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Traditional media shouldn’t ape digital – The New Indian Express

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Media is in battle-mode today. 

Digital media fights the physical. Within traditional media, television fights print, print fights radio and radio fights outdoor. Within digital, social media of the high-involvement kind fights that of the low-involvement one. The short-format video app fights the micro-blog and the micro-blog fights the blog. The fight is on. It’s meant to be. The media is in Tandav Nritya mode!

Let me do a quick recce of the space of media evolution for a start. How did it start, and how did it evolve? And where is it poised today?

In the beginning, the media was all about content. It was meant to be just that. A local community newspaper was all about information. As the publication gathered readership, and as the vehicle became one that was craved by diverse sets of societal interests, in came advertising. Tentatively at first, and then in a deluge.

Over a period of time, the newspaper that depended on subscription revenue from its readers gradually got for itself a twin revenue stream. Advertising became a vital part of this revenue ocean. Therefore, the newspaper, which was once about 100% content, gradually started looking different. A 90:10 mix of content versus advertising progressively grew to a 50:50 ratio even, in the case of several popular newspapers and magazines that made their way into modern progressive society. And today, most newspapers and magazines, and indeed every medium there is, is over-leveraged on advertising. Advertising runs the show really.

Advertising itself evolved. From purely awareness-creating forms, advertising took on stronger roles, wanting to create interest in brands that were advertised and stoke the desire to buy. It went on to create different and new goalposts. It offered the ability to make people buy, and once bought into, advertising had the ability to offer those positive strokes for the post-buy dissonances that may result in the minds of consumers. The science of advertising deepened.

Content and advertising therefore became bedfellows. Strange bedfellows. Symbiotic bedfellows even, at times. One fed from the other in some cases. The entire character and persona of a publication was therefore defined by the kind of content and indeed the kind of advertising that went with it. Marketers and communicators of every kind assessed the ability of publications based on their reach, reader involvement, credibility, content and efficacy. Different measurement tools were therefore put together to assess each of these. While some were quantitatively sharp, some depended on the power of accurate extrapolation from small sample sizes (such as TRP meters), and others remained qualitative probes.

It all eventually combined to create media intelligence systems for brands to use in their communication toolkit.Today, it is indeed difficult to distinguish where content stops and advertising begins and vice versa in many cases. That’s the subject of a different debate altogether.With the emergence and growth of digital media (remember, it occupies 31% of revenue today and threatens to be the fastest growing of all media in the days to come), there is a certain tumult in the industry of content and advertising together.

The key problem, as I see it, is a simple point. As digital media grew rampantly, it had to eat into the limited amount of money that Indian media advertising had to offer. Yes, the size of total advertising has grown over the years, but all the money that digital media accrues to itself today does not come from this growth. It comes from shares bitten off television, print, radio, and outdoor for sure. More importantly, it stymies the growth numbers each of these physical mediums would want for themselves in the five-year plans they chase.

In the bargain, physical media gets aggressive. There is content alteration to suit the need of the day. Physical media studies and watches digital media carefully. While digital media is a bit of an anarchy, where every Tom, Dick and Harish is a content creator and publisher, the physical medium is a carefully curated one with a responsible Editor at the top of the food chain of news and content. There is a certain degree of responsibility, ethos and care that physical media such as print, television and radio offer.

Despite it all, physical media decides to change in terms of content, tone, tenor and decibel. Why? Why? Why?

The key mistake is the fact that physical media has decided to copy digital media in its approach to content, taking stances it would never ever have taken in the good old days, if not for the prod by digital media. And here lies the mistake. Physical media still enjoys that one thing that digital media still does not enjoy in India: credibility. Why forsake that?

When I read something in print, I know it is true, if not largely true. When I read the same on digital, I am not too sure. There is just too much floating around there and there is no one who really takes responsibility for what’s out there. Just one missing element. Credibility.

I do strongly believe that if there is anything that physical media must do now, it is just one thing: Stick to your guns and continue investing heavily into deepening the credibility that we have come to rely on many a newspaper, magazine, television and radio channel in the past.

Physical media has sadly bitten into the bait put out there by the digital. It must stop copying the digital in its editorial content width, depth, tone, tenor and decibel of communication. When physical media starts looking like the digital, what then is the difference?

If there is just one big need in the market of content and news, it is the need for the credible and the reliable. It is the need for the real, as opposed to the surreal. People out there are really truth-seeking animals. All of us are. We will gravitate to whatever offers us that and we shall run from whatever does not. Later, if not sooner.

Harish Bijoor

Brand Guru & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults 

(harishbijoor@hotmail.com)
 

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Media Beat: October 26, 2020 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News

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However blue you may feel, just thank the bejesus you aren’t living in the madness that is the UK today

Jonathan Pie explains

[embedded content]

Rogers tops forecasts as wireless, media units rebound from pandemic impact

Rogers Communications kicked off its industry’s fall earnings season Thursday by reporting a healthy recovery from the early months of the pandemic, although the results remained lower than last year as its advertisers and consumers continued to grapple with the virus’s economic fallout.

