the Guardian

26 September 2017 - 2:48pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on the contrasting performances of Strictly and the X Factor, which have raised questions about whether the ITV show has fallen into terminal decline despite creator Simon Cowell attempting to shake it up this year. Tom said singing contests had become “stale” and questioned whether ITV would continue to put the X Factor up against Strictly. He said “shows are often moved around, including by the BBC, which sits on top of the channel listing but doesn’t have everything its own way – it moved The Big Family Cooking Showdown, so as not to clash with Bake Off on Channel 4, and it brought forward Poldark so as not to share a Sunday night again with ITV’s Victoria. Strictly and X Factor have been going head to head in some capacity for years and, up to this time, that consistency indicates that for both the BBC and ITV that arrangement works. That may change, however, with X Factor’s decline”. Tom added that despite the X Factor’s falling audience it remained valuable to ITV. The programme reaches more 16- to 34-year-olds than Strictly – a valuable market for advertisers – and its viewing figures are expected to rise significantly when people watching the X Factor on catch-up services or recordings are taken into account. He said “X Factor has been slipping since the heights of the late 2000s when the discovery of acts like Matt Cardle and Little Mix resonated with viewers. Singing contests have inevitably grown somewhat stale, a trend hurried along by the sheer number of them – in the past year, BBC has announced that neither Pitch Battle nor Garry Barlow’s Let It Shine will return for a second season. That being said, even as it stands X Factor remains a guaranteed pull for a sizeable audience, and one that is relatively young. It is important to note that on Saturday, X Factor was markedly more popular amongst the 16 to 34s than Strictly”.

Financial Times

25 September 2017 - 11:51am -- Olga De Giovanni

Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Time Inc, who wants to sell its UK magazines division, including well-known titles such as Country Life, TV Times and the NME, as part of a wider shake-up of the struggling US publishing group. The move is part of what the company called a “strategic transformation programme” and comes after Time abandoned plans to sell itself in April, ending months of speculation over the future of the group which owns Time, People and Sports Illustrated. On Friday Time reported a 17 per cent fall in second quarter print and other advertising revenues, and confirmed a $400m cost-savings programme. Time, formerly known as IPC, is one of the UK’s biggest magazine publishers. According to data from Enders Analysis the company’s titles attracted the highest annual circulation in the UK in 2016 with 168.7m. Douglas said that while the move by Time was not a shock, it was still a “big decision” for the US group. Adding that “the UK is a very important territory, probably the biggest outside the US. But print ads are tough, digital advertising hasn’t taken off and its market share is being threatened by bloggers and other social media online”.

Variety

21 September 2017 - 1:03pm -- Olga De Giovanni

François Godard was quoted in an article on HBO España, which has commissioned Alea Media to develop an original adaption of Fernando Aramburu’s bestselling novel “Patria”. Confirmation of the project comes after months of speculation over HBO’s Spanish production plans. Last November, HBO España launched a standalone streaming service in Spain and hired Miguel Salvat, a highly respected former director of content at Canal Plus and of premium channels at Movistar, as its commissioning editor of original programming. Francois said that HBO España’s production strategy is likely to be similar to that of HBO in the U.S. – namely, to “deliver limited, high-selective and unique content, the best of which may turn out to be iconic to its brand”.

BBC

20 September 2017 - 6:17pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Joseph Evans was quoted in an article on YouTube announcement to end paid channels service. The facility let people pay a monthly fee to access individual YouTube channels from providers such as National Geographic and Sesame Street. However, the service was not popular with viewers and will end in December. Joseph said "they haven't seen the take-up they wanted, it's somewhat surprising when you look at what the other giants are doing. Amazon is pushing a modular 'subscribe to one channel at a time' service, having started with its all-you-can-eat package. With the sort of content people expect on YouTube, the sponsorship model does make more sense. Joseph added "but YouTubers may be wary of giving Google control of their video distribution and sponsorship money".

