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Prequel: An ode to the iPhone. The average attention span in 2012 - 8 seconds The average attention span in 2000 - 12 seconds The average attention span of a gold fish - 9 seconds Percent of teens who forget major details of close friends and relatives - 25 %

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Prequel: An ode to the iPhone

The average attention span in 2012 - 8 seconds

The average attention span in 2000 - 12 seconds

The average attention span of a gold fish - 9 seconds

Percent of teens who forget major details of close friends and relatives - 25 %

Percent of people who forget their own birthdays from time to time - 7 %

Average number of times per hour an office worker checks their email inbox - 30

Average length watched of a single internet video - 2.7 minutes

Source: Harald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, and Matthias Mayer: “Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use,” in the ACM Transactions on the Web, vol. 2, no. 1 (February 2008), article #5.

Percent of page views that last less than 4 seconds: 17%

Percent of page views that last more than 10 minutes: 4%

Percent of words read on web pages with 111 words or less: 49%

Percent of words read on an average (593 words) web page: 28%

Users spend only 4.4 seconds more for each additional 100 words

Meet Mr. Media

Media Ownership & You

Week 3, MK120: Media, Communication, Society


  • What does it mean to“own”information?

  • Who are the big Media Companies, and do they still matter?

  • Do we (consumers) really have a voice? If so, what does it sound like?

Digital Divide

The term digital divide refers to the gap between those people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those without access to it. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology, as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen.”

Participation Gap

Digital immigrants vs. Digital Natives

…I’m a digital immigrant. I was not weaned on the web, nor coddled on a computer. Instead, I grew up in a highly centralized world where news and information were tightly controlled by a few proprietors, who deemed to tell us what we could and should know. Rupert Murdoch, 2005

Part One

Foundations of Media Ownership


How did we get here?

Mr. Media Grows

Who is Mr. Media?

Can you name the 6 media conglomerates that own and operate over 75% of the mass media messages you see today?

Table 1: World’s Largest Media Companies

  • World’s Largest Media companies

  • (total revenue in 2009)

  • CompanyRevenue (in Billions)

  • General Electric$157*

  • Walt Disney Co.$36.1

  • News Corporation$30.4

  • Time Warner$26.8

  • Viacom$13.6

  • CBS$13

  • * approx. 25 USbillion revenue from media ventures

Source: FreePress Ownership Chart:

How Do they Grow?

1. Merge & Acquire

  • 1996 Congress passes Telecommunications Act.

  • FCC continues to ease ownership regulations.

Merger Media

2. Synergy & Branding


Definition: refers to the dynamic in which components of a company work together to produce benefits that would be impossible for a single, separately operated unit of the company


If a brand is associated with a quality or image that a consumer likes, the consumer tends to choose the branded version of a traditional product or to try a new product from the same brand


Spin offs: ESPN2, ESPNNews, ESPN Classic

Publication: ESPN, the magazine

Web site:

Retail outlet: ESPN, the Store

Sport-themed restaurant: The ESPN Zone

What is the resonance of Coke’s Brand? What is it’s media strategy? Where do you see it?

What about Apple? Or Starbucks? Or others? What are their media platforms? How do they extend their reach?

3. Globalization: Growth/Expansion Globally

One product, that is adapted to be viewed in the following countries: …


India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Japan, Brunei, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Papa New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, UK, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Greece, Israel, Romania, 30 territories including: Russia, Middle East, Egypt, Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova.

And…Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Italy, Bolivia, Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, United States (select Hispanic markets) Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Russia, many countries in Africa…and on and on and on: totaling MTV being tailored for viewing in:

164 Countries!

Cultural imperialism

Lines from the film’s opening song (pre-alteration):

Oh, I come from a land, From a faraway place, Where the caravan camels roam, Where they cut off your ear, If they don’t like your face, It’s Barbaric, but hey, it’s home.


the General Electric Conundrum…

General Electric owns these

And they also own

Military Production: Manufactures and maintains engines for the F-16 Fighter jet, Abrams tank, Apache helicopter, U2 Bomber, Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), A-10 aircraft, and numerous military equipment including planes, helicopters, tanks, and more.






Part Two

Markets vs. the Public Sphere

Is the media industry different than other Industries?

The Market Model

“society’s needs can best be met through a relatively unregulated process of exchange based on the dynamics of supply and demand. This model treats the media like all other goods and services” (Croteau & Hoynes,15).

“media” Markets promote _______________?

  • Efficiency

  • Responsiveness

  • Flexibility

  • innovation

The Public Sphere

“media are more than simply profit-making components of large conglomerates. Instead, they are our primary information sources and storytellers” (20).

Jurgen Habermas

[his] “model posits an open mass media system that is widely accessible. It argues that information should circulate freely…fundamentally the public sphere views people as citizens rather than consumers. Furthermore it contends media should serve these citizens rather than “target” potential consumers” (20).

For the Public Sphere

  • Markets are undemocratic

  • Markets reproduce inequality

  • Markets are amoral

  • Markets do not necessarily meet social needs

  • Markets do not necessarily meet democratic needs

What is the Public Interest?

Market – Whatever the public is interested in

Sphere – Media responsibility to….

a. Promote diversity (Avoid homogenity)

b. Provide Substance (w/out Elitism)

Which side do you fall on?

“The media’s role in facilitating democracy and encouraging citizenship has always been in tension with its status as a profit making industry…” (38)

Part Three

Destabilizing Ownership

Are these part of Mr. Media, or part of you?

Is he part of Mr. Media, or part of you?

2006 Most Visited Site, USA

2007 Most Visited Sites, US

1. - Yahoo! Inc.

2. - Google Inc.

3. - News Corp.

4. - Microsoft Corporation

5. - eBay Inc.

6. - Google Inc.

7. - Facebook

8. - Wikimedia Foundation

9. - craigslist, inc.

10. - Microsoft Corporation -, Inc.

12. - Google Inc.

13. - The Walt Disney Co.

14. - Time Warner

15. – Microsoft Co.

16. - Time Warner

17. - Comcast Co.

18. -, Inc.

19. - Yahoo! Inc.

20. – Photobucket alexa, 2007

2009 Most Visited Sites, US

  • Google

  • Facebook

  • Yahoo! Mail

  • MySpace

  • Yahoo!

  • YouTube

  • Windows Live Mail

  • MSN

  • Yahoo! Search

  • eBay



13. AOL Mail

14. AOL

15. Google Image Search

16. My Yahoo!

17. Wikipedia


19. Yahoo! News

20. Craig's List

2012 Most Visited Sites, US

  • Google

  • YouTube

  • Facebook

  • Amazon

  • Yahoo!

  • Twitter

  • MSN

  • Wikipedia

  • Wordpress

  • Microsoft

  • Is The Shallows right? Do you agree with it?

  • What is the difference between Mass Media & New Media Structures for Marketing and Advertising?

  • How will Filter Bubbles influence our future consumer habits?

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