Category Archives: Institutions and Audiences

Section B: Institutions and Audiences

Here is a mindmap showing the content of the institutions and audiences section of our exam in Summer…


Key Terminology

As an introduction to Section B of the exam and to prepare us for the upcoming course, our teacher went through the key terminology that we need to know in order to understand and excel in this area of the examination in Summer…

  • Horizontal Integration: is an example of a partnership model. Companies which are on the same level of the industry, merge together in order to succeed. In the world of media, an example of this would be two production companies coming together to create a film.
  • Vertical Integration: The term to describe larger companies in control of every aspect of their business. An example of this is Apple because they own each aspect involved within production, distribution and consumption of their company; this has given them huge power and success.
  • Theatrical Exhibition: When films were in the beginning stages, they were shown in theatres as these were the most practical areas for a large number of people to watch something on a screen. From this, cinemas are often referred to as ‘Movie Theatres’. Theatrical Exhibition is simply a term for the displaying of films in a cinema/theatre.
  • Non-Theatrical Exhibition: The term used to describe watching a film from any source, except at a cinema or theatre. An example of this could be watching a film on Netflix on your mobile phone as this is not taking place in a cinema/theatre.
  • Guerilla Filmmaking: A way of making an independent film using props and equipment to a low budget. The term covers the idea that in the modern day and age, with more common and improved technology, anyone could make a film.
  • Technological Convergence: The term to describe existing technologies coming together to create an edited and more up to date technology.
  • Symbiosis: When companies come together in order to receive benefits for both parties involved.
  • Synergy: The term to describe two or more companies coming together in order to achieve a goal or objective that they could not have achieved independently.
  • Technological Disruption: Where a new technology is so much better than the old technology and so ruins/replaces the previous version. An example of this is when in 2007 Apple introduced their first iPhone; this day caused chaos for companies such as Blackberry and Nokia as everyone wanted the new and improved technology.
  • Media Ownership: The term used to describe the process of owning and delivering multi-media.
  • Media Conglomerates: The term to describe the larger companies that control everything. An example of this is Fox in America as this company holds huge control over the nation.
  • Concentration of Ownership: When larger companies buy smaller companies resulting in the majority of things being owned by said larger companies.
  • Targeted Advertising: Where advertising is chosen specifically for the audience seeing it. For example, an advert for a new toy or Disney film on a children’s television channel or programme as the product involved has a target audience of the people watching the specific channel/programme.
  • Un-Targeted Advertising: Advertising that is not directed at a specific target audience. An example of this could be a poster at a bus stop or a billboard on the streets.
  • Cross Media Ownership/Convergence: A term to describe when a larger company owns various different media products, for example Disney.
  • “The Big Six”: The six main companies that control everything…


  • Distribution: The act of getting a film to the audience.
  • Exhibition: The showing of a film to the audience, for example a cinema.
  • “The Lionsgate Twenty”: The $20 million spent on advertising.

Exam: Institutions and Audiences

Section B

Now that we have covered all of the focuses for Section A of the exam, it is time to move onto Section B. This section of the exam focuses specifically on institutions and audiences. For this part of the exam, you can concentrate on various topics. However, we have chosen to focus on the topic of film. In the exam, we will be asked one question surrounding the topic of institutions and audiences and use detailed references to our specific case studies, which we shall pick up along the way, in order to back up our answers. These case studies must be from the past 5 years in order to be valid when proving our point. There are 50 marks available for this section in the exam. Each year the question is slightly different, however on the whole they are all related somehow. Here are some past paper questions where this point can be seen…

June, 2016:

To what extent has the internet played a significant role in the marketing and exchange of media products in the area you have studied?

June, 2015:

To what extent does media ownership have an impact on the successful distribution of media products in the media area that you have studied?

June, 2014:

The increase in hardware and content in media industries has been significant in recent years. Discuss the effect this has had on institutions and audiences in the media area you have studied.

June, 2013:

Evaluate the role of digital technologies in the marketing and consumption of products in the media area you have studied.

January, 2013:

What impact does media ownership have upon the range of products available to audiences in the media area you have studied?

June, 2012:

“Cross-media convergence and synergy are vital processes in the successful marketing of media products to audiences.”

To what extent do you agree with this statement in relation to your chosen media area?

January, 2012:

To what extent does digital distribution affect the marketing and consumption of media products in the media area you have studied?

June, 2011:

“Successful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices.”

To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied?

January, 2011:

Discuss the issues raised by media ownership in the production and exchange of media texts in your chosen media area.

June, 2010:

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

January, 2010:

“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences.”

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

June, 2009:

How important is technological convergence for institutions and audiences within a media area which you have studied?

January, 2009:

Discuss the ways in which media products are produced and distributed to audiences, within a media area, which you have studied.

Here is what my teacher had to say about the Section B exam questions and how they have varied each year…

Although the questions are phrased differently every year, they will always relate to a study of a specific studio or production company within a contemporary film industry that targets a British audience (e.g. Hollywood, Bollywood, UK film) including its patterns of production, distribution, exhibition and consumption by audiences. This should be accompanied by study of contemporary film distribution practices (digital cinemas, DVD, HD-DVD, downloads, etc) and their impact on production, marketing and consumption.

You should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as, the nature of audience consumption and the relationship between audiences and institutions.

In order to complete this section of the examination with success, there are a few points that we should make ourselves familiar with…

  • The issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice.

  • The importance of cross media convergence and synergy, in production, distribution and marketing.

  • The technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, marketing and exchange.

  • The significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences.

  • The importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences.

  • The issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international and global institutions.

  • The ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.