American Media Influence on Global Culture Essay

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American Media Influence on Global Culture

Pop culture is a term coined by sociologists to define American media influence today. Society is bombarded with themes that define pop culture: progress, material gain, individual freedom and wealth. Media, in particular television commercials, movies, newspapers and radio stations, encourages Americans how to think, what to buy and where to live. According to a study done by graduate students at Harvard, as technology expands and media corporations seek audiences in foreign countries, fear of global cultural homogenization by American pop culture increases.[1] However, many barriers prevent American influence from producing cultural changes. Although American media companies develop
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Time Warner, for example, has over two hundred subsidiaries worldwide and has generated over $300 billion in foreign markets. Of Time Warner s markets, film and television programs account for fifty percent, music for twenty percent, magazines and books for twenty percent and cable systems for ten percent. Time Warner programs broadcast in Europe include CNN International, TNT and HBO International. TIME and People Magazine are also top-selling magazines.[4]

Disney has likewise found promising returns in Europe. Disney received $24 billion in sales in 1997 and is the only other company who contends with Time Warner s status as the world s largest media corporation. Disney also has stake in various industries, receiving thirty-one percent of its revenue from broadcasting and twenty-three percent from theme parks. A number of their television programs can be found in Europe including Disney Channel, ESPN International, and ABC. Other media giants that transmit programs in Europe are Viacom (MTV and Nickelodeon) which reaches ninety million households in seventy other countries outside the United States, News Corporation (Fox News Channel, Fox Sports Net and New York Post) and General Electric (NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC).[5]

Italy, Turkey and Greece