Everyone has heard about the exponential growth of the Internet. Everyone has seen the graphs portraying the numbers of users or servers. And everyone has read about hypes and bubbles, upswings and recessions related to the Internet. Putting these common information aside and taking a closer look on the actual responses to the Internet of the five largest media companies is the primary purpose of this paper. .
At a point where the Internet has established itself as a mass medium examening large media companies can bring up valuable information: What are the typical responses of companies? Do their Internet ventures follow certain patterns? Which Internet activities proved to be successful and lasting? Of course, it would also be possible to answer questions of these types by looking at companies in other industries. But because of the natural relationship between traditional activities of media companies and the topics raised by the "digital revolution- more appropriate answers can be found when concentrating on media companies.
The procedure is as follows: Having described the respective company (Time Warner/AOL, Disney, Viacom/CBS, Sony, or Bertelsmann) in brief by focusing on key aspects such as size and core activities its main responses to the Internet are displayed. Afterwards, it is tried to evaluate these ventures based on financial figures or qualitive information such as public statements or comments in the press. Finally, each section on an enterprise contains possible reasons why the Internet activities of the respective company were successful or not. The paper ends with a short conclusion summarizing the main findings and trying to recognize possible similarities or differences between the five companies. .
Bertelsmann's response to the Internet.
1) What is Bertelsmann?.
Bertelsmann was founded in 1835 as a small publishing house for Christian literature. Today it is one of the leading international media companies employing approximately 82000 people in 60 countries.