Companies in this industry produce, process, or distribute information and entertainment content. US-based media conglomerates include AT&T (owner of Time Warner), Comcast (owner of NBCUniversal), Disney, CBS Corp, and Viacom, all of which have a global sphere of influence. Major companies based outside the US include Germany's Bertelsmann and ProSiebenSat.1 Media.
Globally, the media industry generates about $4 trillion in annual revenue. The Asia/Pacific region accounts for the largest share of spending on media, followed by North America and Western Europe, according to McKinsey & Company. Looking ahead, the strongest revenue growth is expected to come from Asia/Pacific and Latin American markets, where growing middle-class populations are spending more on media consumption.
The US media industry includes about 146,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of more than $1.5 trillion. Software publishing and telecommunications services, which are included in this industry, are covered further in separate industry profiles.
Massive media conglomerates dominate the global content production and distribution industry. The ability to compete successfully depends on the capacity to provide high-quality popular content, adapt to and exploit technological developments, respond to changes in consumer behavior, and achieve widespread distribution.
The explosion of digital content provided by companies such as Facebook and Netflix challenges traditional content providers to keep up. Meanwhile, the proliferation of mobile devices and widespread availability of mobile broadband technology is allowing more audiences across the globe to consume media content. Revenue from digital and mobile advertising continues to grow at the expense of traditional print and broadcast advertising.
Activities within the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector may compete with media providers for consumer dollars and leisure time. Such industries include live performances and sporting events, gaming, fitness centers and golf courses, amusement parks and arcades, and museum and gallery admissions. Some media conglomerates, such as Disney, also operate within the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector.
High-Quality Content - The ability to compete successfully depends on the capacity to provide high-quality popular content. Content production often involves both substantial costs and significant risks, due to the unpredictable nature of consumer preferences.
Advanced Technology - Media companies need to reach audiences that are increasingly abandoning traditional media in favor of digital and mobile content. Companies benefit from being quick to provide the fastest, most modern delivery networks.
Companies to Watch:
Comcast is the biggest pay TV provider in the US, earning the bulk of its revenue from its cable services and broadband internet services. The company also has a hand in content and entertainment through its NBCUniversal studio, which includes the NBC TV network, movie maker Universal Studios, and the Universal theme parks.
Netflix has emerged as a major digital distributor of film and video content, giving traditional TV and movie studios a run for their money. The company has expanded to create original content, and it already outspends rivals, including HBO, CBS, Hulu, Apple, and Amazon Prime, to produce some of the most acclaimed original scripted series on streaming, cable, or broadcast TV.
Walt Disney is the world's largest media conglomerate, with assets encompassing movies, television, publishing, and theme parks. Major assets include the ABC and ESPN TV and cable networks, as well as the Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar movie labels.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major revenue sources are telecommunications services (about 45% of total); traditional publishing, including books, newspapers, magazines, and software
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms