brands under fire
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on June 18, 2013 11:36 AM
Late last week, Vice magazine promoted a new pictorial spread from its Fiction issue. The problem? The photos depicted a handful of famous suicides by legendary female writers with appalling attention to detail, right down to the hosiery that hung Taiwanese author Sanmao.
The youth culture publication is well-known for its edgy content and no-holds-barred attitude—a reputation that has repeatedly made headlines and garnered unfavorable reactions from readers and critics, even as it partners with the likes of CNN and HBO.
While the brand has successfully turned itself into a more respectable news source over the years, partnering with brands and producing documentaries like its much talked about Basketball Diplomacy stunt that brought Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea to wrap its first season on HBO, Vice still gets its kicks from content like the "Last Words" spread, which, after much protest, was pulled from its website on Tuesday and replaced with a statement from the editorial staff:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 7, 2013 03:35 PM
Since last year’s launch of Aereo, the disruptive streaming service that allows consumers to watch TV online as well as on mobile devices for a small monthly fee, there has been a lot of legal wrangling between the company and broadcasters of every stripe.
Two of the major players in the fight have been Barry Diller, whose IAC unit backs Aereo, and Rupert Murdoch, whose U.S. broadcast network FOX has threatened to move to cable to avoid losing out on streaming fees.
CBS head Les Moonves has also said his network could go the cable route if Aereo is allowed to continue unchecked. While CBS has previously taken legal action against Aereo, the tables have now turned as the streaming site moves to block future suits from CBS and its affiliates.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 6, 2013 03:36 PM
Before NBC’s The Office hit the airwaves nine seasons ago, the folks of Scranton, Penn., were a little weary about a sitcom calling the coal-mining town home. After all, as the Scranton Times Tribune points out, the city had been the butt of jokes on All in the Family, Friends, and The Sopranos. The Championship Season, the 1973 Pulitzer winner for Drama about a high school championship team in Scranton that gets together 20 years later, doesn’t exactly leave theatergoers feeling like they want to rush off to visit the place.
Now, the series that focuses on the employees of the Dunder Mifflin paper company is coming to a close and Scrantonites seem to be pleased with how the series gave “a steady supply of residual pop culture cachet.” That cachet won’t come to an end when the series airs its final episode on May 16. It’ll fade with time, but Office love is probably at its peak in Scranton right about now, especially after the show’s cast members, writers and creative team paid a visit this past weekend as part of a big “Wrap Party,” Entertainment Weekly reports.
Along with them came about 10,000 fans who wanted to celebrate the legacy of the sitcom. The stars of the show were paraded through town, signed autographs with fans, sang old tunes to the adoring masses and sat through an extended Q&A.Continue reading...
license to thrill
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 30, 2013 04:27 PM
When you’re working for public broadcasting, it helps to have an entrepreneurial spirit.
So the producers of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning TV drama Downton Abbey are going all out to bring in some extra revenue by expanding from DVD sales to creating a whole line of clothing, homeware, furniture, wallpaper, beauty products and stationery around the show that will go on sale later this year, according to CNBC.
After all, who couldn’t use an extra cape, cravat or pair of elbow-length gloves?Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 23, 2013 01:52 PM
Reed Hastings has thrown down the gauntlet to the gold-standard of pay-tv and on-demand as a new model emerges, largely defined by consumers.
Netflix has officially surpassed HBO in subscribers, reporting 29.17 million domestic subscribers in the first quarter of 2013, while HBO ended 2012 with 28.7 million, according to SNL Kagan. The company’s stock passed $200 a share for the first time since 2011 after reporting its quarterly earnings.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix told GQ that, "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” It looks like they're well on their way.
Aside from subscribers and revenue, Netflix is now competing with HBO for talent and creative ideas. The streaming company recently launched a new original series, Hemlock Grove, while it's slated to capitalize on the Arrested Development series in May. "This is the direction that storytelling is evolving, where you're going to have the most interesting story lines, the most interesting characters," Kevin Spacey, star and executive producer of the Netflix original series House of Cards. "What a company like Netflix is doing is the ultimate expression of individual control, proof of what people's attention span really is."
Of Netflix’s subscriber increase in Q1, more than two million in the US are attributed to the success of its first original series. Those who checked in to Netflix for House of Cards stayed for the most part, with fewer than 8,000 who paid the $7.99 monthly fee to watch the show choosing to cancel.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 18, 2013 04:56 PM
Twitter just broke the ad barrier with a new tool that lets marketers deep dive into users' tweets to serve up the most relevant ads, rather than just analyzing their "interest graph."
Tests of the keyword-based targeting mechanism indicate a click rate of 11 out of 100 times an ad appeared, which "shows the power of the intent expressed in users' public tweets," Kevin Weil, a senior director of product at Twitter told Reuters. The ad tool leverages the essence of Twitter’s DNA—the ubiquity of hashtags. "It's already used today as a way to focus conversation," Weil added. "Now it's also a way for users who are talking about something to see really relevant [ads]."
Twitter, now valued at $9 billion with 200 million users worldwide, is preparing an IPO possibly by 2014. With that, the social service has set its sights on another engagement driver: video.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 9, 2013 03:09 PM
The $60 billion-a-year television broadcast industry is up for grabs as billionaire magnates Barry Diller and Rupert Murdoch square off as consumers continue to cut ties with traditional TV services.
While attending the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas this week, News Corp.'s COO Chase Carey threatened it may end Fox’s 26-year run as a free broadcast channel if US courts continue to allow the Diller-backed Internet startup Aereo to retransmit broadcast programming for free.
News Corp. and Aereo are goalposts at opposite ends of the television playing field. The former pays billions for quality content ranging from NFL games to The Simpsons, Glee, The Following and New Girl. Aereo pays nothing for content that it captures from over-the-air broadcast TV signals via small antennas, which it delivers to computers and smartphones—comparatively cheaply.
News Corp., defending its fee model for cable and satellite companies, says it is willing to lose viewers and switch to a pay-TV-only offering to undermine and protest Aereo.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 3, 2013 03:32 PM
NBC today confirmed that Jimmy Fallon is taking over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2014, ending months of rumors in a deal that was (according to Variety) brokered by Comcast exec and NBCUniversal president Steve Burke.
Leno will retire following a 22-year run, while Fallon's reign will begin, Variety hears, following the Sochi, Russia, Winter Olympics coverage on NBC and its sister TV networks.
A hint that a deal had been struck came earlier this week with the release of a video between the two late-night comics, which Leno and Fallon tweeted and NBC promoted online.Continue reading...