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Perspectives on the Media from New York Public Television

Weekly Media News Briefing, January 16th-20th

Michael Hurtig | January 20th, 2012

As major media and entertainment sites invest in original content, the cloud of niche programming and new shows available exclusively online is growing. While prominent sites like the Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast are all featuring new video content on their sites in a bid to establish themselves as serious players in the convergent media space, Netflix, Hulu, and others are making deals which will see exclusive, high-budget shows incorporated with their other offerings, almost all of which have to this point been sourced from studios or other independent content creators.

With these new investments comes not only an experiment, but a deluge of original scripted and non-scripted programming – and this isn’t only happening online. Throughout 2011 the cable industry saw an upsurge in original programming as channels sought to keep themselves relevant in an era when running re-runs is slowly becoming a less popular practice.

What does this mean for viewers? While it may become trickier to navigate the video and entertainment ecosystem, competition is greater than ever, and this means viewers may end up with more high quality programming that’s relevant to them.


Weekly Media News Briefing, January 2nd-6th

Michael Hurtig | January 6th, 2012

Broadcast television is (finally) coming to a phone near you. MetroPCS, a mobile service provider, has announced that it has partnered with Mobile Content Venture (MCV) to broadcast digital tv to phones equipped with digital tuners. MCV is a joint venture of 12 major US broadcast groups, whose aim since 2010 has been to leverage the power of broadcast tv through cell phone and other digital delivery. Although a number of manufacturers, including mobile phone and pc companies, previously adopted tuners as a part of their products, they have yet to become popularized. (more…)

Against digital competition, publishers make books beautiful, while print news still looks for an edge

Michael Hurtig | January 4th, 2012

Publishing houses want readers to judge a book by its cover, not to mention colored endpapers and deckle edges, the Times’ Julie Bosman reported recently. Unfortunately, beleaguered newspapers cannot adapt this survival strategy.

Recently, the economics of print journalism have become more dire than traditional publishing. The reversal would have seemed ludicrous ten years ago, when newspapers still littered apartment lobbies, brownstone stoops and small-town sidewalks even as the umpteenth death knell was sounded for the novel and, less somberly, the hardcover non-fiction doorstop.


Weekly Media Briefing for December 19th-23rd

Michael Hurtig | December 19th, 2011

The video game console is taking center stage in more living rooms as video streaming on consoles grows. Nielsen’s report last week indicated that streaming and video-on-demand is up on leading consoles compared to the same time last year. The Xbox (Microsoft), Playstation 3 (Sony), and Wii (Nintendo) provide the super-processing power that many consumer computers lack, ideal for high-quality streaming, and in a convergent media climate where multi-use means everything, they’re also bringing a new dynamic to the tv experience.

Weekly Media News Briefing for December 12th-16th

Michael Hurtig | December 13th, 2011

Last Tuesday, NBC’s push to increase local coverage took a more concrete form as it announced new partnerships with non-profit news organizations. Notably, Propublica, a nonprofit news organization specializing in investigative journalism, will team up with 10 NBC stations. The move comes on the heels of Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal in January, in which Comcast agreed to increase local coverage across NBC’s news operations. Propublica’s General Manager, Richard Tofel (above), spoke positively on the sustainability of non-profit news organizations at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in April 2011.

Warren Buffet, despite previously saying that newspapers were a dying business, has just bought a local paper in Nebraska. Is the wizard of Omaha making a statement of values, or does he believe he is making a good investment?

Weekly Media News Briefing for December 5th-9th

Michael Hurtig | December 6th, 2011

North American Newspapers are expected to continue their downward trajectory into 2012, according to a new report from KubasPrimedia. While ad revenues are even worse than originally projected, the quarterly number of readers making the transition from print-heavy with a digital supplement to a full digital news diet has also been an elusive figure to project. Digital subscriptions are picking up, but despite an initial skyrocket following the introduction of online paywalls and e-reader subscriptions on applications like Apple’s newsstand, ad revenue is unlikely to return to previous levels – a continued push for innovation is a must.

Last week the New York Times launched a new commenting system that allows trusted readers with a history of “good commenting behavior” to post without moderation. Via Business Week.

CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia will merge to create CNBC International. In a release, network chief Mark Hoffman stated that the consolidation would bring “streamlined communication”, thus strengthening overall operations. Via News On News

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