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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: Hello! I’m Kellie and welcome to EnglishClass101.com
Gina: Hi! I’m Gina!
Kellie: This is Culture Class, Season 2, Lesson 12 - the top 5 biggest company battles in British media and entertainment.
Gina: Yes, we’ll give you a brief rundown of some of the major players and issues in British media and entertainment, and tell you about their battles.

Lesson focus

Kellie: Let’s begin with number 5 – the high street versus the internet.
Gina: Media and entertainment are of course businesses that are trying to make money and the high street and internet are their delivery routes, so to speak.
Kellie: Yeah, I remember going to the high street to buy albums, books and other forms of entertainment.
Gina: The high streets and shopping malls were full of stores selling things like that. There were cinemas everywhere too showing the latest movies.
Kellie: I like internet shopping now though.
Gina: Internet shopping is easier and there’s a greater variety. A website like Amazon can stock a far larger range than any high street store can and often for lower prices.
Kellie: Why even leave the house when you get everything delivered to you, or stream things instantly thanks to services like Netflix?
Gina: Well, I think the British public probably agrees with you there. The internet has definitely changed the way we’re shopping. Many high street stores are facing difficulty and closing down whereas internet shopping is increasing every year.
Kellie: I remember when Woolworths shut down. That chain stocked virtually every type of media there was, from music to computer games, until it closed. And HMV, one of the biggest music store chains in Britain entered administration in 2013.
Gina: Whereas internet shopping increased by 16% in 2012. It will keep climbing, I think.
Kellie: I think so too. So, number 4 is Radio 1 vs. Radio 2.
Gina: Both are national, commercial free radio stations that are owned by the BBC. Radio 1 specialises in current and popular music during the day but has more specialised programming at night. Its target demographic is the 15-35 group.
Kellie: Radio 2 is more of an adult contemporary station with a target demographic of the over 30s.
Gina: The flagship show for both stations is the breakfast show. Although they’re both BBC owned, there’s a lot of competition between them, especially for breakfast ratings. For record companies, it’s getting songs played on the breakfast show that is most important.
Kellie: Who is currently winning the battle?
Gina: Radio 2’s Chris Evans. He was the presenter on the Radio 1 breakfast show in the 90s but now he’s with Radio 2 and has 9.8million listeners compared to Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1 who has 5.8million.
Kellie: There are a lot of people listening to the radio while they eat their cornflakes in the morning! Our 3rd candidate is the press versus the law.
Gina: And by press here, we mainly mean tabloid newspapers. The tabloids in Britain have a reputation for sensationalising their stories and printing celebrity gossip alongside serious stories.
Kellie: Yeah, the tabloids are more likely to have a celebrity scandal on their front page than any serious news. Or if it is serious news, it will be from an angle that makes it seem even worse than it really is.
Gina: The printed media in Britain has its own regulatory authority that was set up by the papers themselves. It’s called the Press Complaints Commission and it enforces a set of guidelines that the press should adhere to. But, the press should also adhere to the laws.
Kellie: And some of the newspapers, editors and reporters haven’t been doing that lately, have they?
Gina: No, they haven’t. To get more sales a newspaper has to beat its competitors to scoops and exclusives and some newspapers were resorting to illegal measures in order to increase their sales.
Kellie: Like what?
Gina: Most famously, the Sunday newspaper The News of the World was found to have paid policemen and tapped phones.
Kellie: I remember that! There were some arrests and eventually, the newspaper shut down.
Gina: Yeah. It was owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International and they decided to shut the paper down. It couldn’t really carry on in light of the lengths some staff had gone to in order to sell extra copies.
Kellie: Even big business has to follow the law!
Gina: It does.
Kellie: Let’s move onto number 2 – Netflix versus LoveFilm.
Gina: Netflix is an American company that was established in 1997. It streams movies and TV programmes on demand to subscribers for a monthly fee. It opened in Britain on 9th January 2012.
Kellie: LoveFilm is owned by Amazon, isn’t it?
Gina: It is now, yes. It began in 2002 and a series of mergers and acquisitions led to it being purchased by Amazon and named LoveFilm. It also streams films and TV programmes, but also has a postal rental system.
Kellie: There are a couple of other services starting to emerge, but Netflix and LoveFilm are the two leaders in the entertainment streaming market.
Gina: Definitely. They’re in direct competition too as although LoveFilm does offer the postal service, you can subscribe to an online only service. Both companies charge £5.99 a month for this.
Kellie: Same price too? I wonder how people choose which service to subscribe to.
Gina: Although some of their libraries are the same, there are also a lot of differences. There’s a lot of talk online about which service is best and at the moment, LoveFilm is more popular with 2.5million subscribers compared to Netflix’s 1.2million.
Kellie: Ah, but Netflix is a new service. It could catch up…
Gina: It definitely could! A few acquisitions that LoveFilm doesn’t have and it could easily catch up.
Kellie: Right. Lastly is our number 1 – terrestrial TV versus pay TV.
Gina: Terrestrial TV is television that doesn’t require cable or satellite technology to be viewed. It’s also known as broadcast television. In Britain, as long as you’ve paid your license fee you don’t need to pay for the vast majority of terrestrial channels.
Kellie: And pay TV is well… paid TV, right?
Gina: At its most basic, yes! It covers TV delivered by cable and satellite as those are the main sources of pay TV. There are a few companies in the pay TV market but the major players are Sky and Virgin Media.
Kellie: Sky’s subscriptions really increased when they started buying programmes that had become popular on terrestrial TV.
Gina: Yeah, Sky has more money at its disposal so it could outbid the terrestrial channels for the rights to screen TV programmes and movies first. They could also get exclusive rights to many sports.
Kellie: I’m glad that you raised the subject of sports because there are some sporting events that no matter how much money Sky has, they can’t get the rights to.
Gina: That’s right. The broadcast regulator Ofcom has protected some sporting events and insisted that they stay on terrestrial TV. This covers the major events such as the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.
Kellie: But practically everything else has gone to Sky.
Gina: Near enough. It’s a clever marketing scheme for a TV broadcaster though. If you want people to subscribe to you, then you have to broadcast what they want to watch.
Kellie: True! And that was our top five duels in British media and entertainment.
Gina: We hope it was informative and enjoyable!
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Kellie: See you next time!
Gina: See you!

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Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hi Listeners! Have you ever heard of any of these companies?