Hot Topic - The Walt Disney Company
Nobody in business, media or otherwise, wants to be the little guy. Hence, all executives are schooled in thinking big. Their bankers tell them to think big because the paper work for a big deal is just the same as a small deal. There is no incentive to be anything but big.
Strong news brands, by and large, have discovered two things recently. Number one is the fragility, to be generous, of advertising revenues, digital and otherwise. Second and just as important is the rise of subscription revenue for big news brands like the New York Times and the Guardian. In addition, though most significantly in the US market, is the Trump Effect, passionate foes and fans of US president Donald Trump are paying to see what they want to see.
The great digital dividend has opened vast new opportunities for film and television productions, not to forget animation, games and live events. And the demand for all that is creating more demand, a cycle, perhaps virtuous, maybe silly. Shareholders have their demands, too; sometimes not in synch with anything else. With so much fun - and money - available nobody seems to want to share.
With short attention spans and an anxious nature investors donít 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.
Last year was generally good to big media companies. Distribution companies, largely satellite and pay-TV, benefited greatly but content companies, largely TV and film producers, held their own. The web is evermore powerful and publishing only starting to recover.
Brand building is an engaging business. The media world is in that business, for itself and for others. The biggest brands get people talking which, in post-modern terms, has nothing to do with actually talking. Social media has usurped than function. This is fun when the brand message is fun, happiness or shopping, less so for oil spills and bank scandals.
Thereís always something behind a brand. Thinkers on the subject say itís a story. The more potent, the more valuable. Magic has replaced fizz. Maybe things havenít changed so much.
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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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