Most of the strategies used by online media in maximizing profits include online subscription for magazines, which will be sent to the reader maybe on a monthly or weekly basis at relative cost. Despite the fact that competition may be anticipated from other quotas of media, this approach has impressed very many people and has similarly gained preference. As opposed to traditional media, modern day media needs real time investments that are one of in nature and followed by operating and running cost toning down. It is in fact, taking over all the routes of information traffic for its versatility in the sense that a wide range of information can be published, stored, accessed and inquiries into the same made. The same has a direct translation into the agenda of business, which is optimizing profits (Doyle, 2002).
Digital media is exploring the three Cs; content, community and commerce to maximize profits. The world today is skewed to digital approach in delivering content as opposed to the era of hard copy magazines and newspapers. As opposed to the hardcopies, digital media is the best way in optimizing profits while maintaining the production cost at bare minimum. In this case, if a client wants a printed form of the information, that cost is left upon them. Apart from that, the other advantage is that the same information will always be available online irrespective of time and can search for with ease. This way, depending on how payments are made for any file that is accessible online, if every login will earn a cent, then the same information will earn the media house good revenue as long as it can be accessed. In the US for instance, there has been a trend especially with the major dailies like the New York Times to move towards subscriptions (Ott, 2010).
Bundling of articles to reduce cost and shelling off competition and gain a better bargaining power for your products. For instance, it helps the owner of any digital product to increase revenues by allowing for economics of scale to take course. In a case where products targeted at the same population who preference for the products are inconsistent, research shows that bundling the same products and selling them at the average price to several clients will earn more revenue than when the products are sold in isolation. In this manner, it is easy to predict the market trends for that product and as a result, maximize profits.
The other advantage that comes along with bundling is reduced cost. For instance, if a new product comes into the market say a song or a video, it will perhaps cost little to bundle with the rest, increase the new cost of the new bundle, and hence reduce cost in the end.
Economics always emphasize that the competitive environment in specific markets shapes and define the market. Media users live in the age of giant media that has great influence on life. These impacts emanate from magazines and newspapers people read every day, television programs and movies people watch. Only large organizations can successfully accommodate media impacts on our daily life. Time Warner inc. is one of the largest among the big five in the media industry. The conglomerate is the best example that shows how media affects people, and how they compete and become successful in the industry.
Propaganda refers to message communicated to the mass public, which most of the times, does not reflect the truth. It may incorporate a segment of the truth or none at all. In his publication ‘The Society of the Spectacle’, Guy Debord (1967) proposes a similar idea, ‘real unreality.’ This implies a stereotypical portrayal of a lifestyle or a subculture in unrealistic manner. This concept is evident in most of the pictures taken by People Magazine and Time Magazine staff. Time.com recently showed the images of Syrian civil war, which contained 50 horrific pictures of the brutal treatment of Syrian civilians because of the war (Time Staff, 2012). This may come as a surprise to the audience who may not have knowledge on living conditions prior to the war, nor the cause of the war, but the pictures evoke a much uncivilized image of the nation as a whole.
Similarly, the online edition of the People Magazine feature slideshow photos of celebrities. The profile pictures of celebrities found in the Celebrity section of People.com website has the celebrities such as Rihana, Beyonce among others posing in photo-shoot picture dressed in gorgeous gown (Celebs, 2012), portraying a life out of reach for the working class. These photos aim to portray a rather perfect lifestyle or reality idolized by millions of the magazine audience. The audience fails to question the circumstances in the celebrity life struggles hidden the gorgeous smile. These struggles may equal to the ones that the working class face. Since these life issues do not constitute the drivers of business profit for the magazines, they are omitted from the magazine.
Time Warner is a successful media company, which it derives from its market. Upon experiencing the products of the Media conglomerate the Time Warner Inc., several concepts of the Marxist theory can be relevant. These concepts include Propaganda, Multinationalism, Niche Marketing, Cross Promotion, and Advertising. According to the theory, Multinationalism proposes that the bourgeoisie class have such an influence upon the working class that their influence proliferate political and national borders. This is evident with the transnational Time Warner Inc. The conglomerate has not only attracted mass audience within the U.S. borders, but has reached other parts of the world as well. The company now has editions of magazine produce in Australia, Asia and Euro-Africa-Middle east.
