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In Weak Media Environment, Ex-BBC Russia Exec Thinks Brazil, Mexico, India Where It’s At – Forbes



The Western world’s media industry is losing viewers. The pie is being cut into increasingly small slices of niche viewers that are often mixing it up with YouTube thought leaders, or niche content on social media apps like Twitch. Only around a third of those under 30 subscribe to the New York Times. At least 50% of Fox and MSNBC nightly viewers are over 50.

In the U.S., some podcasting talk show stars like Joe Rogan have more viewers than highly paid CNN staffers like Don Lemon. With that in mind, why would anyone want to invest in the media landscape? Surely, what’s happening in the U.S., will one day come to Brazil and India next.

But an ex-BBC Russia Exec, Wesley Dodd, isn’t scared. (Granted, if you can survive two years as a British newshound in Russia, you probably have nerves of steel, skin like Teflon.) There’s a reason for it, though. The shrinking cost structure and the general implosion of big media has created an opportunity for his now 7-year-old firm Celebro. In short, they are a studio outsourcer, content creator on the news side, and is generally there to be the temporary on-demand studio for local news outlets, and other media firms grappling with weaker revenues, and in some cases, disappearing viewers.

Celebro recently opened studios in New York, Miami and are now going after Las Vegas and Silicon Valley.

The real growth is in emerging market media. They, too, will be facing a downsizing frenzy in the years ahead.

“We have our sights set on 100 TV companies who we had identified as clients in Latin America, India and the Middle East,” says Dodd. The new roll out will open studios in Mexico City, Rio, Buenos Aires and Bogotá in early 2022, then Delhi, Mumbai and Karachi in Summer 2022. Their only emerging market now is Russia. In London, Moscow, and now in the United States, they work mainly with Fox, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and CGTN. They also sell breaking news spots to around 20 National Broadcasters like Caracol Columbia.

All of this is a little different from the aching global news media market, though. Their pie is rather ‘meh’, but the pie the likes of Celebro is baking is a little sweeter, bigger, and growing.

The TV broadcast services market, which is where Celebro operates, is growing. The global television services market size is expected to reach $499.8 million in the next five years, with at a growth rate of 5.4% from 2021 to 2027, according to a report published this month by Allied Market Research. For comparison, the global broadcast media market is seen growing at a compound annual growth rate of 2.4%.

It’s Better in India

The reason every corporate (and portfolio) investor loves emerging markets is growth rates. Europe is a dinosaur. The U.S. is still interesting, especially for those servicing already existing media empires. India is forever expanding.

In 2024, television will make up 40% of the Indian media industry, 13% by print media, which is mostly the big daily newspapers. By 2024, India’s combined news and entertainment media industry is expected to reach $39 billion with a compound annual growth rate over the next three years of 9%, double the industry average for broadcast media service. This is not exactly comparing apples to apples. More like comparing granny smith apples to red delicious. It’s a close indicator of market demand, and India is where it is at.

India holds the most potential of any market in the world and its rate of growth will see total streaming video revenue overtake that of South Korea, Germany and Australia to become the 6th largest market for the likes of Indian Joe Rogan’s and Twitch rockstar gamers looking for studio space as they outgrow their home studio over the next three years, thinks Invest India, an Indian government investment promotion authority.

Mexico: Big Media, Big Government, Big Billionaires

Based on data compiled by Statista, the mass broadcast media sector as share of gross domestic product in Mexico has been in freefall between 2007 and 2019. Yet, the value of news and entertainment broadcast media market is expected to rise over the next three years, though not as fast as India’s.

Mexico’s Big Media isn’t going broke. It’s owned by the country’s oligarchs, and they survive on government ads. The medium sized ones, however, do not. They’re the target of companies like Celebro. Forbes billionaires Carlos Slim Helú (UnoTV), Ricardo Salinas Pliego (TV Azteca) and Emilio Azcárraga Jean (Televisa) might even become clients if they want to save a peso.

