followthemedia.com - a knowledge base for media professionals
New This Week

Hot topics click link for more


Broadcasters want digital debate ended
“significant negative impact”

Since its earliest days, the end-game for proponents of the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) platform has been shutting down FM transmission. It was presented as inevitable, just like shutting down analogue television. “The future is digital,” has been the commonly offered simplistic reasoning. Many broadcasters, typically in the private sector, put up resistance, however unsteady. Everybody wants to be on the side of the future.

“Radio is already digital,” said German private broadcasters association VPRT radio chairman Klaus Schunk to the Munich Medientage conference. “The debate on the future of radio must include all platforms and devices that listeners use.” Private sector investment in radio broadcasting is “endangered,” he said, by continued “shut-down debate” over the FM platform. (See VPRT statement here – in German) VPRT members have turned their digital attention toward multi-platform chip-set solutions for smartphones.

Herr Schunk also called for limits to the “cut-throat competition” from public broadcasters. “Politicians must keep in mind the significant negative impact on the private radio market.” (See more about media in Germany here)

The internet is not just for cheap phone calls
“The power to tax is the power to destroy”

The Hungarian government is set to impose a tax on internet usage, about €0.50 per gigabyte in a country where the average monthly salary is less than €800. Economy Minister Mihaly Varga laid out the proposal to parliament this week as part of a bigger plan to balance the budget, raise taxes or something. The bare-bones, all that has been available, shows internet service providers (ISPs) paying the Hungarian tax man, presumably passing it on to customers. Hungary’s biggest telecom Magyar Telekom saw an immediate drop in its share price on the news.

“A growing number of people make phone calls over the internet,” explained Minister Varga. Typical data traffic in Hungary could push the potential tax revenue to €600 million, said Deutsche Welle (October 22). Of course, internet access allows far more than cheap telephone calls. In June the Hungarian Parliament passed tax legislation on advertising revenues widely seen as an attempt to throttle foreign commercial television operators not under ideological control of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling right-wing Fidesz Party. (See more about media in Hungary here)

After howls and wails from internet users – including 100,000 Facebook page supporters of a Sunday (October 26) protest – Fidesz MPs, still favoring the tax, made noises about placing the tax pressure exactly where they want it. “We are recommending strict measures so that the telecom tax cannot be passed on in any form to non-business subscribers,” said Fidesz spokesperson Antal Rogán, quoted by portfolio.hu (October 22). “The tax payable on traffic generated by private individuals will need to be paid at the expense of the service providers’ own profit.” Magyar Telekom is principally owned by Deutsche Telekom.

“Unilateral internet taxes are not a clever idea,” said European Commission (EC) vice president for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, who leaves office at the end of the month, to the Financial Times (October 21). After winning the latest round of local elections for Fidesz, PM Orban said he’s building an “illiberal democracy.” Shortly thereafter the United States Department of Justice banned six unidentified Hungarians “either engaging in or benefiting from corruption” from entering the US.

TV channel may change name to shed news image
That’s entertainment

Historic Serbian media brand B92 could disappear from television, reported Belgrade tabloid Blic (October 21), quoting unnamed sources. Founders and managers didn’t quite deny that the TV channel will be known as OTV from the first of the year saying only “the public will be informed” of any changes. News-talk radio station B92, originally B2, notably challenged the regime of the late former Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic from the early 1990’s.

In November 2010 long term shareholders Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF), now known as Media Development Investment Fund, and NCA Media exited as Swedish investor East Capital merged its interest with Greek proprietor Stefanos Papadopoulos to form Astonko as principal owner. The B92 Trust comprised of founders holds a minority interest and, according to covenants at the time, editorial control. Since the ownership change B92 TV has slowly but steadily increased emphasis on entertainment programming.

Starting as an opposition radio station, the B92 brand grew into television, internet distribution, production and music. The B92 radio station, apparently, will not be affected by the change and the B92Info cable TV channel will continue as a news channel. (See more about media in Serbia here)

Media watchers have long suggested hanky-panky in the 2010 ownership change, particularly the interest of Mr. Papadopoulos, who owns TV Macedonia. Serbia’s Commission for Protection of Competition began an investigation at the end of August into whether or not a relationship exists between Mr. Papadopoulos and Greek media house Antenna Media Group, which has principally owned Serbian TV channel Prva Srpska Televizija since the end of 2009. Antenna Media Group manages TV Macedonia for Mr. Papadopoulos.

