The Media and Entertainment Industries

By Scotton, Jim | Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

The Media and Entertainment Industries


Scotton, Jim, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator


* Greco, Albert N., ed. (2000) The Media and Entertainment Industries. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 279 pp. Paperback, $30.50.

This book would be best as reserve reading in any course on the media. It covers the "old" media, books to satellite television, in eight chapters. Two final chapters cover new media and the Internet. The focus is on the economic structure of each media industry.

The book is authoritative and as up to date as any text can be on these rapidly-changing industries. It notes that in 1999 the average American adult spent 3,405 hours with the media. The book would, however, be heavy going as a text. It is loaded with industry data (Nine "distinct categories" in the book industry, a midterm short-answer question in waiting). Some authors pile up charts and tables (26 for the newspaper industry, 18 for radio).

The 10 chapters, by 15 authors, do present both interesting information and significant issues. For example, the largest growth in books is in the bibletestament-hymnal-prayer book niche, up 2,000 percent in 1984-89. It also has the lowest (5%) rate of returns, a burden that destabilizes the entire book industry. Daily newspapers, despite prominent casualties, are thriving and soak up the bulk of advertising dollars. Geoffrey Hull reports the recorded music industry is also doing well because of policies that keep artists subsidizing companies. And despite those weekend box office reports on Yahoo, the real film money is in VCR rentals, according to Barry Litman.

We know magazines and radio are big industries but we learn how large in their chapters. One midtown Manhattan outlet stocks 3,800 titles (perhaps 20 percent of all titles) and sells 125,000 copies a day.

There's an average of almost six radios in 99 percent of US households. …

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