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Media Briefing

Weekly Media Briefing September 19th-23rd

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, September 19th, 2011

Google is coming under anti-trust scrutiny in the US.

So Netflix is now Qwikster?  And you will get less and somehow pay more?  Or not, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tells us, as hastily and confusingly as he announced the now defunct price hike.

Is Gamification the future of literature?

Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, two entertainment industry veterans, have their new company’s sights set on high growth media companies in emerging markets. More specifically, Sloan offered that their interests lie in traditional media companies outside of the U.S. in “big, high growth markets,” or new media business in the U.S. Their strategy notably does not include newspaper investments, however they admittedly have little experience in that arena.

How to keep 3D and 2D audiences happy? James Cameron is advocating the merger of 2D and 3D crews and equipment shooting live events and sports to cut costs and save time for broadcasters and other organizations.

Stanford is cataloging a very specific type of ephemeral media: sound.

Facebook is now making it easier for journalists to gain subscribers through a new feature which enables Facebook users to subscribe to public page updates. There is no limit to how many subscribers one page can have which means that journalists can build large fan bases, unlike normal Facebook profiles which are limited to 5000 “friends.” On the Facebook website, there is now a page titled “Facebook and Journalists” that outlines the do’s and don’ts for journalists who are using Facebook as a platform. More about this on Poynter.

News may circle the world at the speed of light, but getting it to the newsroom in paper or digital form can still be a cumbersome process.  Texas-based company latakoo is trying to change that.

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Weekly Media Briefing September 11-17

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, September 12th, 2011

E-book sales explode while print sales continue their steady decline.

Nielsen’s newly released Social Media Report is packed with fascinating information, like the fact that internet users over 55 are driving social media use via mobile devices.

Is The Toronto International Film Festival the Cannes of North America?

While we don’t really want to admit it, the time has come to start paying attention to the 2012 Presidential Race, and the Columbia Journalism Review is a good place to start.

More evidence that the internet seems designed to reward content aggregators rather than content producers.  With too many sources of material, not enough time to sort the bad from the good, and never enough buyers, the content creators always lose out — a sad state of affairs.

The Murdoch phone hacking scandal (remember that?) continues to change the way the UK is thinking about privacy, and has emboldened Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling and other celebrities to initiate and inquiry about violations of their privacy by gossip-mongering journalists.  Let’s hope that the citizens of the UK can get something good out of this spectacle.

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Weekly media briefing September 4 – September 10

By Michael Hurtig
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Think people are unwilling to pay for online content?  Mobile data was worth about $734 million last year in the UK alone.

The Internet is the new black, according to fashion designer Nicole Miller, who shifted her whole ad budget online this year.

Read More …

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Weekly Media Briefing for August 29th – September 2nd

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 29th, 2011

Google’s Eric Schmidt is delivering a speech at Edingburgh’s Television Festival next week, and is expected to outline the company’s plan to make a splash with GoogleTV in the U.K.

What would the news look like if PR firms could do whatever they wanted online?  For the Chinese, this is not a hypothetical question.

Why booming e-book sales are actually bad news for publishers, at least for now.

Here’s something nobody expected: non-profit news is getting MORE ideologically polarized, not less, says Pew.

Wal-Mart has become a major player in online movie rentals and downloads.

The death of books has been greatly exaggerated, says Lloyd Shepherd in a sane and cheerful article for the Guardian.

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Weekly Media Briefing for August 22nd – 26th

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Bids for Hulu are still coming in, and numbers between 500 million and 2 billion are expected. The site’s instance as joint venture between media majors has brought access to many hours of premium content, however it has also created many conflicts of  interest. Potential investors could potentially open doors for the site and make it a stronger competitor in the online streaming space.

Freshman at Florida Atlantic University get a lesson in how journalism was done before the internet, and are surprised by how much has been forgotten in just twenty short years.

Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC blurs the line between satire and activism, but that may just be the point, in an America with no limits on campaign spending, and where political power is impossible without and often inseparable from media presence.

Whatever may be happening in the economy, we say with certainty that the news consensus says the economy is ailing, and hasn’t been this bad since 2009.

Bill Moyers returns to public television!

Another Google books dispute in France ends in settlement. Following a similar deal between Google and Hachette, French publisher La Martiniere has agreed to share revenue for out-of-print books from its collection which are to be scanned by Google.

