This month, we speak to one of the top freelance media and tech journalists, Juliana Koranteng, editor-in-chief of MediaTainment Finance and TechMutiny, and one of the main feature writers for Reed MIDEM’s MIPCOM and MIPTV magazines. From digital content for kids to Apple’s US$1 trillion valuation, we hear what’s making headlines ahead of market.
What are you writing about at the moment?
I’ve just completed a series of features for MIPCOM’s flagship Preview magazine on investments in TV productions, diversity and inclusion, and digital content for kids. Now, I’ve embarked on a report for creative-industries tech journal TechMutiny, which analyses the pitfalls that ambitious tech start-ups could face if they want to list on the stock exchange – as Spotify is learning.
What are the headlines that everyone’s talking about at the moment?
In the media-and-entertainment sectors that I specialise in:
- iPhone maker Apple has become the US’ first publicly traded company to reach a US$1 trillion valuation;
- Although a universal problem, it is inside the media and entertainment workplaces that some of the worst cases of the harassment and bullying highlighted by the #MeToo movement have been exposed;
- Ireland’s team of amateurs reaching the finals of the Women’s Hockey World Cup
What is your biggest frustration as a journalist?
People’s universal trust in professional journalism, for communicating and examining all types of issues as fairly as possible, is being severely undermined by the rise and rise of fake news on the Internet.
What are you watching on TV at the moment?
I’m a sucker for high-end US legal and crime dramas: the Law & Order and NCIS franchises; fantasy thrillers like Wynonna Earp and Supernatural also work for me; and, to raise my spirits, I can’t think of anything better than repeats of comedy classics Frasier, Cheers and Only Fools and Horses.
There was a true depth of innovation on display at this year’s BETT exhibition, which took place last week, demonstrating that the international edtech industry is very much alive as ever. As we spent a few days exploring the aisles of the ExCel among the industry’s elite, it was hard to ignore the pull of all the gadgets and gizmos promising the next wave of education.
It’s safe to say Virtual Reality for classrooms was the technology of the moment, with the crowds fighting it out to test run Microsoft’s game-changing Hololens. And thanks to Raspberry Pi’s legacy, coding in schools continues to be the initiative on everyone’s mind. But the one thing the edtech community agrees on is that gaming is the missing link in mainstream education – and while Minecraft and Microsoft had the biggest presence at BETT in this department, it was great to see some of the exciting new players such as Lightneer and our client Tinybop making their claim in the market.
So what does it take to stand out from the crowd at key events such as BETT? PR and marketing are essential tools to help shout about your innovation when it counts, support your business objectives and let key influencers know what you are taking to market.
Here’s a few of our top tips to stand out from the crowd:
You know the drill. Once you register to exhibit at one of these events, you’re bombarded with marketing emails that promise to help you make the most of your stand. And as tempting as it is to leave them in the inbox – make sure you don’t miss those important deadlines for submitting your copy and company profile to the official show guide. Make it as easy as possible for attendees to find you on the day. That means getting your name in the programme before it’s too late.
Looking to make a splash with news during the show? Let the media know beforehand. The beauty of modern journalism is that you can announce new developments and generate immediate impact. Markets are a great place to pick up trade magazines and print media still works very much in advance. It’s not dead just yet. Most key publications plan special preview features in their editions leading up to market. So, consider this – if a prospective customer sees your news in the media in those important days beforehand, or even while they’re reading their morning coffee on the way to market, you’ve already got a head start.
A major strength of trade shows is the ability to meet face-to-face with the right people in a short amount of time. Well, guess what — you can also build much stronger relationships by meeting your industry journalists face-to-face. Use this opportunity while you’re all under the same roof to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones with your target media. Believe us, it’ll pay off in the long run!
We’re already looking ahead to the Kidscreen Summit in a couple of weeks, the Broadcast Indie Summit in March and MIPTV in April. Who’s coming with us?
