Media oligopolies

Just a few short years ago most everyone in big media was enthusiastic about all the mergers, about the synergy that AOL Time Warner or Universal and then Vivendi would be able to get out of owning multiple channels of distribution and loads of content.

Today, after they’ve been battered by a tough market and after they’ve realized it just doesnt work all that well they find themselves in trouble but at the same time we are stuck with most media and distribution concentrated in the hands of very few people. As they try to scramble for better numbers to please the financial markets they start using various tricks including trying to own or even monitor or block some of the content passing on their pipes. Because of that, innovative programming and content creation ends up being crippled or flat out killed.

With the FCC about to cut rules even further, opening the door to even more concentration, it is surprising to find a voice against it in none other than Barry Diller who gives his opinion in this interview on PBS. Very interesting thoughts and refreshing to hear from a man who is himself part of big media. I cant help but being sceptical at is motives but lets give him the benefit of the doubt and hope it might be the beginning of a change in mentality for others as well.

Some more reading material on the subject can be found at MediaSavvy.