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Minimum Differentiation in Commercial Media Markets

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  • Esther Gal‐Or
  • Anthony Dukes

Abstract

We examine a model of locational choice in commercial media markets. Commercial media (stations) compete for audiences with their choice of programming variety in order to attract advertising revenues from advertisers. These advertisers (producers) compete in a differentiated product market and rely on advertising to inform consumers about their product. We use the model to show that media have incentives to minimize the extent of differentiation between them. This incentive is an implication of the assumed role of advertising as information and as an ultimate nuisance to the audience. When stations minimally differentiate their programming offerings, producers choose lower levels of advertising. Consequently, lower levels of product information are available to consumers, permitting producers to gain higher margins on product sales. As a result, stations can negotiate higher payments for advertising space.

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Gal‐Or & Anthony Dukes, 2003. "Minimum Differentiation in Commercial Media Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 291-325, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:291-325
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1430-9134.2003.00291.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1430-9134.2003.00291.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonas Hackner & Sten Nyberg, 2008. "Advertising and Media Market Concentration," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 79-96.
    2. Anthony Dukes & Esther Gal–Or, 2003. "Negotiations and Exclusivity Contracts for Advertising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 222-245, November.
    3. Peter O. Steiner, 1952. "Program Patterns and Preferences, and the Workability of Competition in Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 194-223.
    4. Nilssen,T. & Sorgard,L., 2001. "The TV industry : advertising and programming," Memorandum 18/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    5. Jack H. Beebe, 1977. "Institutional Structure and Program Choices in Television Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 15-37.
    6. Michael Spence & Bruce Owen, 1977. "Television Programming, Monopolistic Competition, and Welfare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 103-126.
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