Disney Company is America's largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, with Time Warner, Comcast, 21st Century Fox, CBS Corporation, and Viacom (the latter two conglomerates are controlled by National Amusements through supervoting shares) comprising the "Big Six".
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also have large amounts of media concentration, like the United States. This concentration issue is an ongoing concern for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Australian Communications and Media Authority and New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Critics have accused the larger conglomerates of dominating media and using unfair practices. This can be seen through the news industry, by corporations refusing to publicize or deeming "newsworthy" information that would be harmful to their interests and contributing to the merging of entertainment and news (sensationalism) at the expense of the coverage of serious issues. They are also accused of being a leading force for the standardization of culture (see globalization, Americanization), and are a frequent target of criticism by various groups, which often perceive the news organizations as being biased toward special interests.
There is also the issue of concentration of media ownership, reducing diversity in both ownership and programming (TV shows and radio shows). There is also a strong trend in the United States for conglomerates to eliminate localism in broadcasting, and instead, use broadcast automation and voice-tracking, sometimes from another city in another state. Some radio stations use prepackaged and generic satellite-fed programming with no local content, except the insertion of radio ads.
- Conglomerate (company)
- Concentration of media ownership
- Media imperialism
- Media proprietor
- Multinational corporation
- Lists of corporate assets
- Moglen, Eben, Michael Pertschuck, and Scott Sherman, (1999). "Editorials" (Nation, 269: 18). p. 12. ISSN 0027-8378
- "A distinction between Business Groups and Conglomerates:The Limited Liability Effect". SSRN Electronic Journal 01/2009; DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.134299. 2009-01-01. Archived from the original on 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
- "The World's Largest Media Companies Of 2015 - Forbes". Forbes. 2015-05-22. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2016-01-28.