Posts Tagged 'entertainment'

2008 review – Contagious Mag hits all the spots

For a decent canter through all things designer-style-media-digital. You can do no better than look at the Contagious Magazine review of the year:

Click here

Very London. Very Olympics. Games. Cool stuff. Splash of Eco… not alot of credit crunch.

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New economy business models – case study 1

Media companies used to live in silos… TV, radio, papers, magazines, exhibitions, conferences, books. Distribution was key to availability so you could push it or pull it. We’ve not yet seen the mediums totally evaporate, overlay or converge but my friends at C21 Media are a case in point of a B2B trade magazine publisher that’s, these days, a whole lot more besides.

C21 covers the film and broadcast industry, so they are not only metamorphasising as a publisher, they are covering an industry itself in a state of change.

C21 are a younger upstart than the rest of their peer publishers, but they are leapfrogging the mightier publishing houses by niching them to death. (Doesn’t Broadcast hold the top slot?- No, too parochial in UK. C21 is global and globe-trotting. And Variety has TV Asia, TV Europe… all with that distinctly US-centric perspective).

Interesting observations:

1. C21Screenings – This is a tool for TV execs to showcase their latest formats to sell them internationally. Equally, it’s a tool for buyers to log favourites, share them with colleagues and aid decision-making. (This activity is still, mainly, carried out at 3 or 4 international TV festivals across the globe at intervals thru the year).

Ed Waller, the editorial director at C21, sold this to me as a Facebook portal… but it’s also part virtual mall, virtual tradeshow, virtual marketplace and virtual classified. It’s all those b2b environments that have been trumpeted over the various waves of web uptake. And, with streamed media, it can work well for video.

2. Business model

I understand that, though the C21 users are video execs, C21 has a much easier time selling page advertising in its ‘Big Books’ than converting advertisers to a slot on the screenings portal. What’s that all about? TV channels are both high tech and rather simple at the same time?

3. Convergence

C21 is seeing the move for TV and PC to become one. It’s being called ‘Bridging’ as TV becomes web and the C21 crew talk about ‘same chair solution’. (I’m wordplaying SSS myself – same seat solution?). Who’s suffering in the value chain? Well, it’s the platform owners. Why pay for a cable TV subscription to MTV if viewers can take it from the web for free via iPlayer?

And, the ‘next question’ when anyone talks about PC is… mobile. With iPhone, you don’t even need a seat? Will there be that ‘box in the corner’ need to be there much longer?

4. TV formats – the ‘remake rights’

I’ve observed the way IAC is looking to licence its formats like match.com to local country markets so that local entrepreneurs can push ahead with these models as tried-and-tested franchises. This is a phenomenon in TV of long standing.

Now many emerging markets have cheap studio production and growing budgets. So, locals can afford to capture market profile by re-shooting a series with bigger splash from home-grown actors, rather than just over-dub. It’s cutting out the initial production and putting money into the format or script firm.

Hmm. All change for the media. Premier position for talent, profile and global reach.

Check out just how many blinking small ads they run on the C21 website!  And, check out the design format of their news-feed heavy, design-light styling… it’s moving to an RSS world out there.

The answer for ITV – be more Brit-posh

I enjoyed Dan Sabbagh’s media analysis in Friday’s Times. He nicely argues that the reason for ITV’s wane is that it doesn’t do ‘posh’ like the BBC – and ‘posh’ exports internationally. He reckons the misery of Emmerdale or Coronation Street just doesn’t work like Strictly Come Dancing or Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency or Richard Curtis films (Love Actually, Blackadder) or Harry Potter.

For ITV, also add Wallace & Gromit, Artic Monkeys and Oasis… all have failed to get big traction in the US.

For ITV, the next big thing is to crack America. Or, has Dan missed a trick by not mentioning Simon Cowell? His formats are populist not posh and they are rescuing ITV as well as a heap of US TV stations stranded by the writers’ strike. All good for Simon Cowell, but perhaps stemming an inevitable decline in TV?

Narrowing the search?

The search for ‘The Next Big Thing’ is already too broad. Many of us fancy chasing the dream of a boutique hotel in a world beauty spot or writing the next Harry Potter. Or, in other words, looking at a broad spectrum of new-new angles on career advancement, lifestyle choices and amazing leaps into what look like exciting worlds (from the outside).

These are competitive spaces with hoards trying to be the next ‘hit’.

I think I’m better pushing the next domino over – making a logical follow-on move from where I’ve been – and saving up to stay at that luxy hotel or to buy other people’s books… until I feel I’ve made it in my chosen path.

Am I being sensibly square? Probably.

Plus, is there really a ‘Next Big Idea’ that everyone might share? Ronald Cohen, founder of Apax, suggests we look at cycles and trends to analyse opportunity… and certainly everyone’s own career experience will lead them to value different aspects of the political, economic, social and technological revolutions that surround us.

So, Opencast ought to narrow the search in media, marketing, digital, internet, information, entertainment, software, services. I’ll only make the odd nod to Brazil-Russia-China-India, or my fantastic lingerie ideas or starting a parenting training business… great ideas I haven’t got grounding in.


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