Structure and Ownership in the Media Industries

Industry Research

The Media industry is comprised of Film, Radio, TV, Video Games, Advertising and new media(Internet).

Video Games                                                                                                                                                                   Beginning with the video game industry, video games are one the fastest growing media industries in the world making enough money to rival the motion picture industry.

The working bodies in the games industry are Publishers and Developers, with Publishers holding the majority of the influence in the video games industry. Developers are the people who conduct the process of creating the games and Publishers produce and distribute them. Publishers can sign a Developer to a contract for a certain number of games or buy them out entirely.

Video game hardware can be split into four categories: PC, Home console, Handheld console and Mobile devices; with Home and Handheld consoles being the most widely used although PC games maintain a very large user-base and in recent times Mobile devices have increased in popularity.

Consoles are owned by a Publisher and other Publishers will need to pay royalties in order to develop and release software on that platform. PC games require the computer to support the necessary technical specifications but don’t pay royalties because the PC isn’t owned by any one company. Mobile phone games are similar to PC games in that they don’t pay royalties, Mobile phone games are only available from online stores and again like the PC the phone must be powerful enough to support it.


Company History

Nintendo was originally founded in 1889 as a Hanafuda (Flower) playing card company in Kyoto. In 1902 the company produced western style playing intended for export but ended up being popular in Japan as well as the rest of the world. In 1959 the company started to release playing cards with Walt Disney characters on them which resulted in a business boom.

In 1963 the Company’s name officially became Nintendo Co, Ltd and started producing Games as well as cards. 1970 saw Nintendo introduce electronic technology to the japanese toy industry. In 1979 Nintendo opens Nintendo of America in New York city which started an operations division for coin-operated games.

In 1981 Nintendo makes Donkey Kong for the Arcades and becomes the “hottest selling individual coin – operated machine in the business”. 1984 was the year Nintendo releases the Famicom in Japan later renamed the Nintendo Entertainment System for its worldwide release, the NES reaches European shores in 1986.


“At Nintendo we are proud to be working for the leading company in our industry. We are strongly committed to producing and marketing the best products and support services available. We believe it is essential not only to provide products of the highest quality, but to treat every customer with attention, consideration and respect. By listening closely to our customers, we constantly improve our products and services.

We feel an equal commitment toward our employees. We want to maintain an atmosphere in which talented individuals can work together as a team. Commitment and enthusiasm are crucial to the high quality of our products and support services. We believe in treating our employees with the same consideration and respect that we, as a company, show our customers.” Nintendo of America’s mission statement from


171 billion Yen as of 2011.

Nintendo is a Public corporation which means have Stocks and Shares which are open to public sale and investment.


Sony: Sony Computer entertainment is owner of the Playstation Brand of Video game hardware and Software. their products include Home consoles, Hand held consoles and a variety of games on multiple platforms including PC’s.

Microsoft: Microsoft produces the Xbox brand consoles and Publishes games on them and PC systems. The Halo series is often contributed to the success of Xbox Brand.

SEGA: Nintendo’s most recognisable rival. A series of aggressive advertising campaigns cemented this rivalry although today SEGA no longer produces consoles and publishes games on Nintendo platforms. SEGA’s mascot Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the few videogame icons who can rival Nintendo’s Mario in mainstream popularity.


Many Nintendo franchises are considered to incredibly innovative by many gaming sites and magazines including IGN, Gamespot and Edge.

Nintendo’s franchises are popular with the public as well as gamers more so than the franchises of other gaming companies. Mario being the Prime example.

There products include:

Mario, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Wii, Gamecube, Nintendo 64, SNES and NES.