“Impertinent” news popping up everywhere
another digital dividend

Just when the furor about the arrival of Netflix in France, comes now to the Fifth Republic Vice News, described in Le Figaro (October 20) as “impertinent.” For starters Vice News is producing a Monday through Friday quarter-hour segment - Le Point Quotidien - airing on public TV channel France 4. A staff of six in Paris will create French-language material, also available on YouTube, and translate archive goodies.

The union representing French public TV journalists cried foul at the “privatization of public service information.” The SNJ “demanded” the broadcaster use only union member journalists for news programs. France Télévisions is disparate to get young people tuning in to France 4. (See more about media in France here)

“Like most people, we are groping to address a young audience that has a complex relationship with screens and for whom TV is no longer central,” said France 4 editorial director Boris Razon, quoted in Le Monde (October 21). “The Vice News journalistic approach is bold and that is important in the era of mistrust vis-à-vis the media.”

Vice News produces original, to be mild, news reporting, generally available on YouTube channels. France is its first destination outside the US; Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Australia to follow. It’s been described as a cross of CNN and MTV. This year Vice News has raised US$500 million in venture funding.

Pay and VOD models excite broadcasters
“Classic TV and radio remains strongest”

This will be a good year, said German private broadcasters association VPRT in it annual year-end forecast. The big money is still with TV and radio advertising. Biggest growth, unsurprisingly, will accrue to pay platforms and the web.

VPRT sees TV advertising ending 2014 at €4.24 billion, up 2.7% against 2013, and radio ad revenues at €750 million, up 1.1%. Online and mobile display advertising is expected to grow 6% to a bit over €1.2 billion with tele-shopping revenues up 4% to €1.8 billion. (See VPRT presser here – in German)

TV advertising in Germany grew 2.2% in 2013 over the previous year. The 2014 forecast pales against the 2000 peak of €4.71 billion. Radio advertising in 2013 was 3.7% higher than 2012. “Classic TV and radio remains the strongest segments,” said VPRT market development director Frank Giersberg.

Streamed video ads online will grow to €244 million, up 22%, and revenues from streamed audio ads online should be up about 30%, to €10 million.

The shift from ad to subscriber revenue continues to mount in Germany. Pay-TV and video-on-demand subscriptions will bring in €2.3 billion this year; pay-TV revenue up 12% and VOD subscription up 18%.

Pay-TV had been considered moribund in Germany, if not exactly dead. Sky Deutschland has beat the drum for pay-TV and is currently in the process of being folded into UK pay-TV company BSkyB.  Subscription VOD has many holding their breath with all major German media houses entering that competition along with Netflix, Amazon and others. (See more on media in Germany here)

The VPRT forecasts are based on the considered opinions of broadcasting executives.

Digital TV too high risk, says publisher
No backing into the future

Of interest to publishers seeking new opportunities has long been the glow of the TV screen. The promise of big reach and big advertising, even brand extension, excites the executive office. And digital TV brought it all within reach.

Six months ago big Scandinavian media house Schibsted applied for and received a digital TV license in Sweden to be affiliated with big daily newspaper Aftonbladet, already operating a branded online TV channel. “This opens up exciting possibilities,” said publisher Jan Helin announcing the news in April.

That excitement faded. Last week the digital TV license was returned, with thanks. “We want to lead the trend rather than risk backing into the future,” said Aftonbladet TV director Jan Scherman in a statement, quoted by medievarlden.se (October 17). (See more about media in Sweden here)

“Since we got the permit last spring, the conditions for linear television have changed radically,” Mr. Scherman explained. “I have extensive experience in the television industry and have not experienced anything like it. Linear viewing behavior has now changed so fast… it is too high risk for a new TV provider to incur the costs.”

From Last Weeks ftm Tickle File

No laughing and singing on public TV, says politician
Narrow and elitist

Taking aim at public broadcasting for one reason or another is a predictable pastime for politicians, typically of the right-wing variety. Cutting budgets and work-force at public radio and television channels allows, they say, market forces to deliver without encumbering taxpayers. And all politicians want to dabble in programming.

Entertainment shows should be struck from public broadcasting, envisioned Netherlands State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science Sander Dekker, reported news agency ANP (October 13). He doesn’t like Animal Crackers, Ranking the Stars and Bananasplit, currently offered by Netherlands public TV NPO. “If (entertainment) is the purpose of the program, you have to wonder if it doesn’t belong to commercial broadcasters.”

