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Thursday, February 13, 2003
16 companies are driving worldwide Digital Media and entertainment

Twelve major media mega companies, along with four key influencers, are driving the worldwide markets for digital media and entertainment, according to In-Stat/MDR ( ). The high-tech market research firm reports that the driving force for these very large companies appears to be that an enormous economy of scale will improve their ability to compete in a global economy. AOL Time-Warner, The Walt Disney Company, Viacom, and Vivendi Universal have been on a binge to consolidate assets, making mergers and acquisitions the order of the day.

In nearly every country throughout the world, local creative content companies are being purchased, or obtaining equity investments from these very large Media Mega Companies.

In-Stat/MDR believes that these companies represent the lion's share of media-related revenue opportunities, with AOL Time-Warner currently accounting for a whopping 22.4% of the group's value. Disney, Viacom, and Vivendi Universal each pull in about 10+% and Sony, News Corporation, Cox Enterprises, and Bertelsmann have about 5% each. The niche players, with less than 5% of the group's value, are Lagardere SCA, GE/NBC, Grupo Televisa, S.A., and Liberty Media. As a group, these companies' combined annual revenues will grow from $150 Billion in 2002 to approximately $178 Billion by 2007.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- The British Broadcasting Corporation, NKH in Japan, PBS in the United States, and Microsoft all have a strong influence on the media industry and are considered by In-Stat/MDR to be four key industry influencers.

-- Each of the 12 Media Mega Companies has opportunities that are defined by their current holdings and operations, and limitations due to holes in their portfolios. As these companies work to improve the financial return on their assets, and jockey for an advantage, a global game of Risk will be played out.

-- News Corporation is very international, holds the early lead for interactive TV, and is positioned to lead the pack into the next generation of movies, videos, and personalized programming. Liberty Media is not far behind.

-- Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, and other, non-English language programming, represent the key, long-term growth opportunity for all 16 companies.

-- Microsoft is a dark horse, with their Windows Media 9 Series possibly creating a whole new genre of content on the Internet, that consumers will want to have available on their TV sets and cell phones.

-- Surprisingly, historical growth cycles of the semiconductor industry may act as a leading indicator, predicting the movement of media mega company fortunes.

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