13.6 Globalization of Media – Understanding Media and Culture (2023)

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify three ways that technology has helped speed globalization.
  2. Explain how media outlets employ globalization to their advantage.
  3. Describe some advances that can be made in foreign markets.

The media industry is, in many ways, perfect for globalization, or the spread of global trade without regard for traditional political borders. As discussed above, the low marginal costs of media mean that reaching a wider market creates much larger profit margins for media companies. Because information is not a physical good, shipping costs are generally inconsequential. Finally, the global reach of media allows it to be relevant in many different countries.

However, some have argued that media is actually a partial cause of globalization, rather than just another globalized industry. Media is largely a cultural product, and the transfer of such a product is likely to have an influence on the recipient’s culture. Increasingly, technology has also been propelling globalization. Technology allows for quick communication, fast and coordinated transport, and efficient mass marketing, all of which have allowed globalization—especially globalized media—to take hold.

Globalized Culture, Globalized Markets

Much globalized media content comes from the West, particularly from the United States. Driven by advertising, U.S. culture and media have a strong consumerist bent (meaning that the ever-increasing consumption of goods is encouraged as an economic virtue), thereby possibly causing foreign cultures to increasingly develop consumerist ideals. Therefore, the globalization of media could not only provide content to a foreign country, but may also create demand for U.S. products. Some believe that this will “contribute to a one-way transmission of ideas and values that result in the displacement of indigenous cultures (Santos, 2001).”

Globalization as a world economic trend generally refers to the lowering of economic trade borders, but it has much to do with culture as well. Just as transfer of industry and technology often encourages outside influence through the influx of foreign money into the economy, the transfer of culture opens up these same markets. As globalization takes hold and a particular community becomes more like the United States economically, this community may also come to adopt and personalize U.S. cultural values. The outcome of this spread can be homogenization (the local culture becomes more like the culture of the United States) or heterogenization (aspects of U.S. culture come to exist alongside local culture, causing the culture to become more diverse), or even both, depending on the specific situation (Rantanen, 2005).

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Making sense of this range of possibilities can be difficult, but it helps to realize that a mix of many different factors is involved. Because of cultural differences, globalization of media follows a model unlike that of the globalization of other products. On the most basic level, much of media is language and culture based and, as such, does not necessarily translate well to foreign countries. Thus, media globalization often occurs on a more structural level, following broader “ways of organizing and creating media (Mirza, 2009).” In this sense, a media company can have many different culturally specific brands and still maintain an economically globalized corporate structure.

Vertical Integration and Globalization

Because globalization has as much to do with the corporate structure of a media company as with the products that a media company produces, vertical integration in multinational media companies becomes a necessary aspect of studying globalized media. Many large media companies practice vertical integration: Newspaper chains take care of their own reporting, printing, and distribution; television companies control their own production and broadcasting; and even small film studios often have parent companies that handle international distribution.

A media company often benefits greatly from vertical integration and globalization. Because of the proliferation of U.S. culture abroad, media outlets are able to use many of the same distribution structures with few changes. Because media rely on the speedy ability to react to current events and trends, a vertically integrated company can do all of this in a globalized rather than a localized marketplace; different branches of the company are readily able to handle different markets. Further, production values for single-country distribution are basically the same as those for multiple countries, so vertical integration allows, for example, a single film studio to make higher-budget movies than it may otherwise be able to produce without a distribution company that has as a global reach.

Foreign Markets and Titanic

Figure 13.5

The movie Titanic, which became the highest-grossing movie of all time, made twice as much internationally as it did domestically.

Scott Smith – Best In Film: American Film Institute Showcase – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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Worth considering is the reciprocal influence of foreign culture on American culture. Certainly, American culture is increasingly exported around the world thanks to globalization, and many U.S. media outlets count strongly on their ability to sell their product in foreign markets. But what Americans consider their own culture has in fact been tailored to the tastes not only of U.S. citizens but also to those of worldwide audiences. The profit potential of foreign markets is enormous: If a movie does well abroad, for example, it might make up for a weak stateside showing, and may even drive interest in the movie in the United States.

(Video) Globalization and culture

One prime example of this phenomenon of global culture and marketing is James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic. One of the most expensive movies ever produced up to that point, with an official budget of around $200 million, Titanic was not anticipated to perform particularly well at the U.S. box office. Rather, predictions of foreign box-office receipts allowed the movie to be made. Of the total box-office receipts of Titanic, only about one-third came from the domestic market. Although Titanic became the highest-grossing film up to that point, it grossed just $140 million more domestically than Star Wars did 20 years earlier (Box Office Mojo). The difference was in the foreign market. While Star Wars made about the same amount—$300 million—in both the domestic and foreign markets, Titanic grossed $1.2 billion in foreign box-office receipts. In all, the movie came close to hitting the $2 billion mark, and now sits in the No. 2 position behind Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster, Avatar.