The Toronto-based wireless, cable and media company said Thursday it earned $512 million or $1.01 per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 30. – The Canadian Press

Corus Q4 profit rises, revenues down

On an adjusted basis, Corus earned $33.2 million or 16 cents per share in its Q4, up from an adjusted profit of $27.9 million or 13 cents per share a year ago.

Corus Entertainment revenue totalled $318.4 million, down from $377.5 million, as the disruptions caused by the pandemic depressed advertising revenue — especially in radio.

The television segment, which includes the Nelvana animation and merchandising business and Corus Studios, saw revenue fall to $299.1 million from nearly $343.8 million.

The Corus radio segment, which owns 39 stations that sell advertising time, saw revenue drop 43 percent from a year earlier to $19.3 million from $33.7 million. – David Paddon, The Canadian Press

Tommy Schnurmacher: My parents survived the Holocaust — I can get through a pandemic

I am a child of Holocaust survivors. I know how to catastrophize. With my mother’s milk, I ingested the panic and anxiety of impending disaster and not knowing if there will be enough food to eat. Within hours of our plane landing back in Montreal, I prevailed on a tsk-tsking Harold to indulge me in shopping for a food order big enough for a family of six.

Some of it is still in the freezer.

My family has not been short of food since we arrived in Canada from Hungary more than half a century ago. But never mind that. I can tell you the anxiety never disappears. There was an unstated reason why we all ate so quickly.

I only managed to calm down when I saw the pink towers of Rio tuna cans piled side by side in the pantry. – The Montreal Gazette

Terence Corcoran weighs in on the Big Tech debate

The only form of censorship that should be feared and opposed is that imposed by governments — a risk that could materialize if the U.S. Congress and the president have their way with their attacks on Twitter and Facebook and on Big Tech in general.

The objective of all the attacks has been clearly articulated in general terms, both by Democrats and Republicans. They want to revise or even scrap a section of the U.S. Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996, a revolutionary piece of legislation that has allowed America to become the global heartland of internet innovation and development — and a global force for free speech. – Financial Post

Netflix Q3 numbers

Netflix has just announced its Q3 results, showing that the streamer added 2.2 million subscribers for the quarter and reaching 195.15 million global subscribers in total by September 30. This quarter’s addition was slightly lower than the company’s estimated 2.6 million growth.

The company noted that the slowdown in growth was due to an incredibly strong first half of the year. – Jess Barnes, Cord Cutters News

Penske Media & MRC announce data joint venture

Penske Media Corporation, the media company behind publications such as Billboard, Variety, and Rolling Stone has announced a joint venture with MRC, to align their data businesses.

The newly formed company will combine MRC Data, formerly known as Nielsen Music, Alpha Data, formerly known as BuzzAngle, and Variety Business Intelligence, with control and ownership over the combined entity shared by MRC and PMC. – Ian Courtney, Celebrity Access

The problem with tech monopolies: from both sides of the political aisle

Both Democrats and Republicans don’t like tech companies right now. They both use the same words. They talk about antitrust, they talk about monopoly, but they both want different outcomes.

In the end, what’s happening is the companies are in the middle of a political fight over their ability to change the conversation. And two sides want very, very different things out of their ability to shape and to control speech. There’s not really a process here that is democratic or open. These decisions are being made in private rooms based upon external political pressure. – The Wall Street Journal

Woke-washing: How fast fashion brands use social issues for sales

When Channel 4’s Inside Missguided documentary aired this summer, critics were quick to highlight the disparity between the “boss babe” culture it presented and the reality of the fast-fashion brand’s operations.

The show placed female empowerment at the heart of the Missguided ethos, with no mention of the anti-feminist issues within the company – from the exploitation of female garment workers in their global supply chain to the 46 percent pay gap in favour of men.

This is just one example of what is being coined ‘woke-washing’. – Kavita Ashton, Euronews

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QYOU Media: At The Forefront Of The Influencer Marketing Trend – The Deep Dive

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The influencer marketplace is something to behold. On Instagram alone, the market size, as per a recent Statista report, is estimated as being US$2.3 billion in 2020, which is a significant gain from the $0.7 billion figure from 2017. A Business Insider Intelligence report published last December meanwhile estimates that the market will grow to US$15 billion across all social media platforms by just 2022.

The rise in demand from such marketing has lead to the inevitable – publicly traded companies are now becoming involved. The latest being that of BroadbandTV, operating under BBTV Holdings (TSX: BBTV) whom just this past week announced the pricing of their IPO with the the company aiming to raise $172.4 million through the sale of just 12.4% of the company. While they own one of the largest creator networks currently, they are not to be the only publicly traded firm operating in this niche.

