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Cross-Media Promotion

Jonathan Hardy

Cross-Media Promotion is the first book-length study of a defining feature of contemporary media, the promotion by media of their allied media interests. The book explores the range of forms of cross-promotion including synergistic marketing of mega-brands such as Harry Potter; promotional plugs in news media; repurposing media content, stars and brands across other media and outlets; product placement, and the integration of media content and advertising.
Incorporating specialist literature, yet written in a clear, accessible style, the book combines three areas of study: media industry practices, media policy, and media theory. It examines the dynamics of cross-media promotion across converging media, drawing on a range of examples from the United States and the United Kingdom. Synergy and intertextuality are explored alongside critical debates about the ‘problems’ of cross-promotion. The book also offers a critical evaluation of media policy responses from the late 1980s to the present, which the book argues, have failed to grapple with the problems of media power, market power and commercialism generated by intensifying cross-media promotion.
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Cross-media promotion is the promotion of one media service or product through another. The phenomenon of media firms cross-promoting their allied media interests has increased dramatically in recent decades. This is linked to broader changes including digitalisation and the technological expansion of multimedia, corporate consolidation and integration, increased commercialism and competition in media markets, changes in regulation, professional media practices and consumption. Convergence and concentration in media and communications industries have generated ever increasing varieties and forms of cross-media promotion. Since the 1980s there has been a marked growth of synergistic practices whereby media firms have sought to maximise profits through the co-ordinated promotion, diffusion, sale and consumption of media products, services and related merchandise. Cross-media promotion (CMP) has thus become a defining feature of media conglomeration and contemporary media. It has been integral to the marketing and diffusion of new media forms and become more widespread and strategically important across all mass media.

This book examines the various forms cross-media promotion takes but also critically explores the ‘problems’ of CMP from a variety of standpoints. Forms of cross-promotion, this book argues, erode and transgress regulatory and normative boundaries between editorial and advertising, ‘independent’ and commercially bought or interested speech. Consequently, cross-media promotion constitutes an important element of the challenges for communications regulation in the 21st century.

We are now so far from that world where media companies tended to own discrete media with few having a significant cross-media portfolio. Today almost all national...

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