Further south, Brazil’s media market is similar. It is dominated by three news channels, led by Globo, which is in the middle of waging a war against the government for cutting its advertising and other spending. It is unclear if Globo is really in trouble due to its near-monopoly status, but Brazil’s media landscape is rich and it will trend along with the United States faster than Mexico does in terms of outsourcing news staff, studio space, and the growth of social media influencers also looking for studio space as a niche segment for broadcast service firms.

The value of the news and entertainment market in Brazil from 2014 to 2023 has been on a steady rise, similar to that of Mexico, according to Statista. Over the last 8 years ending 2018, growth of new news players has flatlined. Ad spending collapsed last year by nearly half for magazines and newspapers, and was kept alive by government and medical ads in 2020. It is unclear what kind of cost cutting will come of this, but that kind of headwind for newsrooms and content creators in general is a market for Celebro.

“We don’t feel that local broadcasters are our target market,” says Dodd. “Many of the big state or national broadcasters are slimming down, buying our services by the day or the hour is much more cost effective than running their own bureau now,” he says. “This is particular true of the Latin American market who need and want a presence in cities like Miami or Mexico City but don’t want the hassle of running a bureau. Because we ‘pool’ the resources in each location- the cost of a cameraman for a day is peanuts compared to a full-time staff cameraman.

First Channel in Russia do not have a studio in D.C from which to make a full show, but they can buy an hour In Celebro’s multi-million-dollar studio in D.C. This really allows ‘smaller‘ channels to punch above their weight,” Dodd says.

For Celebro, currently in expansion mode in the U.S. this year, the best markets are those where nations are looking to expand their content, national stories, or their government’s soft power overseas.

“A glossy TV channel is the ‘must have’ for an emerging nation,” says Dodd. “We allow a news channel to show that they have a point of presence in multiple key cities – a bureau with their own reporters but using Celebro facilities. Remember that in some countries there will be more than one such channel. Look how much comes out the Gulf nations today,” he says.

Back in the U.S., more bad news for the traditional news and entertainment business anyway (virtual reality and gaming are going bonkers): subscription TV revenue of $94.2 billion in 2019 will continue to contract by around 3% a year for the next three years, PwC said in a report.  

“The amount of news content globally is still growing,” says Dodd. “We are seeing the emerging markets wanting to have their own BBC/RT/CNN. It’s a way of projecting their muscle abroad, and we are here to help.”

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Company set to buy Trump’s social media app faces subpoenas – Global News



The company planning to buy Donald Trump’s new social media business has disclosed a federal grand jury investigation that it says could impede or even prevent its acquisition of the Truth Social app.

Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. dropped 10% in morning trading Monday as the company revealed that it has received subpoenas from a grand jury in New York.

Read more:

Jan. 6 committee hears of Trump’s pressure on Justice Department over election

The Justice Department subpoenas follow an ongoing probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether Digital World broke rules by having substantial talks about buying Trump’s company starting early last year before Digital World sold stock to the public for the first time in September, just weeks before its announcement that it would be buying Trump’s company.

Trump’s social media venture launched in February as he seeks a new digital stage to rally his supporters and fight Big Tech limits on speech, a year after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The Trump Media & Technology Group – which operates the Truth Social app and was in the process of being acquired by Digital World – said in a statement that it will cooperate with “oversight that supports the SEC’s important mission of protecting retail investors.”

The new probe could make it more difficult for Trump to finance his social media company. The company last year got promises from dozens of investors to pump $1 billion into the company, but it can’t get the cash until the Digital World acquisition is completed.

Stock in Digital World rocketed to more than $100 in October after its deal to buy Trump’s company was announced. The stock traded at just around $25 in morning trading Monday.

Digital World is a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, part of an investing phenomenon that exploded in popularity over the past two years.

Click to play video: 'U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election'

U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election

U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election

Such “blank-check” companies are empty corporate entities with no operations, only offering investors the promise they will buy a business in the future. As such they are allowed to sell stock to the public quickly without the usual regulatory disclosures and delays, but only if they haven’t already lined up possible acquisition targets.