One reason that U.S. studios can make these kinds of arrangements is their well-developed ties with the worldwide movie industry. Hollywood studios have agreements with theaters all over the world to show their films. By contrast, the foreign market for French films is not nearly as established, as the industry tends to be partially subsidized by the French government. Theaters showing Hollywood studio films in France funnel portions of their box-office receipts to fund French films. However, Hollywood has lobbied the World Trade Organization—a largely pro-globalization group that pushes for fewer market restrictions—to rule that this French subsidy is an unfair restriction on trade (Terrill, 1999).

In many ways, globalization presents legitimate concerns about the endangerment of indigenous culture. Yet simple concerns over the transfer of culture are not the only or even the biggest worries caused by the spread of American culture and values.

Key Takeaways

  • Technology allows for quick communication, transport, and mass marketing, greatly contributing to a globalized marketplace.
  • Media economies of scale achieve much larger profit margins by using digital technology to sell information instantly over a global market.
  • Foreign markets offer excellent profit potential as they contribute to media companies’ economies of scale. The addition of new audiences and consumer markets may help a company build a global following in the long run.

Exercises

Think of a U.S. product that is available throughout the world, such as an athletic brand like Nike or a food product like Pepsi or Coca-Cola. Now go online to the different country-specific branches of the company’s web site.

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  1. What differences are there?
  2. How might the company be attempting to tailor its globalized product to a specific culture?
  3. What advances into the foreign market does this use of the Internet allow the company to make?
  4. What advantages does this globalization of its products give the company?
  5. In what other ways has technology helped speed this globalization?

References

Box Office Mojo, “All Time Domestic Box Office Results,” http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/domestic.htm.

Mirza, Jan. “Globalization of Media: Key Issues and Dimensions,” European Journal of Scientific Research 29, no. 1 (2009): 66–75.

Rantanen, Terhi. The Media and Globalization (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005).

Santos, Josefina M. C. “Globalisation and Tradition: Paradoxes in Philippine Television and Culture,” Media Development, no. 3 (2001): 43–48.

Terrill, Roman. “Globalization in the 1990s,” University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development, 1999, http://www.uiowa.edu/ifdebook/ebook2/contents/part3-I.shtml#B.

FAQs

What are the impacts of media to cultural globalization? ›

The media have an important impact on cultural globalization in two mutually interdependent ways: Firstly, the media provide an extensive transnational transmission of cultural products and, secondly, they contribute to the formation of communicative networks and social structures.

What is globalization in your own words? ›

Globalization is the word used to describe the growing interdependence of the world's economies, cultures, and populations, brought about by cross-border trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment, people, and information.

What is globalization of culture through media? ›

The globalization of culture is often chiefly imputed to international mass media. After all, contemporary media technologies such as satellite television and the Internet have created a steady flow of transnational images that connect audiences worldwide.

How does globalization affect the media and how media is affected by globalization? ›

The most visible effect of globalization is wide spread communication. The introduction of newspapers, magazine, internet and TV has immensely helped to spread information and has helped people to come together from all over the world. However this impact has its own disadvantages, its advantages are much more..

How important is globalization in media? ›

The mass media are today seen as playing a key role in enhancing globalization, and facilitating cultural exchange and multiple flows of information and images between countries through international news broadcasts, television programming, new technologies, film, and music.

What is the purpose of global media culture? ›

Global Media Cultures explores the relationship between the media, culture and globalization. The course approaches past and current challenges concerning international communication and explores and problematizes the power of media representation.

How globalization affects our daily life? ›

In general, globalization decreases the cost of manufacturing. This means that companies can offer goods at a lower price to consumers. The average cost of goods is a key aspect that contributes to increases in the standard of living. Consumers also have access to a wider variety of goods.

What is the importance of globalization essay? ›

Globalization involves the increasing interconnection of local and nationalistic economies across the world. It increases border movement of goods, people, technologies, ideas and services throughout the world. It lets other countries to join the rest of the world and become part of worldwide interrelatedness.

What is media globalization in simple terms? ›

1. The production, distribution, and consumption of media products on a global scale, facilitating the exchange and diffusion of ideas cross-culturally. Learn more in: Communication and Media: Types, Functions, and Key Concepts.

Why is globalization important to culture? ›

Globalization of culture contributes to the exchange of cultural values of different countries, the convergence of traditions. For cultural globalization characterized convergence of business and consumer culture between the different countries of the world and the growth of international communication.

