Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Digital Claims Another Print Publication

We must appear as a very impatient race.  We can no longer wait patiently for mail to arrive at our home, we  need our email delivered instantly.  The same holds true for news and other information.  Timely means instantaneous and print can never deliver the latest news.  In fact, when it is wrong, it demands a retraction that takes more time to appear and is usually hidden away in some corner.  In the world of digital, fast is efficient and changes can be updated on the fly.

So digital has claimed another victim.  In the entertainment world, the source for all info had been the print publication Variety.  "The 108-year-old entertainment trade magazine announced Tuesday that it will no longer publish a daily print edition as if it shifts more resources to digital."  In addition, its website,, will no longer require a subscription to view.  With its owners sister site offering similar information, it seems that Variety could not keep the current model working.  Hopefully a new streamlined model can continue to build on the Variety brand.

AMC Networks Misses Numbers - Time To Sell?

AMC Networks released their Q4 numbers and the Dish drop had a big effect on numbers.  "AMC Networks says it generated $15.2M in net income in the quarter, -48.5%".  Obviously, the networks are back on Dish but the damage was done.  In addition, AMC has announced a new syndication deal, selling one of their signature series, Breaking Bad, to Sundance Channel in an attempt to bolster their ratings.

So the question remains, is it time to sell the channels? Unless AMC and its sister channels have another new series up their sleeves, capable of getting the kind of ratings Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, and Mad Men have been generating, the timing may be ripe to sell while the network is hot.

Second Screen Alive And Well At The Oscars

For those of us that are fans of big TV events like the Oscars, watching these telecasts have become a lot more interesting because of second screens like Twitter.  I admit to personally reading and writing tweets during the telecast on Sunday. And I am not alone.  "Viewers of Sunday's 85th Academy Awards generated 8.9 million Oscars-related tweets. Twitter users sent 2.1 million tweets during the red carpet and 6.8 million during the awards show, according to Twitter."

At first, my interest was in reading what others had to say about the pre-show and awards in real time.  It was water cooler talk and jokes offered immediately.  No longer was it necessary to wait to the  next day to see if friends saw and thought the same things about what was on air.  But the more you read tweets, some good, some bad, most a bit snarky, you find yourself wanting to contribute as well to the conversation.  In fact, I think it made the telecast more entertaining as a result.  

I understand too that folks attending the festivities were using other sites, like Facebook, Vine,and Instagram to share pictures and videos of the action.  For those seeking a more immersive Oscar experience, the second screen was added value.  Yet for the networks offering these live showcases, the concern may be how to personally profit from their use.  They may generate an increase in viewership; Oscar ratings were up for both E! and ABC for their shows.  But, I am sure they would love to control the second screen app being used to interact.  With it comes more ad dollars and more revenue to the  respective networks.  And that is always a good thing.  In fact, I'm happy to discuss some ideas any time.