Digital World said in a regulatory filing Monday that each member of its board of directors has been subpoenaed by the grand jury in the Southern District of New York. Both the grand jury and the SEC are also seeking a number of documents tied to the company and others including a sponsor, ARC Global Investments, and Miami-based venture capital firm Rocket One Capital.

Some of the sought documents involve “due diligence” regarding Trump Media and other potential acquisition targets, as well as communications with Digital World’s underwriter and financial adviser in its initial public offering, according to the SEC disclosure.

Digital World also Monday announced the resignation of one of its board members, Bruce Garelick, a chief strategy officer at Rocket One.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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GUNTER: Coun. Michael Janz doesn't need a social media censor – Edmonton Sun



Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.

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It should be obvious I’m not a big fan of Michael “Mosquito Mike” Janz, the city councillor most responsible for ending the city’s mosquito-spraying program. The flying pests are noticeably worse this summer; I’ve got the bites to prove it.

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Thanks, Mosquito Mike.

In general, I don’t care for Janz’s politics and especially his anti-police harangues. Check out his Twitter feed. He complains about police about once a month, sometimes even more often.

He accuses them of race and class double standards. He thinks they slough off investigations of alleged crimes against lower-income Edmontonians and routinely mislead the public to cover their own misdeeds.

I find it particularly detestable that he is alleged recently to have retweeted a post from a Calgary account referring to police as “pigs.”

(Calling the police “pigs” is not only detestable, but laughably archaic, too. Hey, Councillor, the late ’60s called. They want their tie-dyed shirt and peace medallion back. Groovy, man.)

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Yet, so long as Janz must account to his voters, he should be free to tweet and retweet as he sees fit. The relationship is between the electors and their elected representative. If they disapprove of his online behaviour, they can vote him out of office.

Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.

It should be up to the voters who elected Janz to punish him, if they so desire, not some appointed adjudicator who doesn’t answer to voters directly.

A complaint has been filed with the integrity commissioner, Jamie Pytel, by sometimes local Liberal candidate, Thomas Deak. In the complaint, Deak says Janz retweeted the following post, “So this week a co-worker got a $409 ticket for failing to stop his bike at a stop sign. It was 7 a.m. in a residential area, the roads were empty, except for the pig hiding in the bushes.”

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Get outraged. Compose an email to the Sun. Post your own tweet condemning Mosquito Mike for his retweeting of juvenile, anti-police name-calling.

But don’t go running to the censor asking her to clap Janz in irons just because you find his opinion (in this case his second-hand opinion) infuriating. Grow up. This is a democracy. We get to have opinions, even unpleasant ones, so long as we respect the right of others to opinions we vehemently disagree with.

Remember, that any government tool that can be used to hush-up your opponents will almost most certainly be turned on you one day, too.

I find it hilarious that Janz, in his own defence, insists there is a plot to “erroneously paint me as some sort of anti-police radical.” Nothing “could be further from the truth.”

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Apparently, in his own mind, Janz is a big fan of police.

But remember, Janz was recently also hauled before the integrity commish for tweeting, liking or retweeting nearly two dozen anti-police posts near the end of last year.

Hmm, he certainly has an odd way of showing his love and respect for the Edmonton Police Service.

Own it, councillor. You don’t like the cops much.

But that is his right. He gets to have a seat on council and hold juvenile, archaic, anti-police opinions until the voters in his ward tire of his schtick and punt him from office.

Even after that, he still gets to hold his objectionable views, he just can’t do it as a councillor anymore.

In his run-in with Pytel earlier this year, Janz was not sanctioned by Edmonton’s in-house play-nice-children scold.

And he shouldn’t have been, just as he shouldn’t be reprimanded now.

The whole integrity commissioner ideal just gets in the way of democracy.

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Omnicom Media Group Heads Home from Cannes with 39 Lions, the Media Network Crown, a New Global Consultancy and a Big Lead in Connected Commerce – Canada NewsWire



OMG’s OMD Worldwide Named Media Network of the Year

NEW YORK, June 27, 2022 /CNW/ — With a combination of accolades and headline-making announcements, Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) was a dominant presence at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

On the accolades front, OMG agencies earned a total of 39 Lions and its OMD agency, the largest global media network by billings, was named Media Network of the Year. This marks the second consecutive year that an OMG agency took the Network of the Year title, which was awarded to PHD in 2021. 

