Who Owns the Online Media?
45 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 22, 2021
We examine the ownership structure and reach of thousands of news websites in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. By combining data on domain registrants, firm ownership, and domain-level web traffic, we draw detailed ownership networks behind news domains. We find that more than half of these websites have one ultimate owner. Otherwise, they tend to have highly diversified ownership structures, making it non-transparent as to who is ultimately responsible for the content. Moreover, the market concentration for online news is moderate to high and varies substantially across countries. Financial industry firms ultimately own substantial shares in the online news market.
Keywords: mass media, internet, media ownership, market concentration, news domains
JEL Classification: D72, L82, L86
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