Conglomerate Blog #3 – Public Concerns

Starting off talking about Disney in earlier posts it only makes sense to start off this post by talking about this company in this post now, but the bulk of this post will be about conglomerates in general.  Disney as mentioned previously is one of the largest conglomerates and has an enormous influence in the media world.  This being said,Disney as we have seen through my timeline on an earlier blog is only getting larger and larger making it more powerful.  Like Disney there are other conglomerates out there that are large and make up a big portion of the industry which for them is great, but for us as consumers it can be a bit worry-some.  As these large conglomerates like Disney continue to grow the general public should become more and more concerned.  The following are three concerns the public should have concerning the growth of conglomerates and the concentration of media ownership.

1.  Vertical Integration – As is pertains to media vertical integration is when a company or in most cases a conglomerate has and owns operations and businesses across various industries. This integration is great for the business in more ways than one, but it also means that the public will get less views on the opinion of something since there is no way a company is going to say anything negative about something they own.  Vertical integration also allows for cross selling and promotion which is also great for the business as seen in an earlier post about Disney’s cross promotion, but once again if the only one promoting and selling products is the company itself it leaves the public with a very one sided opinion and lacks diversity. The video in the link is short and basic but gives an example of Disney’s Vertical Integration.

2. Public Relations – The large role public relations plays in our lives and news today is a bit concerning considering the role public relations agencies have in many large companies today.  As our textbook points out the practices of PR agencies are often invisible to the public.  With pretty much every large company out there in the world today having a PR department it means that the company can spin a story in any way they want the public to view it.  Obviously a company is going to spin a story to their best interest which can leave the public in the dark about the facts and what is really going on.  One great quote I found about PR is the following, ” Public relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so that the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by the sturdy blooms.”

3.  Media sways opinion and influences – The influence of media is something that nobody can can stay clear of since it is all around us and has become an everyday part of our lives.  The influence media can have on the public is tremendous and the way it sways and persuades these days makes many question their own thoughts, ideas, values, and ideals because often times the media makes it seem like what they are putting out is how something should be and any other thought is completely irrelevant.  And if the media believes too many people are not on board with a certain concept they will have an agenda to get people to see something from the view they want the public to see it from. The media can control everything from your eating habits, to your clothes and everything in between. The video linked above is a bit long, but it really does voice an honest truth about the media and makes you realize how much it controls our views.

Due to the massive amount of power conglomerates have it is important that the public is informed and educated on how the media and big conglomerates can influence their lives.  If the public is educated they are less likely to be influenced by these concerns and issues.  Because conglomerates are only going to become larger and the media influence stronger educating the public is pretty much the best thing that can be done since conglomerates are so powerful and it is difficult to stop them.

Conglomerate Blog #3 – Public Concerns

Synergy in Disney

What is synergy? – Well, simply put synergy as it relates to media and our study is a default and one of the most effective ways a conglomerate can drum up business.  It is done by a conglomerate advertising and exposing a product through other mediums of theirs.  The larger the company and more mediums they have the easier it is for them to use synergy.  For this blog I will be talking about four ways Disney uses synergy.

1. Toy Story 3 Release – There were many ways Disney used synergy in their release of Toy Story 3.  Disney used the 3D re-releases of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 to promote Toy Story 3 by showing teasers and trailers. One of the trailers is linked above. To also promote Toy Story 3 the Blueray / DVD combo pack had a feature that gave a behind the scenes look at the making of Toy Story 3 before it was released.  Disney Channel also had a day dedicated to Toy Story before the release of Toy Story 3 where they played Toy Story and Toy Story 2 and gave sneak peeks to Toy Story 3.

2.  Disney Theme Parks – The Disney theme parks that are all around the world are essentially giant advertising tools for Disney.  The characters from their movies and shows can be found at the park and are used to promote the theme parks, but the theme parks are also used to promote Disney movies and other products.  At the park you will find that there is an abundant amount of merchandise that is all Disney characters or somehow promoted by Disney which is another way the parks are utilizing synergy.

3.  ESPN and Disney – Disney has aligned with ESPN and with that once in awhile the company will have Disney promotions for Diseny World and to go along with this Disney World will sometimes hold ESPN weekends at their park.  The link above talks about how Disney is in some ways trying to give the sports world a new face.

4.  Tron Legacy – The soundtrack from Tron by Daft Punk was released by Hollywood Records which is owned by Disney.  Disney is able to not only make money from the movie but the soundtrack as well when it is downloaded.  Also, there is a ride at Disney World that is inspired by Tron. People who like the movie will want to visit the ride which promotes the park and the ride promotes the movie.

As you can see Disney uses synergy all throughout their brand.  These are just four of many ways in which Disney uses synergy.

Synergy in Disney

Disney History

In a world filled with so many companies with large names, there is one company that pretty much everybody knows about and heard the name since they were very young and that is Disney.  The following is a little bit of history and some major moments for this company.

One huge question many people have, but do not know the answer to is how the Disney company started.  Obviously this is a major moment since it is what began the large Disney empire.  October 16, 1923 was the day Disney began with Walt signed a contract to produce a series of comedies.  At this time it was called the Disney Brothers Studio.  Here is one of the comedies Walt produced called the Alice Comedy 

Now I am going to fast forward a bit to events that have happened in more recent years and that perhaps all of us remember or relate to.  A huge step in Disney was the opening of Disneyland in California July of 1955. There were only 18 attractions which is nothing compared to what is there today.  Now Disney has the license for 14 theme parks around the world.  This article is a fun read about the Disneyland grand opening.

There was a large takeover in 2001 when Disney acquired what was known as Fox Family Channel and renamed it ABC Family which is a channel I am sure everybody here has watched at some point.  The following is an article about the strategy and why Disney took over Fox Family.

Another merge happened in 2009 when Marvel Entertainment which is another large company decided to merge with Disney. Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion dollars.  What is interesting about this is that Disney stock actually dropped when this initially happened. Read more about it here

Another large moment and merge for Disney was when the company bought Pixar in 2006.  The sale was for $7.4 billion and one of the main reasons Disney bought Pixar was to improve their animation.  Read here 

There are so many huge moments, merges and takeovers in Disney so this was just a small glimpse into this huge company.

Disney History