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A Definition:

 Synergy (from the Greek syn-ergos, συνεργός meaning

working together) is the term used to describe a situation
where different entities cooperate advantageously for a
final outcome. Simply defined, it means that the whole is
greater than the sum of its parts.

 It’s the ‘strategy of synchronising and actively forging

connections between directly related areas of

 New Technologies support this process – web, dvd,

downloading. Media institution exploit various platforms to
sell various products related to one film (e.g. film and
soundtrack and video game).

 Symbiosis is the linking up of various companies to make

profits from one product
An example of synergy from Disney



An example of synergy from Working Title Films….

Sound Track

 This is when different companies work together to promote
a range of related products. Eg High School Musical the film
will enable spin-offs like Happy Meals, Easter Eggs,
bedlinen, toy characters etc and the distributor will agree
licensing deals for companies to make and sell this
merchandising. A % of the profits will go back to the

 Walt Disney pioneered symbiosis marketing techniques in

the 1930s by granting dozens of firms the right to use his
Mickey Mouse character in products and ads, and continued
to market Disney media through licensing arrangements.

 These products can help advertise the film itself and thus
help to increase the film's sales. For example, the
Spider-Man films had toys of ‘webshooters’ and figures of
the characters made, CD soundtracks, video games, DVD’s
and other merchandising.
 Convergence is the process by which a range of media
platforms are integrated within a single piece of media

 For example the new X Box 360 is a games console, a DVD

player, an internet modem.

 The iphone is a phone, a camera, a video camera, an mp3

player, an FM radio, a games console, a web browser, a
palmtop computer.

This demonstrates ‘convergence’ of a wide range of


Media institutions recognise that audiences enjoy using

converged technology, want to consume media in a variety
of different ways (including ‘on the go’) and provide short
form content for downloading eg video clips, trailers, music
videos, jingles, wallpapers, music tracks etc
Vivendi Universal
 Working Title films is owned by Universal films

 Universal films is part of Vivendi Universal

 Vivendi Universal is a giant name in the world of

the privatised water industry all over the world,
from Brazil to the UK

 It also owns major phone companies in many


 It also owns 60 publishing houses selling 80

million books a year / 40 million CD-ROMs a year
Vivendi Universal
 Vivendi Universal own Cineplex and Odeon
cinema chains- another distribution an marketing

 Also owns

 Also owns Canal+ (French TV subscription

channel) which has 14 million subscribers in 11
countries in Europe. Canal+ part finance
Working Title Films productions.

 Owns Universal records. (22% share of global

market across 63 countries)
Vivendi Universal
 Can produce their own tv shows and films at
Universal Studios

 Have exclusive distribution rights of Working Title

films and soundtracks

 Can distribute, market and exhibit films they own

through their own 13 cable channels, eg Chiller
channel for horror films, Movies 24 in UK and
Canal+ in Europe

 Can market and exhibit content through their tv

channels and entertainment parks

 They can distribute their content through their

partnership with Apple via i-tunes
 Vivendi Universal own

 They can use this as a platform to distribute

Universal owned content

 They can also use the as a platform for

advertising content and can sell advertising space
to other related companies eg CBS have links to
their film sites

 Therefore the company benefit from audiences

owning converged technology such as a video-
ipod as this is where they will download and
exhibit their content
Vivendi Universal
 As a company they have..

Have integrated film, music, web and distribution

technology into the company, including owning
big stakes in cables and wires that deliver these

Therefore they are vertically integrated because

they own all the different companies involved in
film, from production to distribution to exhibition.

They are also horizontally integrated because they

have all the expertise for producing media
content under one roof – films, tv, magazines,
books, music, games thus being able to produce
all the related media content for one film under
the same roof (see synergy)
Why is this important to
Working Title Films?

Points to think about…

 Production

 Distribution

 Marketing

 Exhibition

 Merchandising – increase profits