Commercial Media Companies You Need To Know
The power of the press cannot be overstated. From the day that the first printing press published a noteworthy article, people were hooked. Here was something that they could look at to distract them from their daily toils. There was a reason for people to learn how to read, share their opinions, and entertain the entire world.
Fast-forward a few hundred years, and the age of the camera is taking over. Now, in addition to the printed word, photographs can show a New Yorker what life looks like in the middle of Hong Kong, China. A few decades later, and the world’s first television was created. Now, anybody who could afford a television had access to an endless stream of entertainment, news, entertainment, sports, and more. Also what else is crazy even a little bit further than a few decades e-learning software came to be which is electronic learning, who would have thought.
The companies that control commercial media as we know it are massive production and distribution empires that have been formed over the course of decades. They control what we watch, what time we watch it, who gets to watch it, and how many times we get to watch it. The amount of power that they have over the country is simply incredible if you think about it.
The Biggest Commercial Media Companies That You Need To Know About
Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at some of the world’s largest commercial media companies, their rise to power, and how they impact the world today. You’ve probably heard of most of these companies before. You get their advertisement sheets in the mail, see their commercials, watch their television channels, and talk to their representatives at your front door.
It’s hard not to notice them. However, what people don’t realize is just how large these companies are, and how much power they have over the media. It’s a fascinating topic, and some of the companies might surprise you.
In 1963, Comcast was founded by Ralph J. Roberts and a couple of his close business partners under the name of American Cable Systems. Roberts served as the CEO for 46 years and remained on the board of directors until his death at age 95 in June of 2015. In an effort to further establish their brand, they renamed their company to “Comcast,” which was a combination of the words Communication and Broadcast.
Today, they are the largest commercial media company in the world. Their cable tv, phone, and wireless internet networks are the most-used in the country. They also own the channel NBC (ever notice a similarity between the Comcast logo and NBC’s?), which means that they control a great deal of the sports and news that you watch on your TV every night.
The Story of Walt Disney is the definition of the American dream. It was founded by artist and creative genius Walter Elias Disney. He started Disney Brothers Studio with his brother in the early 1920’s and the company exploded with the creation of the original Mickey Mouse in 1928.
Fast-forward to 1955, and Disney had grown so much that they opened a theme park; the world’s first Disneyland.
Today Disney Studios is one of the largest producers of film, television, and entertainment in the world. Walt Disney currently rakes in an average of $55 billion a year. With each passing year, they acquire more film studios and push every limit possible when it comes to being the biggest name in home entertainment.
Twenty-First Century Fox
Twenty-First Century Fox is a name that few of us ever forget. The first time we went to see films like Star Wars or Indiana Jones, we heard the drum roll, the trumpets, saw the spotlights, and the giant golden Twenty-First Century Fox statue. Aside from movies, Fox produces news, sports, and just about every other form of entertainment that you consume.
Currently, Disney and Comcast are in a corporate battle to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox and are offering upwards of $65 billion. This could be a huge move for either company and would allow them to take profits to the next level. Although the company was founded in 1979, they have grown exponentially in the past three decades, and sustain a gross revenue of $28.5 billion.
Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable television provider in the United States. Four years ago, Comcast tried to buy them out, but the government prevented the merger for fear that it would create a monopoly.
In May of 2016, Time Warner was purchased by Charter Communications for $78.7 billion and is gradually being changed to operate under the name of Spectrum to disassociate customers from the former brand name. The company was founded in 1992 when Time Inc. merged with American Television and Communications Corp.
CBS is one of the oldest broadcasting and commercial media companies in America. They first launched as a radio company in 1927, and as soon as television began to take hold of America, they opened their first TV studio in 1941. CBS has had a long list of powerful CEOs who have led the company through turmoil and given it unprecedented expansion and growth. CBS produced a great deal of the news and nightly entertainment that you watch on TV and their annual revenue was almost $14 billion last year.
Although BBC is primarily a British company, they have dug their roots into America as well. It was founded in 1922 as a radio broadcast company that helped to unite the war-torn nation of Great Britain. As commercial media has evolved to television, they have been on the forefront of development, creating a whole host of memorable TV shows, broadcasting news and sports, and controlling a huge portion of British television.
Viacom is a huge name in TV entertainment. Their roots began in the early 1970s where they distributed some of the most popular television series with CBS. Arguably, one of the most popular of these was the Cosby Show. They own companies like BET, Nickelodeon, MTV, and Paramount Pictures. What’s most impressive about Viacom is the sheer reach that they have. They currently run 170 networks which reach 700 million people in over 150 different countries.
If there is one thing to be learned after reading about these massive commercial media companies, it’s that they weren’t afraid of change. Almost all of the companies on this list had humble beginnings and were willing to take a risk by betting on the expansion of television (which people had little faith in during its early days).
These bets clearly played out in their favor, however, and now these companies are clearing billions of dollars every year. It’s also a lesson on the importance of controlling the media. These companies control a large portion of your entertainment and your news. Through their efforts, they have become industry giants that will continue into the future.
A final lesson is not to be afraid of mergers. To get to their current positions, many of these companies had to merge with larger companies, sell their services to competitors, and be willing to do things that they didn’t want to in pursuit of a higher goal. These are all important business lessons that even a start-up entrepreneur can glean some knowledge from.