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COMM103: Introduction to Mass Media

Unit 12: Economics of Mass Media   This unit focuses on the inner workings and justifications for mass media, a very important unit since those elements determine the nature of media as much if not more than cultural influences.  Moreover, given how you have seen plentiful evidence of the way media influences culture, you should view this unit and also the next two, which consider the role of ethics and of the government in regulating products and behavior of the media, as critical to your understanding of the power as well as the threats that the mass media can represent.  If you are an American, you may scoff at the idea that the media can be threatening, but if you come from another culture, chances are you recognize that already.  When economics rather than social need control a force that has the power to influence opinion and change behavior, who controls that force, how, and to what end should matter a great deal to you.  As a result, you should work through this unit not only to understand the business models and challenges faced by modern media but also to become more familiar with the sometimes uneasy connection between profit and people that the media also represents.

Unit 12 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 4.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 12.1: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 12.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 12.3: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 12.4: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 12.5: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 12.6: 0.5 hours

Unit12 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Contrast the three basic media business models and identify the business model category or categories of each of the media industries reviewed in the textbook. - Contrast the two ways through which media produce revenue. - Define the term “synergy” and use it in an example involving media relationships and the Internet. - Summarize the purpose and impact of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. - Describe the state of digital communication, Internet access, the information economy, and the digital divide with respect to the cultures and economies of developed and developing countries. - Explain the current and potential future impact on the media of the following issues and recent developments: antitrust legislation, vertical integration, globalization, hegemony, and McDonaldization.

12.1 Characteristics of Media Industries   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 1: Characteristics of Media Industries” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 1: Characteristics of Media Industries” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
12.1.1–12.1.2.  

 Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require
an additional 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.
  • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 03—The Media as Business” Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 03—The Media as Business” (MP4)

    Instructions: Please watch this episode by focusing on how the explanations and examples the program hosts and student guests provide supplement the textbook readings.  In particular, listen for content which relates to the unit outcomes and take notes accordingly, especially when someone uses a specific example to illustrate a point.  Moreover, if you are not as familiar with American media as the textbook assumes you are, you might benefit from listening carefully to the discussions and then writing down the names of media, media personalities, or media products with which you are unfamiliar.  When you’ve finished watching, use the Internet to research any unfamiliar references so that you will be prepared if those references appear in the final exam.

    Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

12.1.1 Raising Revenue   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.1.1.1–12.1.1.8) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.1 of the textbook.  Please focus your attention when reading this material on the similarities and differences in the business models used by the various media.  Why does one model work for some but not for all?

12.1.1.1 Print Media   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.1.2 Newspapers   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.1.3 Magazines   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.1.4 Television and Radio   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.1.5 Music and Film   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.1.6 The Big Four   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.1.7 Consolidation and Ticketing   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.1.8 Film   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.1.

12.1.2 New Media, Old Models   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.1.  Once you have finished reading, consider the importance of original content with respect to how you use media.  Where do you go for original content?  Does the origin of your information matter to you?  Are there times when you think the origin of content should matter?  If yes, how do you think that affects the business models of media which originate content?

12.2 The Internet’s Effects on Media Economies   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 2: The Internet’s Effects on Media Economies” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 13, Section 2: The Internet’s Effects on Media Economies” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
12.2.1–12.2.2.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

12.2.1 Online Synergy: Internet by Google   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.2.  Pay particular attention to the points made about free material online, its relationship to the elements people and companies are willing to pay for, and what currency is used when payment is rendered.

12.2.2 Problems of Digital Delivery   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.2.2.1–12.2.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.2 of the textbook.  After reading this subsection, you should be able to explain and provide examples of why the Internet and other digital delivery platforms can be problematic for some.

12.2.2.1 Google News   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.

12.2.2.2 Music and File Sharing   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.

12.2.2.3 Video Streaming   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.2.

12.3 Digital Divide in a Global Economy   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 3: Digital Divide in a Global Economy” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 13, Section 3: Digital Divide in a Global Economy” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
12.3.1–12.3.2.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

12.3.1 The Informational Shift: Computer Skills and Older Workers   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.3.  To absorb this material more effectively, place yourself into the picture.  Where are you on a continuum of computer skills and age?  Which of the points brought out in the reading apply to you or someone you know?

12.3.2 The Digital Divide Abroad: The Bottom Billion   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.3.  By the time you finish reading this material, you should have a firm grasp of what the digital divide is on a personal, local, national, and international level.  Be prepared to describe similarities and differences in the impact of the divide on different levels.

12.4 Information Economy   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 4: Information Economy” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 13, Section 4: Information Economy” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
12.4.1–12.4.3.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

12.4.1 Regulation of the Information Economy   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.4.1.1–12.4.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.4 of the textbook.  As you are reading this material, try to tie together the successive laws and regulations.  Can you spot the trends and/or identify what is driving the progression?  What level of control do you think we are heading toward: more or less?  How dependent on developments in politics or economics are regulatory and legislative acts in this area?

12.4.1.1 A Brief History of Antitrust Legislation   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

12.4.1.2 Deregulation and the Telecommunications Act of 1996   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

12.4.2 Media Conglomerates and Vertical Integration   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.4.2.1–12.4.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.4 of the textbook.  As you read through this material, see if you can connect the terms “economies of scale” and “switching costs” to some aspects of vertical integration and also whether you can connect the concept of “experience good” to some ethical issues involving vertical integration.

12.4.2.1 Corporate Advantages of Vertical Integration   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

12.4.2.2 Ethical Issues of Vertical Integration   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

12.4.3 The Issues of the Internet   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.4.3.1–12.4.3.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.4 of the textbook.  After you finish reading this subsection, you should be able to identify several examples of business-oriented issues which face companies who use digital technology and/or the Internet for commerce.

12.4.3.1 Digital Downloads and DRM   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

12.4.3.2 Piracy   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.4.

12.5 Globalization of Media: Globalized Culture, Globalized Markets   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 5: Globalization of Media” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 13, Section 5: Globalization of Media” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 12.5.1–12.5.2.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an additional 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

12.5.1 Vertical Integration and Globalization   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.5.  It is introduced by a major or minor subheading in section 13.5 of the textbook.  In this reading, pay particular attention to the concept of a “cultural product” and its relationship to globalization.

12.5.2 Foreign Markets and Titanic   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.5.  Once you finish reading this subsection, try to come up with another product like Titanic, which illustrates the globalization of a cultural product.

12.6 Cultural Imperialism   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 13, Section 6: Cultural Imperialism” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 13, Section 6: Cultural Imperialism” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
12.6.1–12.6.2.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises, end-of-chapter assessment, critical
thinking questions, and career connection associated with this
section may require an additional 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

12.6.1 Cultural Hegemony   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (12.6.1.1–12.6.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.6.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 13.6 of the textbook.  It is very important that you read this material with the goal of gaining a solid understanding of the connection between cultural hegemony and McDonaldization.  What are the dangers the author asserts?  Can you justify them or do you think they are overblown?

12.6.1.1 Spreading American Tastes through McDonaldization   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.6.

12.6.1.2 McDonaldizing Media   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 12.6.

12.6.2 Cultural Imperialism, Resentment, and Terrorism: Freedom, Democracy, and Rock ‘n’ Roll   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 12.6.  Similar to the previous unit, it is important that you use this material to connect the concept of hegemony to criticisms of cultural imperialism.