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.
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.
To honor this week’s 100th anniversary of the first South Pole expedition, here is an article that appeared in CHRONOS Magazine about Dr. Baker’s adventures in the polar regions.
“Out on the ice, I often imagined that if I veered off the path just a few hundred feet, I would probably be the first person in all of history to stand in a particular spot.” As Bill Baker talks about his expeditions to the North and South Poles, he stares out into an echoing room decorated with hundreds of model ships. It is the ballroom of the New York Yacht Club, a splendid gilded-age building near Grand Central Station in Manhattan. An antique nautical clock by Tiffany & Co. keeps time in the lobby, and century-old photos of the Club’s library and dining room show them looking much as they do today. It is the perfect place to sit and listen to explorer’s tales.
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?
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
China’s regulators intend to ban advertising during television dramas. Although it may be exciting for the viewers, experts say that pushing the commercials to the end of the program will seriously hurt marketers. Via WSJ
Samsung may be next in line to produce televisions for Google, the L.A. Times reports. Although Google TV’s first iteration did not catch on with consumers, Google’s ongoing effort to enter the television market is now backed by its recent investment in the production of premium programming channels via Youtube. Meanwhile, Netflix is pressing forward with the licensing of exclusive premium content – in a recent deal with Fox, the company has acquired the exclusive rights to distribute new episodes of Arrested Development, a critically acclaimed Fox comedy which ran for 3 years before being canceled. Netflix’s recent troubles with subscribers and its subsequent loss of market value have directed attention away from the company’s trajectory in premium content distribution, but it is clear that the internet streaming site is looking to establish itself as a major player in the future of television.
John Paton, CEO of MediaNews, is taking a web-based approach to the newspaper industry. His methodology for the overhaul of newsrooms is reminiscent of those organic to many internet news start-ups, demanding that journalists take on broader roles, while removing any barriers to speedy newsgathering and publishing. More at the New York Times.
Youtube seems to have cracked the code to the premium content industry. Under a new partnership with Disney, the company will produce an original series and feature Disney content on its site. Youtube has long been seeking to broaden its content offerings – the company stepped up its efforts earlier this year when it began offering premium video rentals, and more recently created partnerships with show runners and content producers matched by a $100 million dollar investment to create a slew of online premium content channels.
Apple’s newsstand, included with its new operating system, iOS5, offers publishers a new way to distribute their content – and get paid for it. One UK Publisher, Future Publishing, has reported a major increase in digital sales – 750%. Although this increase is based on the publisher’s first four days on the platform and not on annual sales, it still has significance. The psychology of purchasing a publication at a newsstand rather than a site, matched by the convenience of Apple’s sales portal may prove to be a strong formula for selling premium content.
YouTube and Disney have made a new content-distribution deal that seeks to bring new short-form programming clips to a wider audience.
Disney is also looking to boost its low Youtube presence. Via Wired.
Sony Music Entertainment has a new CEO, and he has big plans – to “create the pre-eminent record company in the world.” Record companies, including new music start-ups have been finding new ways to make money off of music, despite the record fall-off in sales over the last ten years. While services like Pandora and Spotify are promising, many are still unsure whether the music via subscription can bring the industry anywhere close to its previous state.
Barnes & Noble released their new Nook tablet on Monday, in the hopes that it can increase its share of e-books while maintaining over a thousand book stores. Via Wall Street Journal
New York City’s American Composers Orchestra presented its inaugural Sounds of New Century (SONiC) Festival October 14th- 22nd. The festival included performances of works by over 100 composers age 40 and under at various venues throughout New York City.
Composer Derek Bermel and pianist Stephen Gosling co-curated the 9-day event that began at Zankel Hall with a performance by the ACO featuring five of new pieces under the direction of conductor George Manahan. Throughout the festival, orchestras and ensembles also took up stage space at many different venues all over Manhattan, including the Miller Theater at Columbia University, The Stone, Symphony Space, Roulette and more. In total, 16 extraordinary performances featuring at least 18 world premieres, eight US premieres, and eight New York premieres were showcased.
The SONiC festival concluded on Saturday with a free symphony concert at the World Financial Center in the Winter Garden atrium. Once again, ACO Music Director George Manahn led the orchestra as they premiered a number of new compositions by Ruby Fulton, Paul Yeon Lee, Bryce Dessner, Ryan Gallagher, Andrew Norman and Suzanne Farin. This final performance was hosted by John Schaefer and presented on WNYC’s New Sounds Live.
Q2 Music, New York Public Radio’s Internet radio station will broadcast audience favorites in a special program dedicated to SONiC. Notably, the festival made great use of ipads at performances to collect votes in real-time from audiences, in addition to distributing a smart phone app to audiences for off-site voting.
For further information on the festival, visit http://sonicfestival.org/