References =


The TV industry has some procedures before commissioning a program, In order to sell the program the Production company must sell it to a broadcaster or a warehousing company that works with the broadcaster, The end point is always the broadcaster who is the one responsible for our viewing pleasures.
There are nine terrestrial broadcasters and about 300 cable and satellite broadcasters, the terrestrial channels include BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and FIVE. For satellite/cable broadcasters there are the likes of Virgin and Sky.
The Major broadcasters have around 1500 independent production companies working for them, they produce £100 – £200 million of turnovers per year and have thousands of people in their employ.
The Film Industry is structured around four major departments, Screenwriting, Production, Exhibition and Distribution.
Screenwriters write the script which is the quintessential  item required to have scenes, story, characterisation and a film at all. Without a Script you basically don’t have a film. The Producers are the people who fund a film. The Budget covers everything on set like Actors, Studio fees, location costs, costumes, stunt work and everything else that goes on during a film’s production.
When the film is complete the producers will hire a sales representative to sell the film to the theaters and film festivals, without Distribution there would be no legal way for the general public to see a film. After the film has been distributed to the cinemas and/or festivals the next step is Exhibition, this is where the film attempts to make its budget back and make a profit from the ticket sales. After about one to three months at the box office the film will come to home video formats and rental to make even more money.
The Publishing industry is one of the biggest earners and exporters in the UK’s media industry, with a turnover of around £10.1 billion GVA (Gross Value Added). the Publishing sector is made up of Books, Journals, Newspapers, News agencies, Magazines, Directories, Mailing lists and other Information services.
Another useful piece of information is “The main geographical area of employment is London and the South East. The East of England is next, followed by the South West, Scotland and the North West. In Wales and Northern Ireland the sector is predominately made up of small publishers and news media.” this shows the majority of the publishing industry in the UK is located in the South East of England.
a good majority of the publishing industry is made of small companies, most employing less than 10 people while the minority Large scale companies employ over half the people who work in the publishing industry.

An advertising agency’s role is to work with its client to produce a visual/auditorial campaign to promote the client’s product to the consumers.

The advertising agency will utilise billboards, television commercials, radio broadcasts, leaflets handed out to the public and viral advertisement as the means to spread the word of the product to it’s potential customers. The agency must also work to find out what their target demographic is and how they can expand the product’s appeal to reach even more customers, and thus increase sales. Usually the entire advertisement will be handled by the agency because they would be the most qualified to get the job done.


The operators of the Radio industry fall into three categories, they are Publicly-funded radio(BBC Radio), Commercial radio(Heart, Mercia) and Community/Voluntary radio(Student Radio). The Radio industry as a whole employs over 22,000 people in a number of occupations including radio personalities(Chris Evans from Radio 2 Breakfast show is an example) and DJs(Disc jockeys), which is more than terrestrial television.

Thanks to the digital revolution there is great change in the Radio industry. It is faced with threats and opportunities as the range of platforms for it’s distribution has increased significantly although it is at risk of losing some of it’s identity as a number of media sectors are merging.




A regulator controls a media sector, its content, working conditions, audience/contributor protection and are formed from and maintained by the media industry (most of the time). Regulators are an authority with the right to establish and enforce their regulations.


OFCOM: Office of communications.


Established by the Office of Communications act 2002, officially formed 29th December 2003


Regulates TV and Radio sectors, fixed line telecoms and mobiles, the airwaves over which wireless devices operate, promotes competition.


“We make sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that competition can thrive.”


Operates under the Communications Act 2003, Accountable to Parliament and funded by fees from the industry for their services.


ASA: Advertising Standards Authority.


Enforces the advertising codes established by the Committee of Advertising, run by the advertising industry.


Ensures adverts are responsible not misleading or offensive. different types of advertising have specific rule sets that they must follow e.g Ads’ with children, gambling, motoring, alcohol, health care, financial products.


There are two sets of advertising codes CAP and BCAP, BCAP covers all broadcasted advertisements such as TV and Radio; CAP covers anything that is not broadcast like magazines. the latest edition of the UK code of non-broadcast advertising came into force on 1 September 2010. The BCAP code use to four seperate codes for broadcast advertising but on 1 September 2010 they were brought together in one.


The Radio Authority


on the 29th of December 2003 the Radio Authority ceased to exist and it’s duties were handed over to Offcom along with four other regulators BSC: Broadcasting Standards Commission, ITC: Idependent Television Commission, Oftel, the Radiocommunications Agency.


FACT: the Federation Against Copyright Theft


“FACT’s primary purpose is to protect the United Kingdom’s film and broadcasting industry against counterfeiting, copyright and trademark infringements.”


FACT was established in 1983. FACT main 3 fields are Online Piracy, Hard goods Piracy and Prevention and Detection of illegal recording in cinemas.


PEGI: Pan European Game Information


PEGI determins the age suitability of games within Europe. it was created by Interactive software federation of Europe and was first put into use in April 2003.


