Background Note | HBS Case Collection | April 2005 (Revised April 2005)

Corporate Strategies in Media and Entertainment Businesses

by Bharat N. Anand


In recent years, many debates in corporate strategy have centered around information goods markets, and the media and entertainment sector in particular. Vertical integration is the norm in many parts of the media sector, despite conventional wisdom that it offers no benefits. The major media and entertainment firms appear to consist of loosely held businesses under a single corporate umbrella, hence invoking the term "conglomerates." Family ownership continues to characterize many of these firms, even some of the very largest. And efforts by some firms (e.g., AOL-Time Warner) to extract synergies between their businesses have failed, reinforcing the call to break up these firms. Addresses these questions: How can one make sense of these factors? Why do media conglomerates exist and persist? And, what are the central strategic challenges in leading the media firm? Focuses on a few salient issues and firms.

Keywords: Corporate Strategy;


Anand, Bharat N. "Corporate Strategies in Media and Entertainment Businesses." Harvard Business School Background Note 705-479, April 2005. (Revised April 2005.)