Concurrent with its performance in the competition, OMG earned headlines each day of the festival, announcing a series of first-mover collaborations with retail media networks, as well as the global expansion of its TRKKNanalytics and ad consultancy that is one of the largest Google Marketing Platform (GMP) partners in Europe.

OMG’s Lions’ Share
The 39 Lions earned by OMG agencies – 7 Gold, 13 Silver and 19 Bronze – encompassed work from APAC, EMEA, North America and LATAM, spanning the automotive, CPG, Beverage Technology and Travel sectors; and including competition categories that reflect a wide range of both established and emerging priorities for clients – from data-driven targeting and insights to integrated media to corporate purpose and responsibility.

A strong global footprint was also evident in OMD’s Media Network of the Year award, with work from Portugal, France and Australia helping fuel the agency’s win.

“Being named Media Network of the Year is especially meaningful coming at a time when brands are re-evaluating their business, marketing and technology operations to better address new realities – both economic and cultural,” said George Manas, CEO, OMD Worldwide. “They need a trusted partner in transformation – and this recognition helps confirm that OMD is that partner.”

Taking the Lead in Connected Commerce
During the Cannes festival OMG announced four first-mover strategic partnerships with retail media networks, beginning Monday, June 20, with Walmart Connect announcing their first-ever agency holding company partnership with Omnicom. The agreement will enable cross-screen planning against Walmart audiences in Omni – Omnicom’s open operating system which orchestrates better outcomes for clients across the entire consumer purchasing journey – allowing Omnicom’s agencies to deliver connected experiences across media and commerce platforms with-in owned, earned, and paid environments.

Over the next three days, OMG also revealed details of its partnership with Instacart, that will help Omnicom clients better understand how media spend drives purchase of products on that platform; how Amazon is supporting OMG’s eCommerce training and certification programs; and its collaboration with Kroger Precision Marketing that will allow planners to optimize in-market retail media, utilizing shopper behavior data to shift spend based on product availability, and still have the flexibility to optimize media while maintaining national consumer demand.

Describing the collective impact of the announcements, Omnicom eCommerce CEO Frank Kochenash said, “With each collaboration, we are adding another layer of unique capabilities to a connected commerce offering that encompasses the totality of client investment across all media channels, screens and environments.”

A Global Expansion for the Cookieless World
OMG wrapped the industry’s most global of events with news of a global expansion, announcing on the last day of the festival that it is expanding TRKKN- its digital analytics ad technology and cloud consultancy that is one of the largest Google Marketing Platform sales partners across the European market – to APAC, the Middle East and North America. The expansion will assure global best practices that enable GMP & GCP efficiency and effectiveness, while also giving OMG greater flexibility to help in-housed media operations manage their Google marketing and cloud stacks to drive better business results in the cookieless future.

Summing up the desired takeaway from OMG’s high profile throughout Cannes 2022, OMG global CEO Florian Adamski says, “People were coming to Cannes this year looking for more than the big parties – they wanted big ideas and big actions that will help them solve the big challenges that we as an industry are all facing: privacy, connected commerce, measurement, the cookieless future, talent. Through the work we submitted, the partnerships we announced, the capabilities we’re expanding, and the close to 20 thought-leader forums we hosted over the week with clients and partners, I think the net takeaway for marketers is obvious: OMG is meeting these challenges- and we can help you meet them, too.”

About Omnicom Media Group
Omnicom Media Group (OMG) is the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), a leading global marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to more than 5,000 clients in more than 70 countries. Omnicom Media Group  includes full- service media agencies OMDPHD and Hearts & Science as well as the Annalect data and analytics division that developed and manages Omni, the open architecture operating system underpinning all Omnicom agencies.

SOURCE Omnicom Media Group

For further information: Isabelle Gauvry, +1-917-435-6457, [email protected]

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