Chapter 5 Market power in cloud video
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A central question for the emerging TV media environment is: What will the industry structure of these cloud video markets look like? If a few companies will dominate, then this will have major societal, business, and policy implications. This chapter analyzes several fundamental economic factors: economies of scale, scope, data operations, as well as network effects and distance effects. Video clouds also have major operational competitive advantages, including branding and marketing, privacy and security, and several bridging functions across technology standards, laws and regulations, and financial flows. We measure market power in the various submarkets. In combination, economies of scope, scale, and verticality create high winner-takes-all for infrastructure platforms and for content platforms. The main source of market power are those of vertical integration across the several of the distribution chain. The chapter analyzes these advantages, and the several types of vertical integration, centered, respectively, on specific companies in infrastructure, content, technology, data, and retailing. It identifies the factors that favor a domination by large and often global companies. In the final section of the chapter, we provide empirical findings for market concentration in the various submarkets of streaming video. Most likely to emerge is a two-tier structure, with an oligopoly of a few major “tentpole” video cloud companies integrating the many elements that are supplied by smaller specialists.

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