Although BroadbandTV will be the latest to market, they are certainly not the first. Canadian small cap company QYOU Media (TSXV: QYOU) has actually been slugging it out in the space for quite some time, with the company also focused on developing its India-based entertainment platform known as The Q India through the use of influencers and social media stars.

QYOU’s approach to influencers is actually two-fold. The first method in which influencers are utilized is for its entertainment brand, The Q India. Here, the company utilizes influencers and digital creators to create original content in which it distributes on its platform in the form of both traditional (linear) television, and that of video on demand, as well as “over-the-top” (think Roku) and mobile platforms.

The second method, is that the company utilizes its network of influencers to conduct social media marketing. In this arena, the company will assist its clients with creative strategy, influencer deals, in-house production, media amplification and channel management.

With the influencer marketing division predominantly focused on the US market, the company largely provides marketing services for third party brands. The company traditionally has been primarily engaged with major studios to promote theatrical releases for motion pictures.

With the advent of COVID-19, that has now changed slightly.

Given the lack of operational theatres, the company has had to slightly refocus on its target market for this influencer marketing. As a result, the company announced this past week that it has begun focusing on a slightly different market for motion pictures. Rather than solely focus on theatrical releases, the company has now found demand for its influencer marketing services in three segments for motion picture markets.

  • Theatrical and Premium Video On Demand – Major motion pictures slated to be released directly to consumers at high purchase prices.
  • Subscription On Demand – Direct to consumer content that is consumed by platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc.
  • Advertiser Video On Demand – Free to consumer offerings that are supported by advertisements on platforms such as Roku, Pluto, Tubi and Peacock.

And with this, the company announced that is has secured US$710,000 in new contracts for influencer marketing services over the course of September and October.

To get a sense of how effective QYOU is at influencer marketing, lets look at a project the company took on earlier this year. As a result of the pandemic, Dreamworks Universal decided to release Trolls World Tour via direct to consumer, rather than taking the theatrical release approach. While unusual for a film of this magnitude, the company was left with little option due to the state of theatres across North America.

The Q influencer team had initially been hired by Dreamworks to promote the theatrical release, but was asked to pivot the campaign as a result of the change in release plans. QYOU worked with 19 influencers for the project, generating over 57 million organic video views and achieving a 17% engagement rate. The custom TikTok channel created for the film also managed to acquire 314,000 subscribers as well.

The end result is that Trols World Tour became the largest direct to video success in history, with the film generating over $100 million in revenue. It also proved just how effective influencer marketing campaigns can be.

Looking forward, QYOU has identified a number of new potential growth areas that can aide in further scaling the influencer marketing division. Opportunities such as media placements, merchandising, talent management, channel management for brands, production services, and original IP development present new avenues for further growth for the firm.

Audiences have changed the way in which they consume their content. Rather than the traditional methods of television, consumers now utilize a number of sources such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and more to obtain their entertainment. From this, valuable opportunities exist for marketing, branding, and more as businesses look to sell their products to the world. Naturally, agencies at the forefront of this trend will ultimately benefit the most.

QYOU Media last traded at $0.065 on the TSX Venture.


FULL DISCLOSURE: QYOU Media is a client of Canacom Group, the parent company of The Deep Dive. The author has been compensated to cover QYOU Media on The Deep Dive, with The Deep Dive having full editorial control. Additionally, the author personally holds shares of the company. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security.

As the founder of The Deep Dive, Jay is focused on all aspects of the firm. This includes operations, as well as acting as the primary writer for The Deep Dive’s stock analysis. In addition to The Deep Dive, Jay performs freelance writing for a number of firms and has been published on Stockhouse.com and CannaInvestor Magazine among others.

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#EndSARS: How Nigerians harness social media against police abuse – Al Jazeera English

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Port Harcourt, Nigeria – For two weeks, thousands of young people across Nigeria and abroad this month took to the streets to call for the dissolution of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an infamous police unit accused of extortion, extrajudicial killings, rape and torture.

This was far from the first time Nigerians had made such a demand. It was, however, by far, the first time their calls garnered such widespread support and international media coverage – thanks, largely, to the prominent role of social media in spreading the word.

Peaceful protests against police brutality began on October 8 after a video allegedly showing a SARS operative killing a man was widely shared online.

The #EndSARS hashtag swiftly started trending, boosted in part by Nigerian celebrities and high-profile personalities with large followings. As the hashtag also spread beyond the country’s borders, a number of Nigerian Twitter users announced they would help cover the phone bills of others so they could afford to keep tweeting and maintain momentum.

