The alleged US domination of global media markets (primarily those of film and television) based on a dependency relationship with small media companies worldwide, where cheap American imports are purchased in preference to indigenous content. Media imperialism creates conditions of global homogeneity that are the basis of cultural imperialism. Proponents of this view point out that all the largest media companies are based in the USA, and the Hollywood film studios directly control distribution systems in all their principal foreign markets. However, these claims have been strongly criticized because many US media companies are actually owned by foreign conglomerates (e.g. Sony), and many countries also export their media content. For example, Egypt is a major supplier of television programmes for Arab-speaking countries, and Brazilian soap operas or ‘telenovelas’ are hugely popular in Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking territories all around the world (including in the USA). See also media hegemony.
Subjects: Media Studies.