The Online Television Industry: Fragmentation, consolidation, and power

Catherine Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


How do we conceptualize the television industry in a context in which video has expanded and fragmented beyond the traditional industries, technologies, and textual forms historically associated with television? This chapter proposes an approach based on identifying a specific field of industrial action, in this instance the production and distribution of online TV, defined as television services that facilitate the viewing of editorially selected audiovisual content through internet-connected devices and infrastructures. By mapping out the seven industrial sectors that make up the online TV value chain, the chapter reveals significant levels of consolidation in the online TV industry, despite the fragmentation of television and the entrance of new players from different industrial backgrounds. The online TV industry is one that favors economies of scale in which global platforms and larger transnational conglomerates (that operate across all points of the value chain) are able to exert significant competitive advantage. The chapter argues that such a mapping of the online TV industry is essential to understand the power dynamics at play in the production and distribution of contemporary television and is an approach that can be adapted to other industrial fields of action and contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Media Industries
EditorsPaul McDonald
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780429275340
ISBN (Print)9780367225261, 9781032065342
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions


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