By Abi Williams, Account Manager at Franklin Rae
As the dust settles on this year’s IBC, we take a look at the top trends that came out of the conference and the trendsetters making a real impact in the industry.
From 4k and the latest drones, to the latest on asset management and protecting premium content over the internet; this year’s conference was buzzing with 33,395 eager execs looking for the latest technologies and kit, and insight into how best to harness, manage, edit and deliver their content in an increasingly digital world.
Once we waded our way through the eleven different halls and the 1,887 exhibitors, we finally found a few gems.
Wuaki TV session
Jordi Miró Bruix, CTO of online movie streaming service Wuaki.tv delivered a very thought-provoking session with NexGuard on identifying and stopping online pirates in today’s OTT world. From the rise in illegal redistribution of premium entertainment over the internet, to the impact it has on the content industry’s revenue, especially as “professional” pirates can now deliver HD content in real-time at a tiny fraction of the legal cost (who knew?). Clearly more needs to be done in the industry to prevent pirated content and also ensure that the content can be traceable back to the source of the leak in order for the perpetrators to be stopped. But even though legislators and content owners are attempting a variety of tactics to combat piracy, it’s clear to say that the pirates are one, if not two steps ahead of the game.
Another company changing the game is RT Software.
IBC 2015 saw the launch of its new tOG-Vista offering – a panoramic 4k UHD solution designed to reduce costs and increase production values for live sport broadcasting. Now that the industry has started to wake up to opportunities 4k can provide, RT Software seem to be ahead of the game. And rightly so. When it comes to sports broadcasting, viewers want and expect the highest quality coverage, and It was clear from RT Software’s live demos and impressive virtual reality green screen why so many broadcasters and networks such as Sky Sports, BT and ESPN trust the provider. We say watch this space.
PlayBox Technology also chose IBC to launch its SocialMediaBox offering, which enables comments from a number of social feeds and sites to be processed quickly and efficiently into one broadcast stream. Apparently just one SocialMediaBox account can be deployed across several TV shows and channels, making it an attractive proposition for producers looking to (finally) integrate social media into their TV shows.
We say finally because we live in a world where TV viewership and social media engagement now go hand in hand. It has become normal behaviour for audiences to take to social media when watching TV content, whether it be to complain about it or shout about it.
Nielson recently did a study about it. It selected a number of 1-hr TV shows for participants to watch and measured the participants’ Twitter activity throughout the shows. For just one episode of a hit reality TV series, an average of 484.7 tweets were posted per minute. This statistic is astounding, but it seems producers are still yet to truly take advantage. How many shows currently on TV incorporate social feeds? Two? Maybe three? We see a number of spin-off talent and reality shows embrace social, but there is still room for improvement.
What was clear from IBC is that there are a number of innovators trying to break through and really make an impact in the industry. But again, at such a big conference, it’s hard to find the diamonds in the rough. The TV industry also has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to embracing new technologies and trends, particularly content producers. Unlike 3D TV, which quickly became a “thing” and died, 4k is here to stay, well so the analysts say. Apparently it has come about far quicker than standard HD, so now is the time for the industry to truly embrace it. Not only has it revolutionised the way we watch live sport events, but it has also done wonders for wildlife and natural history programming. Not that David Attenborough needed a 4k boost, but the BBC’s Life Story series was epic. It was the first landmark series to be shot in 4k, delivering the highest quality images ever seen in a wildlife documentary. The same goes for social. It will be Twitter’s ten year anniversary next March, but again, it is yet to make a real appearance on our TV screens. Hopefully with the emergence of technologies such as SocialMediaBox, content producers will start to truly embrace it for the greater good – that is to entertain and engage viewers like never before.
“Tales from IBC” – Shereene Witter, Account Director at Franklin Rae
There were a couple of themes at this year’s IBC which has just taken place, but walking through the halls and sitting in on the conference sessions the overriding one was the imminent arrival of Ultra HD In the shape of 4K, the new picture resolution that is 4x that of High Definition. (more…)