Discussion Papers

Peter Kürble

Branchenstrukturanalyse im Multimedia-Markt am Beispiel der Spielfilmbranche und der Branche der Programmveranstalter
Nr. 172 / April 1997

Summary

Two years are gone since in 1995 "multimedia" was chosen as the "word of the year" in Germany. At the same time the worldwide discussion about multimedia in general and its potentials in particular reached its climax.

Until now the excitement calms down, partly because of technical problems and partly because economic aspects move back into focus. Economic aspects for example are the costs of implementation and supply of multimedia services, especially into private households. It seems not clear yet whether the additional utility of multimedia services would be realized by the consumers and would lead to additional revenue for the suppliers.

Starting point of the following paper is the assumption that utility of multimedia services for private households stems mainly from the attractiveness of content. This leads to the question, how it would be possible that an enterprise, here especially a telecommunications network operator, could become the owner of content. Content may be for example movies and the following paper deals with the movie industry and one of its distribution channels, the broadcasting.

Whether the barriers of entry and exit concerning the production of movies are low becoming a producer seems not to be wise. First, because producing films is very risky concerning revenues and second, consumers did not differentiate between production firms, so that competition is very high. Moreover because of the high demand for films of a higher significance than the ownership of current productions is the ownership of film stocks. 30 to 50 per cent of the movies which are available worldwide and relevant for broadcasting in (western) TV are owned by the US-Majors. Besides this so called financier-distributors a lot of (regional) distributors and broadcasters own rights of disposal. Regional distributors sell those rights for example to regional broadcasters and broadcasters use them mainly for their own.

Broadcasting seems to be very attractive for newcomers one the one side because technological and regulatory developments opened the market for new competitors and made it possible to differentiate themselves from the incumbents. One of the main problems concerning broadcasting on the other side are the high market entry and exit barriers and the low elasticity of consumer demand.

Only German language version available.

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