Friday, May 31, 2013

TV Are the networks breaking down?

Internet and the digital technologies have already deeply disrupted the musical world, the press and the publishing industry. The next step, in the US and very soon in Europe is the breaking down of broadcast television. Until recently the networks had to face the challenge of theVOD and the fact that tens of millions of viewers want to watch their favorite programs any time, when they like. The boradcasters have complied and provide services free for a short time and then paying where you can get all the programs already shown in the air.

Now things look a bit different. The digital geants such as Google, Apple, Amazon or Netflix want to be producers and programmers. They are starting to invest in programs of entertainment or fiction, like "The house of cards" from Netflix. They also buy the rights of series and films to the Hoollywood giants, only too willing to get more cash. Youtube, the video branch of Google is building up full channels which you can get on the Web at a bargain price.

The competition can be deadly for the networks in the States or in Europe, now that a majority of the population is starting to use tablets which are cheaper and more user friendly. France which owns the most successful European support of video, Dailymotion should have a second thought before selling it to just anybody. What if Dailymotion is the successor of TF1?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Politico drops local television

 Politico, drops local television. In a nutshell, it is the message sent last week by Mr Allbritton the 44 years old head of the Allbritton group. This powerfull media enterprise based in Washington DC has made a significant move towards the digital age. It is about to sell its 7 local TV's including a very prosperous station in DC for about 300 millions dollars to invest in digital news. And it keeps and intends to develop its flagship activity in Internet, Politico, the very successful web and print publication on the US political life.

Allbriton stated that Politico that started 4 years ago with 2 top journalists from the Washington Post employs now 200 people and is profitable. It is fairly obvious that new websites will be lauched thanks to the big money collected through the sale of the local TV's. Two years ago, at a conference in Paris a Politico executive hinted that a public could be interested by an international affairs site. It would be a costly investment but the financing is there.

At the same time, the Washingon Post is steadily declining. for the first term of 2013, its sales and its advertising income are down and the future looks very dark indeed. In DC it is a tale of two medias.

Aids to the press

The report on the reform of aids to the press was published last week on the website of the ministry of Culture. Its content confirmed what I wrote in my blog of April 17. The government is willing to keep a low VAT on all kinds of publications including electronic news services. Moreover the looming crisis of Presstalis influences strongly the debate and the report. It is obvious that the generous subsidies to the postal service will be drastically reduced in order to finance the huge bill of a large buying out of Presstalis employees. A conservative evaluation puts it at 100 millions euros and nobody is willing to foot the expenses.

Still, there is no long term design for a new organization of the ailing French press.