Saturday, November 22, 2008

08) Media Hegemonies

Oh Walt Disney, where dreams come true. When I was younger I had always wanted to go to Walt Disney World or Land or whatever one where Mickey and Minnie mouse lived (when I was younger I didn’t know there was a difference between world and land). I didn’t end up going till the tenth grade when I had realized Santa wasn’t real, neither was the Easter Bunny OR tooth fairy (thanks mom) and I knew that Mickey and Minnie were just people dressed up in costume. I never got to experience that feeling, ‘where dreams come true’ or honestly believed that I’d get to be a princess and live in that ridiculously large castle. I watched and owned all of the Disney movies on VHS and then watched the Disney channel repeatedly and daily. I also owned majority of the Disney princess Barbie dolls among a few princess shirts here and there. Looking back I feel really bad for putting my parents and sister through that haha. Oh well, my point being that Disney has been around for a VERY long time. They have some smart people working there that is for sure because the Walt Disney Company has accumulated cross media everywhere possible over the years.

When I first learned about cross-media I thought of when an actress decides to release a CD, and then eventually make their own clothing line branded with their name or the witty one they came up with. Maybe go back and do a movie and then have their own fragrance again branded with their name etc. Eventually having assets or holdings in multiple medias that attract the attention of fans also known as consumers.

“As the media conglomerates spread their tentacles, there is reason to believe they will encourage popular tastes to become more uniform in at least some forms of media” (McChesney). Disney is one of the top eight companies that dominate the global media market. Mickey mouse has his pockets overflowing with holdings in so many medias. The Disney Company has holdings in 5 film companies, 10 broadcast television stations plus ABC network, 18 cable television stations, FIFTY-ONE radio stations across the United States! 3 companies in music, 18 companies total in publishing, 16 magazines with 50% holdings of US Weekly, 8 parks and resorts and lastly 16 different holdings in the ‘other’ category. Did you know that Disney owned the Baby Einstein Company? I sure didn’t.

“The major media companies have moved aggressively to become global players. Even Time Warner and Disney, which still get most of their revenues in the United States, project non-US sales to yield a majority of their revenues within a decade” (McChesney). The goal is to appeal with a wide variety of people because if they appeal to your wants, needs and desires the company benefits in profit. So what better way then to use cross-media to achieve that goal fast in larger sums. Not to mention having more power in influencing what consumers buy through their different owned medias. This is a pretty big advantage to conglomerates because it gives them great hegemony through the ability to influence large numbers of a people faster.

It really is such a shame that these days, goals always come down to making more money and profiting off of young children. As Reverend Billy might say, Mickey Mouse is stealing the imagination and hopes and dreams of your children…or your parents money.


-Annual revenues: $23 billion (FY 1998)

-Non-US sales: 21%

-Non-US sales in 1984: 8.4%

-Disney has established a strong presence in China, Japan, Europe and Latin America.

-Its ESPN International is broadcast in twenty-one languages to 155 million households in 182 nations.

-Want to know who owns the movies? Check this link out:

-If you want to see the complete list and titles of The Walt Disney’s Company’s holdings go to this website:

Work Cited

“Who Owns What: The Walt Disney Company”. Columbia Journalism Review. 07 30 2008. 21 Nov 2008.

McChesney, W Robert. “The New Global Media: It’s A Small World of Conglomerates”. The Nation. 11 11 1999. 21 Nov 2008.

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