Structure and Ownership Research Sheet

What are the main Media Sectors?

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Interactive Media
  • Computer Games
  • Films
  • Advertising

What is private ownership?

In media terms, private ownership is when the media sector is funded by advertising. This can include commercial breaks and also product placement in a show, for example a bottle of Coca Cola in Eastenders. An example of a channel that uses this is ITV. Companies will pay to have their adverts or products placements shown and that money goes towards funding for a media service such as a TV show.

What is public service?

Public service in media terms means that the public pay for the service through a fee. They are known as PSB’s (Public Service Broadcasting), for example the BBC. Every household that owns a television will pay an annual fee which goes towards funding PSB shows, and because it is paid for by the public there are no advert breaks.

What are multinationals?

Multinationals are companies/organisations/brands that operate in more than one country – for example, Disney is a worldwide company.

What are conglomerates?

Conglomerates are companies that are parent companies that own other smaller ones. They own more than one brand, for example 20th Century Fox, which owns small companies such as National Geographic.

What is Cross Media Ownership?

Cross Media Ownership is when a media company owns other media companies across more than one media sector. This company could own companies that are related to broadcast and cable television, film, radio, newspaper, magazine, book publishing, music, video games, and various online entities. For example, Time Warner are a cross media owning company.

What media is owned by Time Warner?

Time Warner is the world’s third largest entertainment industry, after Comcast and Walt Disney Studios. It is a cross media owning conglomerate, that owns media such as:

  • Warner Bros. music group
  • New Line Cinema
  • HBO
  • CNN
  • TIME magazine
  • DC Comics
  • CW Television Network
  • Warner Books
  • Warner Cable

Research a Media Sector

Gaming Sector

How many people are employed by this sector in the UK?

Around 20,000 people are employed in the video gaming industry in the UK.

Describe TWO or THREE of the more ‘typical’ jobs available in this industry

  • Animator – responsible for visuals and the animated portrayal of figures and features in the game, such as characters and the scene. They are the people who give life to the features of the game and are in charge of behaviour and movement.
  • Audio Engineer – responsible for creating the soundtrack and audio for the game, including music, sound effects to support the game action (such as gunshots or explosions), character voices and other expressions, spoken instructions, and ambient effects, such as crowd noise, vehicles or rain. They edit and mix it, and this can be as little as one or two people working long hours or a larger department.
  • Game Programmer – these are the people that are responsible for coding and fixing bugs, and develop customised tools for the game. Programming for a game takes a whole team of people, sometimes for just one part of the game.

Who are the ‘major companies’ in this sector in the UK?

In the UK, there are little to no major gaming companies founded, however there are gaming companies based in the UK, such as Ubisoft and Activision.

What do you think are the major challenges facing this sector today

I think one of the major challenges facing the gaming industry is demand. The demand for both new and engaging games are high, with over 30 million gamers based in the UK alone. Consumers of the gaming industry are always looking for new and exciting games to play so the gaming industry is constantly on the rise in terms of demand. Players also want games that are original and easy enough to play but also complex enough to not be boring so the gaming market is in high demand and the market is specific.

Another challenge facing the industry is the split between big gaming companies and smaller ones. The games developing industry is split into two halves – the big major companies, and the smaller indie developing companies. The major companies overtake the smaller ones because of their large popularity so its harder for smaller developers to be heard and gain anything from the games they produce. The Apple App store is constantly on the wait for bigger companies to release games, so they focus on promoting them rather than the smaller indie games. This is a challenge because it means that some games are harder to find for consumers.

Another challenge is production, development and marketing costs. Although creative game software is more easily accessible nowadays, the cost for making and selling games is increasing which is a challenge for budgeting and smaller companies with big ideas. Game technicalities such as CGI and animation with lots of tools is expensive so finding the money to fund these games is a challenge, so gaming companies need to market well in order to gain revenue to make more games.

What do you think are the prospects for this sector in the future?

The prospects for the future of the gaming sector is good. With more and more advancement in technology and relevance in gaming, the revenue and market for gaming should continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. Figures show that globally, the revenue for the gaming industry is said to grow by 4.8% between 2015 and 2020. The global revenue should increase during this time from $71.3 billion in 2015 to $90.1 billion in 2020. With more and more advancement in technology the prospects for gaming possibilities should grow and more features should become available.




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