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Weekly Media Briefing for August 15th-19th

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 15th, 2011

Time Warner Cable has expanded its Midwest operations by acquiring cable company Insight Communications for 3 billion.

Youtube’s most popular content: Music videos. According to a report from Ad Age, 40% of Youtube viewers in July visited the site to watch music videos, with VEVO and Warner music taking in more views than any other branded channel on the video streaming site. Meanwhile, the National Music Publishers Association signed a licensing fee deal with Youtube, offering a source of revenue for music publishers whose music videos and songs evidently make the site such a popular destination.

Netflix is making headway into Spain and Britain in 2012. The company will not have the same head start in premium streaming video services that it did in the US – it will be competing with other major streaming sites such as Lovefilm, Europe’s leading streaming service, acquired by Amazon in January.

The traditional TV advertising format is gaining steam online. Mid-roll advertisements are increasing in length, and viewers are sticking around to watch them. The study confirming the ongoing shift can be found here: Freewheel

Amazon now has 100,000 movies and tv shows available for a-la-carte purchase online, whereas its streaming content stands at a much lower 9,000 titles. Amazon’s approach is unique in that it offers consumers both an a-la-carte (pay per download) and subscription options.

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Weekly Media Briefing August 8th-12th

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 8th, 2011

Media companies are remaining positive amid the market slowdown, reporting that advertising revenue is not decreasing as a result.

Comcast continued rolling out its plans for an expansion of local news programming this week. Its Telemundo Station Group was the focus of the announcement, which indicated the production of new spanish-language local news and public affairs programs in select markets across the country.

The Dish Network, which acquired bankrupt video rental company Blockbuster for $320 million in April, also lost 135,000 subscribers in the quarter.

Forbes reports that e-books are exempt from sales tax in the state of New York, because they are not “tangible personal property.”  Does this have anything to do with the collapse of bricks and mortar retailer Borders?

The Columbia Journalism Review asks if public media is ready for the digital age.

When cable operators first offered programming on tablets, content owners reacted with litigation. Viacom and Cablevision have  now come to an agreement which will allow Viacom content to remain a part of Cablevision’s ‘Optimum’ apps.

Hulu will soon begin streaming in Japan, marking its first expansion into an international market.

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Weekly Media Briefing August 1-5

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, August 1st, 2011

The National Association of Broadcasters expressed its support for the omission of spectrum auctions in Monday’s proposed debt deal. Spectrum auctions, which would repurpose tv broadcast spectrum for use by wireless broadband providers, have recently been proposed by policy makers as one solution to expanding capacity for wireless broadband providers.

This week both CBS and Time Warner reported higher revenue than expected for the last quarter. The legacy media companies both surprised analysts, and the trend is expected to continue across the media sector.

The Washington Post reported a 50% decline in earnings on Friday, including a 12% decline in advertising revenue for its print operations.

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Weekly Media Briefing July 25-July 29

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, July 25th, 2011

Why tyrants love the Murdoch scandal, by Bill Keller of the New York Times.

It is unsettling that the family of recently deceased singer Amy Winehouse has to ask for privacy in the wake of her death.  Surely, a public still outraged by the News of the World’s invasion of a grieving family’s privacy, should be uncommonly sensitive to this issue.

Publishing guru Joe Wickert speculates that online book-buying could gain the personal touch of the neighborhood bookstore by integrating social media.  (tip thanks to Gotham Ghostwriters).

Despite a popular product and a subscriber base 25 million strong, Netflix isn’t performing well enough for Wall Street.

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Weekly Media News Briefing July 18-July 22

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, July 18th, 2011

Let’s ban books, or at least stop writing them, says Bill Keller of the New York Times.

The UK phone hacking scandal has officially spread to those just one step away from the Prime Minister’s office, says News Corp-owned The Wall Street Journal.

When a site recommends purchases, your privacy might be at risk, say the researchers at Freedom To Tinker.

Will Google+ kill the blog?  Author and futurist Bruce Sterling at Wired thinks it just might.

In the most unexpected move yet, Murdoch to buy “The Daily Prophet,” says Slate.

Another piece connecting the News of the World scandal to Harry Potter, but this time not at all humorously.

A new set of ethical guidelines for reporters employed by Murdoch.

The News Corp scandal officially spreads to the US, in this scathing piece by David Carr of the New York Times.

US officials to investigate News Corp over alleged hacking on 9/11 survivors phones, and alleged attempted bribery of American law enforcement, says the Huffington Post.

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