There’s been a ton of bustle in the media industry surrounding the recent acquisition of Dreamworks by network giant, Comcast (read more here). While this may not sound scary on the surface, it will most certainly affect you, the viewer, directly.
Let’s be straight here – Comcast purchased DreamWorks to expand their content through what’s called vertical integration. A Medium article we came across describes it perfectly as “the equivalent of the mall owning the stores and also the products sold within the stores.”
The problem with big media companies getting even bigger is that they begin too push out smaller, independent media. Just last year for example, Sesame Street was purchased by HBO in the never-ending battle to bring in and satisfy more cord-cutting subscribers to their service.
“In 2009, Comcast (a cable company) bought NBCUniversal (a cable network). Within that network, you can watch numerous TV shows… And that’s just on NBC. The full range of TV shows is much larger when you factor in all of the other TV networks that are under the NBCUniversal umbrella…
By merging the cable company with cable networks, that integrates two of the three vertical segments in the cable TV marketplace. In our earlier analogy, this would include the mall and the stores within the mall.
That’s news from 2009 though. The last remaining vertical segment is the TV shows. This is where DreamWorks comes in.”
With these 3 powerhouse vertical segments in works together, Comcast is stamping their name to the front of the streaming competition. This move could prevent other services like Netflix and Hulu from accessing more TV shows and movies for their catalogs, as Comcast continues to try to attract customers away from the competition and appear more valuable overall.
While Comcast can trace their own company’s successes to the fact that they offer multiple unique services under the same umbrella, in the end the consumer still has to pay for Internet to access any of it – a service that Comcast still owns… where’s the fairness in that?
What do you think about this acquisition, and the future of online media as a whole? We’re curious to hear from you in the comments below.