The ftm 2015 Greatest Hits
Media luminaries through most of this century have taken every opportunity to belittle the online “culture of free,” customers disregarding traditional pathways of commerce for the cornucopia that is the internet. A legal bit torrent was unleashed against those defying the will of content masters. The result has been much as expected; threats bore no fruit, the internet adapted. Consumers aplenty have decided which items on the media menu they will and will not pay for.
Traditional television broadcasters have been backed into a painful corner. Video on demand services of the subscription kind are steadily raiding viewers who will pay for top flight drama and comedy series. Big name live sports is increasingly the domaine of pay-TV operators. Free-to-air broadcasters find the left-overs less than tasty.
Chasing the digital dividend comes at no small expense. Costs always seem to rise with each new exciting advance in technology. For years, decades even, the chorus repeats “the future is digital,” arrival expected any day now. As with any investment there’s anxiety. And the best cure for anxiety, say the doctors, is more money.
With short attention spans and an anxious nature investors don’t need a lot of input for buy-sell decisions. The digital era has given them many tools. And they certainly like betting on change. They only need be right 51% of the time so the slightest nudge sets them off.
By most accounts, print circulation seems to have bottomed out. Losses from the digital decades are starting to reverse, albeit slightly. Print advertising, however, may never recover. Digital advertising, which benefits Facebook more than publishers, seems to have stalled except for mobile ads, expected to overtake TV sometime soon, maybe, unless the ad blockers take over. All of this is just opportunity.
The documentary form never gets old. Subject material is vast, from injustices in the world and conspiracy theories to the real stories of the real and not-so-real. These moving pictures are moving at a time when attachment is considered out of fashion and escape considered a necessity. What have we learned?
Cultural insecurities are at the root of populist and nationalist political movements. For all the obvious reasons no nation is immune. The media sector, public media in particular, is often singled out for reflecting a more liberal, cosmopolitan society at odds with traditionalists, certainly those with a conspiracy theory or two. Learning from the past is necessary, living there foolish.
Everything is now a challenge. Sitting back to enjoy the fruits of good labor is off the agenda. More competitors are coming. Some have money. Some have ideas. Some have a plan. The future howls like a cold north wind for the rest.
From the earliest days of broadcasting listeners - and later viewers - in many countries contributed to transmitter and program costs through a tax levy on receiving equipment. Over time public broadcasting emerged in Europe and elsewhere from state operated systems. The household license fee formed, in part, the financial basis for independence from political and commercial influence. Several public broadcasters were able to leverage brand strength from this independence. Neither politicians nor competitors have been pleased.
The secret to competitive advantage is knowing you’ve got it. And knowing it grants certain respect. Being the biggest doesn’t cut it, note how VW suffers from one really stupid mistake. Being clever is so over-rated and never be last year’s hero. It’s a TV show worth watching.
ftm Greatest Hits 2014
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ftm Greatest Hits 2012
ftm Greatest Hits 2011
ftm Greatest Hits 2010
ftm Greatest Hits 2009
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Media in Spain - Diverse and Challenged – new
Media in Spain is steeped in tradition. yet challenged by diversity. Publishers hold great influence, broadcasters competing. New media has been slow to rise and business models for all are under stress. Rich in language and culture, Spain's media is reaching into the future and finding more than expected. 123 pages, PDF. January 2018
The Campaign Is On - Elections and Media
Elections campaigns are big media events. Candidates and issues are presented, analyzed and criticized in broadcast and print. Media is now more of a participant in elections than ever. This ftm Knowledge file reports on news coverage, advertising, endorsements and their effect on democracy at work. 84 pages. PDF (September 2017)
Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
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