Report: The content industry

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Commercial media aim towards economies of scale and scope and the satisfaction of their shareholders. As most of the private media companies' revenues come from advertising, much of their content is designed to allure audiences, whose size and composition is decisive for advertisers and marketers. Those revenues being of vital importance for commercial media firms, their programming in many cases is tailored to the needs of the advertising industry. In their self-interest commercial media also often accept pressure from marketers and advertisers. "... for example, Procter & Gamble, the world's number one corporate advertiser, explicitly prohibits programming "which could in any way further the concept of business as cold, ruthless, and lacking all sentiment or spiritual motivation." (Edward S. Herman and Robert W. McChesney)

Hence, so as not to interfere with the commercial message, most media conglomerates concentrate on easy-to-consume programming with entertainment, music and sports forming most of their content. Although they also offer news and documentaries, programs focusing on topics of public interest or minority issues hardly play more than a supporting role as they do not comply with the demands of a profit oriented system. One of the most serious effects of this development is that citizens are substantially deprived of an essential element for their participation in the public sphere: objective, exhaustive and diverse information on issues of public concern.

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The content industry
    The Concept of the Public Sphere
-3   Problems of Media Concentration
-2   Convergence
-1   Media Giants Online
0   Commercial Content
+1   Content as Transport Medium for Values and Ideologies
+2   Digital Commercial Content