“PEGI is used and recognised throughout Europe and has the enthusiastic support of the European Commission. It is considered to be a model of European harmonisation in the field of the protection of children.”


BBFC: British Board of Film Classification


BBFC regulates the films, Video/DVD and video games. The BBFC was setup in 1912 as an independent body by the film industry.


they can help Trading standards officers with enforcing their princibles, they provide the public with the information they need to make their own decisions on what they watch.

Hammer Films

A Case Study by Sean Maguire


Hammer’s beginnings lie with Enrique Carreas and William Hinds, Enrique Carreas owned a chain of Cinemas and William Hinds owned a Jewllery shop group but wanted to get into film production. In 1934 Hinds founded Hammer productions and together with Enrique they established Exclusive films, a distribution company.

Hammer produced several films before world war 2 including The Mystery of Marie Celeste but during the war Hammer was not considered active.

Hammer was never truely reformed until 1947 as a subsidiary of Exclusive. In 1949 Hammer became a separate company as Hammer Film Productions limited, the directors were William Hinds, Enrique Carreras, James Carreras and Anthony Hinds.

Hammer’s first as a seperate company was Dr Morelle – the case of the missing Heiress, which was released by Exclusive on 27 June 1949.

In 1951 Hammer started to co-produce it’s films with Robert Lippert a US Producer, this allowed to establish a market for itself in America. 1954 saw the release of Hammer’s first colour film The Men of Sherwood Forest.

In 1955 the hugely successful Hammer production Quatermass Xperiment (re-titled The Creeping Unknown) was distributed by 20th Century Fox whom had bought Lippert the same year.

The Success of the Quatermass Xperiment encouraged Hammer to move into the horror genre of films. They started out with The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 and Dracula (re-titled the Horror of Dracula in the US) in 1958. These movies and their sequels cemented Hammer’s place as a Horror production studio.

Hammer made films in other genres including Drama and Comedy, at the end of the decade Hammer produced the critically acclaimed War Drama The Camp on Blood Island released 1958.

The world wide success of “Hammer Horror” led to many Major Hollywood studios taking interest in Hammer including Universal and Columbia which resulted in mixed quality films and Gothic gems such The Kiss of the Vampire 1964 and the The Curse of the Werewolf 1961. Many Hollywood studios sought deals with Hammer which brought healthy competition to company.

Deals with Hollywood studios led to the eventual liquidation of Exclusive in 1968 having fallen into disuse.

Hammer productions is based in London, a subsidiary of Exclusive media group and is being reinvigorated since its halt of production in the 80’s. Hammer productions returned to form in 2008 with an interactive web series entitled Beyond the Rave.

Hammer’s produced content includes theatrical feature films, TV programmes and Series, Soundtracks and Books.

After WW2 Hammer was funded by Exclusive as a production subsidiary, in 1947 Hammer was registered as a separate company. In the 50’s Hammer started co-producing with american studios, throughout the 60’s Hammer’s relationship with American producers was fruitful for the company. In the 1970’s the companies gothic horror trademark was starting to grow stale and colour TV was hurting the revenue of the British film industry.

To add to Hammer’s problems other production companies were churning out more successful modern horror films like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre which took graphic horror a step further and ushered in the age of the Slasher flick through out the late 70’s and 80’s and rising popularity of Stephen King adaptations like Carrie and The Shining.

In the 80’s Hammer moved to TV with the Hammer house of Horror which proved very successful with its mix of Horror and Dark Humour, following its success the Hammer house of mystery and suspense was made for the american market under 20th century fox, unfortunately it failed.

Throughout the 90’s Hammer lay dormant due to a number of frustrating setbacks and the death of one of their oldest stars Peter Cushing, Hammer made a Documentary called Flesh and Blood for the BBC.

In the 2000’s the chairman Roy Skeggs who had been with the company since the 1960s left and Hammer was bought by an investment consortium.

Today Hammer is once again a subsidiary of Exclusive Media group after it was re-established in 2008 with financial backing from Cyrte investments as a producer and distributor in the UK. Hammer’s president Simon Oakes is vice chairman of Exclusive media group who also owns Exclusive films, Newmarket films and Spitfire pictures.


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