Public broadcasting in the Netherlands is unique, a multi-association collaboration funded by the State budget and advertising. Half that financial support should, said Mr. Dekker, be funneled to the private sector. “The public broadcasters do little to make themselves stand out and that damages their legitimacy.“ The government has mandated a reduction in the number of non-profit associations providing content to NPO channels in the spirit of efficiency, of course. (See more on media in the Netherlands here)

Mr. Dekker’s proposals would the NPO into “a narrow, elitist public broadcaster,” said KRO media director Taco Rijssemus to volkstrant.nl (October 17). “What the State Secretary doesn’t seem to understand is there’s not one set of public values. Precisely because those differences are significant, it is important that a public broadcaster give audience to pluralism.” KRO (Katholieke Radio Omroep - Catholic Radio Broadcasting) is one of the public broadcast associations.

Channel expansion approved, will be web-only
but young people like the internet

German public broadcasters will finally be getting a national TV channel targeting young people 14 to 29 years. Approval from heads of government in the German Länder came with a caveat: the new channel can be broadcast only on the Web. The ARD and ZDF chiefs were a bit sad.

The political decision was “future-oriented,” said ARD chairman Lutz Marmor, noting a turn on new internet development for public broadcasters. Without broadcast distribution the launch will be “more difficult, but we’ll do everything to develop a good project to the net with ZDF.” The concept as presented to politicians would have merged all youth-oriented output of ARD affiliated regional broadcasters – including radio – into a single brand.

The State Ministers decided ZDFkultur and the WDR produced youth channel Eins Plus, currently on digital multiplexes, must go. The new and yet unnamed youth channel will have an annual budget of €45 million and largely rely on programming produced within the German public broadcasting system. Because it will be available only on the internet the three-step test for approving programming changes will not apply. Last March the State Ministers rejected the previous proposal for a national channel targeting young people as poorly thought through. (See more about media in Germany here)

German private broadcaster association VPRT was “relieved” by the decision complained of ARD and ZDF getting a “blank check of €45 million.”

Those who seek control driven by frustration
“Who you gonna call?”

The remaining foreign owners of Russian media outlets continue official silence on the fate of their businesses. As expected Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin this week signed into law deeper restrictions on foreign ownership and executive control. From the sidelines there’s considerable speculation.

Media watchers, mostly Western, have been focused on the fate of influential business newspaper and portal Vedomosti, owned by publishers News Corporation, through Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Pearson, through the Financial Times (FT), and Sanoma. Each hold one-third stakes in Vedomosti. Under the new Russian ownership law, foreign shareholding of any media outlet will be limited to 20% by the end of 2016. (See more on media in Russia here)

“The Kremlin sees Vedomosti’s shareholders as foreign governments,” said editor-in-chief Tatiana Lysova to Bloomberg (October 17) “The WSJ equals the US and the FT the UK. They want a Russian owner so they have someone to call.”

German media house Axel Springer publishes business magazine Forbes Russia and Sanoma publishes Russian editions of Cosmopolitan and Esquire. These will likely close as trademark owners retain editorial control under license agreements, not allowed in the revised Russian media control law. Television broadcaster CTC Media will almost certainly be nationalized, if it exists at all, as Swedish media house Modern Times Group holds roughly a 37% stake and another 36% is publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange.

Who or what may finally take control of these remaining foreign-owned media outlets in Russia is up for speculation. Not in doubt is the effective end of media voices with any independence from the Russian State. Perhaps seeking advice on media issues, President Putin paid a visit to former-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi while in Milan, reported ANSA (October 17).

Big channels divide market
The advantage of scale

Radio listeners in Portugal are increasingly attracted to just two channels. In the May to September Bareme Rádio Marktest audience estimates Radio Comercial holds the top spot with 24.1% market share with RFM following with 21.6%, both showing year on year increases. Doing the math, that’s an aggregate market share of 45.7%. A year ago those top two channels had a combined market share of 40.5%.

Radio Renascenca, the general interest channel of Grupo R/Com, held 3rd place but dropped to 7.7% market share from 10.3% one year on. Radio Comercial is owned by Media Capital Radio and RFM is owned by R/Com. The two companies are tooth to tooth in the Portuguese radio market.

Public broadcaster RTP main radio channel Antena 1 placed 4th, up slightly to 6.4% markets share. Contemporary channel Antena 3 was also up slightly. (See Portugal national radio audience trend chart here)

Hit music Cidade FM moved to 6th place in the national rankings, 4.6% market share, sharply up from 3.8% year on year. News-talk channel TSF continued a long slow decline to 3.5% market share from 4.9%.