Augmented reality: Apple’s next 10-year bet

Through innovations in processing, connectivity and cameras, Apple’s new device lineup dispels fears that the importance of integrated, profitable mobile hardware is in terminal decline

With the broadest range of iPhone price points ever, Apple is confidently balancing between profits and growing the valuable installed base

Apple’s long way to an AR future is now well paved, but a weakness in mapping could prove to be an Achilles heel

Netflix's edge over broadcasters

The development and utilisation of streaming technologies has allowed major SVODs, such as Netflix and Amazon, to attain a growing proportion of video viewing

However, tech is just one of the advantages held by these services: plateauing content expenditure, the inability to retain IP and inconsistent regulatory regimes hamper the efforts of the UK’s public service broadcasters

The localised nature of audience tastes, as well as the diversity of PSB offerings remain a bulwark to aid in the retention of relevance but content spend cannot lag

The Economist

15 September 2017 - 11:59am -- Olga De Giovanni

Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Trinity Mirror, which owns the Daily and Sunday Mirror, announcement that it was in talks to buy the papers belonging to the Northern & Shell group, comprising the Daily Express, Daily Star and their Sunday sister titles. The two groups have been in on-off talks for two years. The sale would mark the biggest upheaval in the newspaper market for a decade, and the latest consolidation in a shrinking industry. Northern & Shell’s owner, Richard Desmond, a flamboyant former porn-baron who plays drums in a band with Roger Daltrey of The Who, bought the newspaper titles in 2000 (except the Daily Star Sunday, which he launched two years later). The Daily Express has lost about two-thirds of its readers since Mr Desmond bought it, as has the Sunday Express; the Daily Star has held up a bit better. Douglas believes that Mr Desmond has decided that in a declining market he has made as much money out of the papers as he can.

Financial Times

13 September 2017 - 10:55am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the UK Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, concerns over corporate governance failures at Rupert Murdoch's Fox, and lack of procedures of broadcast compliance for Fox News in the UK. Recent scandals at Fox News are threatening to derail Rupert Murdoch’s proposed £11.7bn takeover of European pay-TV group Sky after the UK government signalled that it was likely to widen an investigation by regulators into the deal. In a significant shift, the culture secretary said she was now likely to refer the bid to the Competition and Markets Authority on whether 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of Sky shares it does not own would comply with UK broadcasting standards. Her shift in position, which followed intensive campaigning from anti-Murdoch groups and a cross-party group of MPs, also overruled a recommendation from the UK media regulator Ofcom, prompting some analysts to question whether the move was politically motivated. Claire said “this was a political decision. It’s very peculiar to override Ofcom despite no change to their advice”.

Financial Times

13 September 2017 - 10:54am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the announcement by Karen Bradley, the UK culture secretary, on the Sky/Fox bid. Ms Bradley said that she was minded to widen a referral to regulators about the £11.7bn deal, to include scrutiny of corporate governance controls at Fox News. Ms Bradley raised new concerns about the transaction, overruling a recommendation from Ofcom, the media watchdog, that regulators consider only the deal’s impact on the UK media market. Claire said “Ofcom hasn’t changed its mind. “There is no new news, but the secretary of state has decided to go for the safest option to protect her from a judicial review. This shows the government just needs a quiet time”.

Bloomberg

12 September 2017 - 5:20pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the Fox’s Sky bid. Today in parliament, the UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said she is minded to refer 21st Century Fox’s bid to seize full control of Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct a months-long investigation into Fox’s commitment to broadcasting standards, in addition to the widely expected review over whether the deal would give the Murdoch’s too much influence over U.K. media. The scope of the planned CMA referral surprised investors, given Bradley had initially said she was inclined to confine the review to questions of media-influence. Alice said “the direction of the political winds in the U.K. are less favourable every day with Labour rising. Who knows what the climate will be like by the time the CMA reports in April 2018 if not June 2018”.

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