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Conglomerates are corporations that are engaged in different businesses that are unrelated to each other. A conglomerate makes sure that there is revenue from all businesses to allow continued operation of the various businesses.
Media companies that are owned by Walt Disney
The Walt Disney Company has five major business segments: parks and resorts, media networks, consumer products, studio entertainment, and interactive media. The media networks manage Disney’s operations on television. The main company in media networks is the American Broadcasting Company with ten extra television stations. The cable networks include ABC Family, Disney Channel, and Toon Disney. Parks and resorts incorporate several companies. The theme parks include the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Park, and the Disneyland Pacific Hotel.
Disney brand merchandise is manufactured by the consumer products division. These products range from toys to electronics. One company is the Disney store chain of retailers. In interactive media, The Disney conglomerate owns several online sites, which include Kaboose.com and BabyZone.com. Walt Disney also has a new project that is called Disney Online Moms and Family.
Studio entertainment that is involved in movie production is regarded as Walt Disney’s most visible business. These are several companies including Disney Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, and Pixar. In another major acquisition, Disney purchased Marvel, comic book company, gaining the right to all Marvel characters like Spider Man. Other businesses include developing video games.
Economic and social factors that have encouraged Walt Disney’s media consolidation
Media consolidation is driven by many factors. Some of the main factors include technological change, availability of capital, and liberalization of regulatory policies. Some of the economic factors that have encouraged consolidation include low-interest rates, inflation, and strong global economy. In the 1990’s, businesses and industries made money from low-interest rates, and there was enough capital to finance mergers and acquisitions for media property.
The reason behind media consolidation is vertical and horizontal integration. The integration works to help secure Walt Disney’s access to new markets and new sectors of the media industries. Another reason is competition. The number of producers in a given market indicates the concentration of the market. A market is concentrated when dominated by a limited number of firms. Media firms like Walt Disney, hence, acquire smaller companies in a bid to become the industry’s biggest player.
Until recently, most media companies focused on their core business areas, because government policies sought to define the businesses distinctly and separately. Pro-business neoliberal communication policies changed all that by lifting the barriers between media sectors. This resulted in the consolidation of media ownership by a few media giants like Walt Disney.
Social factors encouraging Walt Disney’s media consolidation include the need to give specific niches. Walt Disney can use their toys, comic books, and movies to target children, teens while still making films for a more mature audience. Consolidation may also increase local news coverage.
Furthermore, when Walt Disney owns as many television networks as they do, it is unlikely to see any criticisms against the interest of the parent company.