Previous weeks complete Tickle File


affiliate_link

followthemedia.com
week of October 20, 2014

Several service changes have come into effect, benefiting ftm Members and site readers. Check them out here


In The Numbers

Digital Is Just One Platform... We Have Others
chip on fingertip Broadcasters have found many surprises in the digital dividend. Some are nice, others not quite. Audiences migrate with ease from one platform to another, looking for something new and different or old favorites. One trend suggests platform carries significant weight in brand choice and, of course, they keep changing.

In Lingua Franca

Politician Attacks “Crazy Loopholes”
look inside Quotas legally requiring radio broadcasters to broadcast music locally produced or performed in a national language periodically rise to broad debate. The music industry generally loves the idea and radio broadcasters generally hate it. Supporters and critics often cite French and Canadian music content broadcasting laws as proving their respective points.

Encore Une Fois - This Week Last Year in Lingua Franca

Nobody Wants To Watch Something They Think They Might Have Seen Before
The Killing The great masters of television are tuning their antenna far and wide for the special chemistry appealing to viewers with shortened attention. Dark themes, quirky characters and lots of anticipation are hit combinations. It’s a great time for creative energy and no time to waste.

 

Encore Une Fois - This Week Last Year in Media Rules & Rulers

Fear, Panic And Headlines Draw Fines
halloween Attention to facts should be a duty of the news media. Regulation has its limits. The intent is keeping order among the notoriously unruly media tribe. Wild and crazy headlines may attract viewers and readers but earthquakes, literally and figuratively, can induce panic.

 

 

new ftm Knowledge

Media in the Baltics - New World Order – new

By the time Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the European Union they were known as the Baltic Tigers. The media sector grew spectacularly with big multi-nationals investing. Times have changed. This ftm Knowledge file reports the changes, new opportunities and lingering ghosts. 63 pages PDF (October 2014)

Order here

The Privacy Issue

The privacy issue touches every aspect of media. From consumer protection and the rights of individuals to news coverage privacy is hotly debated. New media and old media stumble and the courts decide. ftm offers views from every side of the Privacy Issue. 68 pages. PDF (July 2014)

Order Here

Media in Greece, Cyprus and Macedonia

The Greek media world has been turned upside down in recent years. Financial constraints coupled with political confusion seem endless while digital media promises a new future. Media in Cyprus, largely tied to Greece, shows certain signs of stress while media in neighboring Macedonia remains under stress. This ftm Knowledge file explores the bright spots and all the rest. Includes updated Resources. 82 pages PDF (June 2014)

Order here

Public Broadcasting - Arguments, Battles and Changes

Public broadcasters have - mostly - thrown off the musty stain of State broadcasting. And audiences for public channels are growing. But arguments and battles with politicians, publishers and commercial broadcasters threatens more changes. The ftm Knowledge file examines all sides. 168 pages PDF (March 2014)

Order here

Media in Romania and Moldova

The profile of Romania's media scene is complicated. Changes take place often as multi-national media houses exit and "colorful" local owners take over. Neighboring Moldova faces its own set of challenges. This ftm Knowledge file details the rough road to sustainable media. Includes updated Resources. 60 pages PDF (February 2014)

Order here

Become an ftm Individual or Corporate Member and receive Knowledge files at no charge. JOIN HERE!

ftm Knowledge files are available to non-Members at €19 each.

new ftm Resources

...more Resources...


 

News From You

VPRT-Die digitale Radiozukunft ist nicht auf einen Übertragungsweg zu reduzieren - October 23, 2014

VPRT-Prognose zum Medienmarkt 2014: TV und Radio wachsen nachhaltig - October 21, 2014

ACT - MEPs and European commercial broadcasters discuss news reporting from Ukraine - October 9, 2014

EPC - European Commission welcomes new phase of Linked Content Coalition - September 22, 2014

ITU - Half the world will be online by 2017 - September 21, 2014

VPRT - Scripted Reality - September 19, 2014

Yatsenyuk, Poroshenko Hail RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service On Sixtieth Anniversary - September 19, 2014

EBU and Council of Europe reinforce cooperation on media freedom - September 8, 2014

DETEC - La Commission fédérale des médias (COFEM) recommande une aide aux médias ciblée et différenciée - September 5, 2014

ProSiebenSat.1 Group offers media worth millions of euros to international start-ups - September 2, 2014

EBU - European public broadcasters react to Lamy report on spectrum allocation - September 1, 2014

Send ftm Your News!!
news@followthemedia.com

 

Inside ftm

Who reads ftm?
Financial institutions, European institutions and NGOs, media companies (public and private), the digital world, news agencies, regulators, educational institutions, measurement services and, of course, the advertising people are on the list of ftm subscribers, Members and sponsors. Are you?