Encouraged by the first protest held in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, Uloma Nwoke and her friends decided to also organise one in the Lekki area of the city. They shared a flyer detailing the time and location of the protest on various social media platforms – and on the morning of October 10, they were surprised to see that nearly 1,000 people had descended on the site.

“A lot of celebrities and influential people showed up,” Nwoke said.

Meanwhile, thousands of kilometres away, Omolara Oriye, a human rights lawyer, was organising a protest via WhatsApp in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria. She said a video of Nigerian police officers manhandling demonstrators circulating on Twitter prompted her to action.

“I contacted the Nigerian Student Association in Pretoria who put me in touch with Nigerian students,” said 32-year-old Oriye. “We met at the [Nigerian] embassy.”

On October 15, the protest movement got an extra push from Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, who used the #EndSARS hashtag as he posted a donation link associated with the Feminist Coalition, one of the most prominent groups supporting protesters on the ground.

While the amplification of the protest by celebrities and social media influencers bridged the information gap left by local news outlets, protesters resisted attempts by government officials to single out influential personalities as spokespeople via invitations to join newly instituted panels on police reforms.

Having witnessed other movements fizzle out following closed-door meetings between lionised protest leaders and government representatives, many activists cautioned against such appointments.

Nwoke, 25, decried the tendency of celebrities to monopolise the microphone at protest venues, depriving those most affected by SARS of the opportunity to share their experiences.

“It was one of the biggest challenges for me,” she said, of celebrity worship and narcissism. “Most of them just want to always be in front. We had to start profiling [speakers].”

It’s a sentiment also shared by Oriye.

“Celebrities are great for amplification, but they are not movement leaders,” she said, arguing that many are ill-informed and have, in the past, diverted attention away from knowledgeable activists.

Apart from raising awareness about police brutality and coordinating protests on the ground, various #EndSARS organisers used social media to connect with volunteers, accept donations from other parts of the world and publish accounts of disbursed funds through frequent updates.

Information about emergency helplines and ways to circumvent a potential internet shutdown also spread freely and widely.

Essentially, observers say, social media democratised the #EndSARS movement, allowing users with varying numbers of followers to pitch, improve or reject ideas, solicit donations or start food banks to feed protesters.

“This entire movement was born, bred and salvaged online,” said Chioma Agwuegbo, communications lead for Not Too Young to Run, an advocacy group dedicated to getting young Nigerians into public office. “There was a constant reminder that there was no leader, [which] helped strengthen people’s voices and close any avenue for compromise.”

On the news front, web-based publications largely run by and geared towards millennials kept the protest in the fore alongside witnesses armed with smartphones, as most traditional media outlets – perhaps wary of running afoul of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation’s directive to be cautious with user-generated content and to not “embarrass” the government – kept off.

Their reticence left protesters such as Nwoke disappointed.

“It hurt me personally that people were dropping dead on the street and news channels were showing a cooking show or talking about some irrelevant subject,” she said.

Demonstrators gesture during a protest against police brutality in Lagos [File: Temilade Adelaja/Reuters]

As the peaceful protests grew in size after entering their second week, gangs attacked protesters in various cities, including Lagos and the capital, Abuja. Thugs also vandalised public buildings, burned private businesses and stormed prison facilities to help inmates escape, prompting state governors to impose curfews to curb the escalating unrest.

On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari said 51 civilians were killed and 37 injured since demonstrations began, blaming the violence on “hooliganism.” He added that 11 policemen and seven soldiers had been killed by “rioters”.

Buhari’s statement came two days after Amnesty International put the death toll at 56, with about 38 killed on October 20, the same day security forces opened fire on unarmed demonstrators in Lekki, in an attack that was livestreamed on Instagram by a witness and caused widespread outrage.

Amnesty said its on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International confirmed that the army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters in Lekki and Alausa, another area of Lagos where #EndSARS protests were being held. The army has denied the involvement of their men in the shooting.

Oriye expressed admiration for the dynamism of social media-savvy Nigerians.

“The Nigerian press refused to cover the issue initially, so it forced us to rely on social media to record information to preserve the truth and possible evidence,” she said.

Still, some Nigerians remain unconvinced by the video evidence. In a now-deleted tweet, an actress with more than one million followers seemingly cast doubt on the Lekki shooting, requesting the bereaved to “speak out”.

Others, however, are urging those with proof to store it in the cloud, away from potential government interference.

And despite the brutal clampdown, many see a silver lining.

“One of the things that would help us [gain political power] is community engagement,” said Nwoke. “That was something we tried to implement during the protest, educating people about the issues.”

For her part, Agwuegbo believes the events of the past two weeks have transformed Nigerian youth into a force to be reckoned with in the general elections less than three years from now.

“I think 2023 will be interesting for the future of the country because there’s rage,” she said. “But there’s also the realisation that if we come together and plan towards something, we can make it.”

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