What is an example of media globalization? ›

Media globalization is a broad topic, which includes television, radio, film, music, the Internet, and other forms of digital media.

How do you think global media culture helps you personally? ›

As a student, it improved my communication skills and adaptability skills because of the new normal setting. In addition, as a person, it affected me the way I look at life, the way I live and my concern about my personal health care.

What is the impact of globalization on social media? ›

Just as globalization facilitates social media, social media facilitates cross-cultural interaction. Culture is influenced through contact with other cultures (Allwood 2000, p. 9). In this regard, social media cannot be discussed independently of other forms of media like mass media.

What is the role of social media in the spread of globalization? ›

Social media also provides a forum for cultural exchange. People learn other people's cultures as they share their own. Cultural exchange is an important vehicle for economic development. Social networks provide a new approach to global marketing.

Why is globalization important in simple words? ›

Why is globalization important? Globalization changes the way nations, businesses and people interact. Specifically, it changes the nature of economic activity among nations, expanding trade, opening global supply chains and providing access to natural resources and labor markets.

What is globalization all about and why is it important? ›

Globalization means the speedup of movements and exchanges (of human beings, goods, and services, capital, technologies or cultural practices) all over the planet. One of the effects of globalization is that it promotes and increases interactions between different regions and populations around the globe.

How media and culture affect each other? ›

Just as society forms and is formed in part by messages in the mass media, so it goes with culture. Cultural products and their popularity can influence which media channels people prefer. Conversely, changes in media and ICTs can lead to changes in how we produce culture.

What I have learned about global media culture? ›

Global media culture defines the way we interact and communicate with an entity or body of things in a way that facilitates a process of building connections through those processes. For example, media media can be used to create stories to support an idea.

What is the importance of media in promoting culture? ›

Media can help promote culture by: Highlighting What's Making News: Using local media (print/digital) and popular press to share and highlight innovative approaches for preserving ancient culture.

What is the main importance of media? ›

In democracies, the media is fundamental to political life. It provides facts to allow us to be better informed about the issues that matter to us. It provides criticism and debate to ensure that that information is tested and examined from all points of view.

What is the impact of globalization in your life as a student? ›

– Globalization enhances the student's ability to acquire and utilize knowledge. Globalization enhances the ability of learners to access, assess, adopt, and apply knowledge, to think independently to exercise appropriate judgment and to collaborate with others to make sense of new situations.

How globalization affects your life positively and negatively? ›

Globalization has allowed society to enjoy many benefits, including increased global cooperation, reduced risk of global conflict, and lower prices for goods and commodities. Unfortunately, it's also led to serious negative effects on the environment.

What are the advantages of globalization in communication? ›

A global language allows for communication between different cultures. Language has always been the focal point of cultural identity. A global language dismantles communication barriers and offers individuals a gateway to understanding one another's cultures.

What I have learned about globalization? ›

Globalization, with respect to economics, is the growth in commerce between countries, fueled by improvements in technology and communication. More efficient modes of transporting goods and services as well as the exponential growth of online commerce have reduced barriers to global trade.

What are the benefits of globalization to students? ›

– Globalization enhances the student's ability to acquire and utilize knowledge. Globalization enhances the ability of learners to access, assess, adopt, and apply knowledge, to think independently to exercise appropriate judgment and to collaborate with others to make sense of new situations.

What is your reflection about globalization? ›

Globalization is invincible, as a social, cultural, political and legal phenomenon, it changes the way nations interact. Through the advancement of technologies such as mobile phones and the convenient benefits of the internet we can easily share ideas and improve the local trades of production.

What is the role of media in globalization Brainly? ›

And the media also play important role in facilitating culture exchange flows of information between countries.

What are the examples of global media culture? ›

Examples of social forces that are creating a global culture include electronic communications (telephones, e‐mail, fax machines), the mass media (television, radio, film), the news media, the Internet, international businesses and banks, and the United Nations—to name only a few.

What are the three impacts of globalization on culture? ›

The major consequences of globalization have been: the transmogrification of traditional religions and belief systems; the beginning of the disintegration of the traditional social fabrics and shared norms by consumerism, cyber-culture, newfangled religions and changing work ethics and work rhythms; the fast spreading ...

What are the effects of media and religion to globalization Brainly? ›

Answer: Media help in wide spread communication in this globalized world and help people to know about the current knowledge of the world . But as a negative effects, there is nothing to do about the poor and porest countries. Globalization remove harmful religious beliefs...

What are the positive impacts of media in culture and society worldwide? ›

The media like television, radio and the Internet increase an overall awareness of the masses. They enhance the general knowledge by providing us with information from all over the world. News broadcast through different media helps us know about the day-to-day events in the world.