 


Get noticed with ftm !!

Add ftm content to your website, newsletter or publication. Lift your next meeting or conference with ftm documents or presentations. Click here for details.
For reprint or republishing needs or questions, please contact us.

ftm Members LinkedIn Group

ftm Members can now join the FollowTheMedia LinkedIn Group and discover a broad array of new features for expanding your own network. LinkedIn is without question the world’s premiere web-based professional networking platform.

Visit this link to JOIN ftm or contact us by email



ftm Radio Page NEW

Friday October 24, 2014
radio in Germany, digital radio, FM shut-off, VPRT, radio in the UK, Rajar, BBC, commercial radio, DAB, Global Radio, Bauer Media, 6Music, Radio 3, Heart


Recently in ftm...

In Reaching Out

faster and faster

 

More Internet, More Information; Some Good, Some Not

 

 

 

The Inescapable Anomie Of Smallness

Creating Credibility Not A Vanity Project

 

In Write On

paddlesRowing Against Current Just As Difficult As Ever

 

 

Ignore What You’ve Always Heard: No News Is No News

When It Comes In Waves, Learn To Surf

 

In Big Business

money in the hand

 

That Natural Attraction Of Money To Media

 

 

 

 

New Markets, Old Styles, Big Money

The Biggest Media Companies Only Get Bigger

 

In All Things Digital

Oh, No!

 

Just Wait – There’s More to Come

 

 

 

 

The Elephant In The Room, Possibly Speaking French

Online Advertising The New Digital Paradox

 

In Lingua Franca

hold it

 

Languages Carry Messages, Media Holds Its Breath

 

 

Digital Detox Antidote For The Over-Connected

Nobody Wants To Watch Something They Think They Might Have Seen Before

 

In The Public Service

limp

 

Reform Bogged Down, Experts Called

 

 

Ideas Are Nice, Execution Is Everything

How Sharper Than The Bosses Axe It Is

 

In The Numbers

so confusedAudience Demanding More, Gets Less, Turns Off

 

 

Taking The Bull By The Horns And Other Advice

It’s The Best Game Plan That Plays Well

 

In Spots & Space

beer ad

 

Ads Off, Except For Beer; Reality Conditional

 

 

Listen To This Algorithm

New And Exciting Attention-Getting Opportunities

 

In Media Rules & Rulers

think happyBroadcasters Groan As Regulator Closes Digital Cashbox

 

 

The Culture Of Journalism Prevents Forgetting

Not Getting Better But Not Getting Worse

 

In Sports & Media

bucket brain

 

No Efficiencies Found In Sports Broadcasting, Only A Deep Hole

 

 

 

 

Sports Rights In The Material World

The Evermore Expensive TV Fun Basket

 

In Brands and Branding

pandora

 

Box Opened, Tentacles Appear, Everybody’s Entertained

 

 

Games Changers And Media Killers

You And The Great Adventure

 

In Fit To Print

not happy

 

Being The Boss Is No Picnic

 

 

 

Less Is More Not A Media-Tech Concept

New Ideas For Better Or Worse

 

In Show Biz

cartwheel at the Abbey

 

Were You One Of The Few Who Didn?ft Watch THE Wedding?

 

 

 

 

April 29, 2011, Westminster Abbey ?| Oh, What A Royal Media Circus For The Next Five Months And Beyond

You Believe Twitter that Johnny Depp Died? You Believe The Exclusive News of the World Report That Brad and Angelina Are Splitting? Who, What Can You Believe These Days?

 

ftm newsletters

ftm newsletters update leading media news twice monthly.
Sign-up here

copyright ©2004-2014 ftm partners, unless otherwise noted

Contact UsSponsor ftm
followthemedia.com - a knowledge base for media professionals

This article is from followthemedia.com. All comments are appreciated and can be sent by email to news@followthemedia.com.

The OPT-IN only ftm newsletter emails each weekday Monday through Friday to media professionals registered. To register, simply go to the ftm homepage - www.followthemedia.com.

This article and all ftm material is ©2004-2007, ftm partners, all rights reserved unless otherwise noted