Media Competition and Coexistence: The Theory of the Niche

Media Competition and Coexistence: The Theory of the Niche

Media Competition and Coexistence: The Theory of the Niche

Media Competition and Coexistence: The Theory of the Niche


This book addresses competition between and within media industries, looking at what is at stake and how the competition is structured. It will be of interest to media researchers, economists, and others in the media industries.


This book is about twin phenomena which represent two sides of the same coin, competition and coexistence within and among media organizations and industries. As such, the book is a work situated in the relatively new field of media economics and management.

The central question underlying the theory and data presented in the following chapters is: how is it that media firms as well as entire industries exist and persist over time despite what often seems to be intense competition for resources such as audiences and advertisers? The question is answered in this volume using a bioecological theory—the theory of the niche—to explain competitive processes.

Despite the focus on niche theory, the book does not eschew traditional economics. Indeed, every chapter incorporates relevant economic constructs into the analytic framework. This framework ranges from the use of the notion of economies of scale in chapter 1 to explain selection and firm mortality in newspapers and movie theaters, to the use of the concept of transaction costs to explicate the rise of advertising agencies in chapter 3, to employing the concept of strategic group in analyzing the niche breadth strategy in chapter 4, to the measurement of gratifications- utilities in chapter 5.

The central reason for the use of the theory of the niche is that received economic theory such as the theory of the firm conceptualizes competition as occurring within industries. Media competition however, has often been seen as a matter of competition between industries (McCombs, 1972). Niche theory provides a way to address the competition between industries. It does not replace received economic theory but, instead, provides a means to analyze a phenomenon on which traditional economic theory has been relatively silent. Hence, the theory of the niche should be viewed as a complement to existing economic and . . .

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