What are the positive effects of media to our culture conclusion? ›

Social media increased the connections between people and created an environment in which you can share your opinions, pictures and lots of stuff. Social media improved creativity and social awareness for our society by interacting with other people and sharing new ideas and opinions.

How media is affecting your everyday life? ›

Emotion. Multiple studies have shown that unlimited use of social media causes stress, bad moods and negative mental health. Many people wake up in the morning and immediately check their Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter.

Is social media an example of globalization? ›

Social media has transformed the way that people communicate during the 21st century. This occurrence has transformed society in a globalized world by impacting social interactions, financial institutions and ways of completing transactions, ways of communicating as well as the educational sector.

Is globalization possible without the use of media? ›

Globalization is generally a process that we experience every day. According to the Professor (Terhi Rantanen), “Practically, there is no globalization without media.” Media globalization has aided in both the production and distribution of information.

What is the important role of globalization in social? ›

Social globalization enables people in very remote areas of the world to communicate with each other, while political globalization forces governments to be transparent about infectious diseases. With economic globalization, increased economic activity may lead to urbanization.

What is the role of the media and social media in modern life? ›

It has made its importance in our lives in a very short period. It has become necessary daily activity for people. Social media enables its users to stay in contact by making communication easier. Sharing pictures, videos, expressing thoughts, ideas, and documents are just one click away.

What is the cultural impact of media? ›

How Does Media Affect Culture? Learning about other cultures through the media can create some stereotypes which can be negative at times. The media plays an important role in educating the people and making them familiar with some cultures so as to avoid stereotypes.

How does social media affect the globalization culture? ›

Just as globalization facilitates social media, social media facilitates cross-cultural interaction. Culture is influenced through contact with other cultures (Allwood 2000, p. 9). In this regard, social media cannot be discussed independently of other forms of media like mass media.

What is the impact of social media in globalization? ›

Social networks provide a new approach to global marketing. It enables companies to reach a wider audience. Companies can do effective marketing through social media. Niche marketing is much easier in social media than in the streets.

How does the media influence cultural development? ›

Answer and Explanation: Media influences culture and society by allowing for a very rapid exchange of ideas. Cultures share concepts with one another far more readily than in the premodern period; it is difficult to overstate the importance of this rapid cultural sharing on cultural development.

What is the importance of media culture in our daily lives? ›

They Determine Our Place in the World

The media greatly influences society. They inform people about what is happening. It permeates people's lives by creating their own criteria and opinions. In this way the media moves the masses, creating different social movements.

What is the importance of media in promoting popular culture? ›

Historically, popular culture has been closely associated with mass media that introduce and encourage the adoption of certain trends. We can see these media as “tastemakers”—people or institutions that shape the way others think, eat, listen, drink, dress and more.

What is your understanding of the role of social media in globalization? ›

Social media has transformed the way that people communicate during the 21st century. This occurrence has transformed society in a globalized world by impacting social interactions, financial institutions and ways of completing transactions, ways of communicating as well as the educational sector.

What are the positive impacts of social media on our culture? ›

It can help individuals connect and deepen their relationships. Social media also encourages students to learn and grow. And it can empower businesses to build their audiences and boost their bottom line. The positive effects of social media are plentiful.

What is the main impact of globalization? ›

In general, globalization decreases the cost of manufacturing. This means that companies can offer goods at a lower price to consumers. The average cost of goods is a key aspect that contributes to increases in the standard of living.

What is the relationship between media and culture? ›

Just as society forms and is formed in part by messages in the mass media, so it goes with culture. Cultural products and their popularity can influence which media channels people prefer. Conversely, changes in media and ICTs can lead to changes in how we produce culture.

How does media technology affect culture and society today? ›

Implementation of technology influences the values of society by changing expectations and realities. Over emphasizing technology has created lack of trust among people. Technology can also be blamed for unemployment, cultural lag, changes in social institutions.

Are media messages positively or negatively affecting our culture? ›

Culture can be affected both negatively and positively; therefore new media can impact our norms and traits in the same way. There are several ways in which new media technologies have promoted our culture.

Videos

1. Functionalism | Society and Culture | MCAT | Khan Academy
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2. How Culture and Technology Create One Another: Ramesh Srinivasan at TEDxUCLA
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3. How false news can spread - Noah Tavlin
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4. M-17. Globalisation and Print Media
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5. Class 7 Civics Unit 4 Chapter 6 | Media & Technology - Understanding Media
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6. Foreign Press Center Briefing on "Understanding America - The Future of Media Ethics"
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