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Who owns what in Big Media today

In the, early days, TV was simple. There have been three channels, you sat on your own couch, and you also watched whatever they showed you.

Thats various different now, plus much more complicated. Also more difficult: Determining which media or tech conglomerate owns the rights to the shows and movies you wish to watch. We reveal these things for a full time income, and we still get confused about any of it.

Which explains why weve produced the map below, which sketches out the relative size, power, and relationships between your companies that produce, own, and distribute the stuff we watch in the home, on our phones, and also sometimes in a theater.

Weve been causeing this to be one for four years. And every time weve created a fresh edition, weve promised that the map would continue changing, also it certainly has these times.

Nonetheless it hasnt changed in the way we’d have imagined only a few years back. Yes, media companies continue steadily to merge with and absorb one another. However the main change is that Wall Street, that used to love Netflix, is currently a lot more ambivalent about streaming, so Netflixs value has dropped dramatically.

And every media company that is chasing Netflix by attempting to create its high-growth, low/no-profit streaming service has seen its value fall aswell. In 2016, for instance, Time Warner was worth $85 billion plus debt to AT&T; now the business that was previously called Time Warner has been paid to the Discovery cable networks, that includes a combined value of no more than $30 billion.

Another major change is one weve made at the request of several of our readers, who rightfully argue that the giant tech platforms Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are media companies. So were including them in this years edition, despite the fact that you can find massive differences in the manner those companies approach media. Amazon, for example, treats media as a (very costly) sidelight a method to convince visitors to sign up to its Prime shopping service. Meanwhile, YouTube is really a key element of Google/Alphabets core advertising business. The primary takeaway: These giants make the largest media companies look tiny. (And yes, we have to probably include TikTok the next time.)

Our warning/advice/promise still holds, incidentally: You will see more changes ahead with this map, chiefly via consolidation. It really is now conventional industry wisdom, for example, to trust that Warner Bros. Discovery find yourself combining with Comcasts NBCUniversal within the next year or two. And smaller players like AMC Networks and Paramount are constantly referred to as acquisition targets.

Having said that, its not entirely clear who do the acquiring, considering that any big tech acquisition of a significant media outlet will draw plenty of regulatory scrutiny. (It could be telling, for example, that Amazon bought MGM a media company that doesnt own TV networks and contains a minimal consumer profile. And the Biden administration still raised several eyebrows about this deal before allowing it to go through this season.) And combining two smaller media companies just gets you a slightly bigger media company.

So yes, this map changes … somehow, eventually. Were just done predicting how its likely to change.

Just click here to visit a version of the graphic optimized for mobile.


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