Concerning how the ruling class achieved this number, the answer lies in the content of the magazines. Authors and editors of the Magazine articles attempt to communicate news stories in tone that is culture friendly to the region. For example, a line in the 2012 Time article, U.S. edition, the writer Tony Karon wrote: “having some members of the Obama Administration been quaffing a 10-year-old jug of Kool-Aid left in a White House basement fridge by Buss Administration” (Karon, 2012). Karon use metaphor familiar with the American social culture referring to a popular family drink Kool-Aid. After establishing a sense of inter-personality with the mass audience, it becomes easy for the author to communicate the message across with much influence. This strategy is evident in the media business across time and globe.
Another important concept that can help understand the Marxist Media theory is advertisements. This concept is evident in the content of the People Magazine. The success of the People Magazine depends on the entertainment industry and the addiction for celebrity gossip among the audience. While the advertisements serve a means of generating revenue for the media conglomerate, majority of them inter-relate much to the actual content of the magazine. An example is the ‘Style’ section of the People.com website featuring content on accessories and outfits of celebrity Jennifer Lopes, which are paired simultaneously with stores that manufacture the product (Celebs, 2012). Advertising a product and writing about it simultaneously doubles the effect of advertisements.
Media conglomerates also use niche marketing, which refers to focus of advertisement towards a concentrated audience, in order to create a more effective and productive towards the products being advertised. On the People.com website in the ‘Advertise with us,’ the firm lists statistics in the ‘audience’ subtopic section. These statistics include demographic information of the readers consisting of 70 percent female and the median age group of the readers, which is around 38 years of age (Media Kit, 2012). Indicating demographic data in the ‘Advertise with us’ section, points to the importance of this information to business firms considering marketing their products with the People Magazine. This allows the firm to align advertisements with the demographic population.
Another concept in Marxist Media theory is cross promotion, which refers to the generation of new product line based on the success of a previous product. The People Magazine presents a good example of this trend. The People Magazine started because of the success of Time Magazine’s people page, which appeared the 1970s. Another manifestation is the introduction of People Espanola edition of the People Magazine to appeal to the Spanish population within America. Consequently, despite the rather disappointing notion that the media conglomerates have a grand scheme behind the glamorous, flashing content in the media, if the audience allow themselves to be deceived by following the products blindly, then the ‘unreal reality’ which is existent in the Marxist theory make appear as a reality.
Actually, every business comes with a fair share of challenges and successes as well, however, the investments that are made should be able to give back the value for money. The journey to making a brand name must start with a daring move to get take the challenges head and focus on the goal of transforming your undertaking to a world class platform after which rewards will come in the name of profits.
Celebs. (2012) People.com. Retrieved from http://www.people.com/people/celebritiesDemographics. (2012) People.com. Retrieved from http://www.people.com/people/static/onlinemediakit/audience.html
Doyle, G. (2002). Media Ownership: The Economics and Politics of Convergence and Concentration in the UK and European Media. London: Sage.
Karon, Tony. “Is the White House Weighing a Military Stricke on Iran?” Time Magazine. US: October 10, 2012. Retrieved from http://nation.time.com/2012/10/10/is-the-white-house-weighing-a-military-strike-on-iran/
Media Kit. (2012) Time.com. Retrieved from http://www.timemediakit.com/us/audience/index.html
Ott, Brian L. and Robert L. Mack. (2010) Critical Media Studies. An Introduction. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell & Sons Ltd. Publications.
Time Staff. (2012) Syria. Time.com. Retrieved from http://world.time.com/2012/04/02/syrias-year-of-chaos-photos-of-a-slow-motion-civil-war/#aptopix-mideast-syria-14