CMNS 230 Chapter Notes -Oligopoly, Non-Commercial Educational, Low-Power Broadcasting
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Media Industry Mandates
Havens & Lotz, 2012, p. 27-45
•Clash among users, commercial providers, and city governments over
municipal broadband demonstrates the challenge of determining the
mandate for any particular media industry, as well as the different outcomes
that each mandate encourages
•Public mandates: effective at serving public needs, particularly those
unrelated to business activities and consumption, cost money and need to be
supported by individual or corporate taxes (controversial),
•Commercial mandates: do not require tax money, serve certain needs
(businesses and affluent individuals/groups) particularly well
•mandates shape the operation of media industries: whether and how
segments of the public are served, what kind of content is produced, how the
industry is organized (monopoly, oligopoly, competitive), the role the industry
plays in business and civic life
•the mandate encompasses the purpose of the media industry
•mandates are flexible (e.g. radio started as point-to-point medium and
developed into mass medium -> mandate changed)
•mandates are unnatural (e.g. US and UK dealt differently with radio situation)
•media outlets can have multiple mandates, although one is typically primary
•each mandate is merely a characteristic type
•certain media industries (particularly broadcasting) are more influenced by
mandates than others (-> most noncommercial mandates ar broadcast
WHAT ARE COMMON MANDATES?
1. Who pays for media?
2. Whom does it serve?
3. What determines “success"?
•Who pays for it?
Advertising: consumers pay inflated prices for goods to cover
Blend of advertising and payment (e.g. newspapers, magazines)
Payment only (e.g. movie tickets, albums/songs, print/television
media w/o advertising)
Monthly fees for services (e.g. mobile phone, internet)
•Whom does it serve?
oThose most likely to make them most profitable
oDual product markets: two layers of sales; company sells
content/products to the consumer, and sells the audience gathered to
advertisers; designed to reach a particular demographic because
advertisers desire certain types of consumers
•What determines success?
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