Tag Archives: ITV

Who owns a journalist’s Twitter account?

BBC News political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg built up a large following on Twitter with her mix of news, commentary and colour. Her move to ITV News in September has raised questions over who “owns” the almost 60,000 people who follow @BBCLauraK.

The Guardian suggests that “rather than handing her old account login back to the BBC to start from scratch with a new ITV account, the sensible thing to do is to change the name of the account.”  But it looks like Kuenssberg will be starting from scratch, with the Twitter handle, @ITVLauraK. Ironically, the announcement was made by Kuenssberg on her BBC Twitter account. Social media creates an opportunity for journalists to interact on a personal level with audiences. Even if an account is branded as a “BBC” journalist, it blurs the traditional barrier between the professional and personal as tweets tend to reflect the personality of the reporter.

It marks a further step in the shift from the institutional to the individual brand of the journalist, identified by the State of the Media report in 2009: Through search, e-mail, blogs, social media and more, consumers are gravitating to the work of individual writers and voices, and away somewhat from institutional brand. Social media provides journalists with a way to connect and interact with audiences in a more personal and direct way than through traditional news products. But there is an unresolved tension between the journalist and the institution, especially on Twitter, which as Jemima Kiss points out, is designed for individuals to communicate.

Media institutions may have to accept that they cannot own the Twitter accounts of their reporters.  The journalist may need to switch to a new account, as Kuenssberg will be doing, but they are likely to take their following with them.

http://www.reportr.net/2011/06/24/who-owns-a-journalists-twitter-account/

U.K. Antitrust Body Won’t Investigate Project Canvas

The U.K. Office of Fair Trading won’t investigate Project Canvas, the joint venture to bring Internet content and new video-on-demand services to television. The OFT has decided that it doesn’t have jurisdiction to review Project Canvas under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 as none of the partners, including the British Broadcasting Corp., contributes an existing business to the venture.

The BBC started the project, contributing only existing research and development rather than a separate business unit. The contributions of the other joint venture partners will be primarily financial. Project Canvas is a joint venture between the BBC, ITV PLC, BT Group PLC, RTL Group SA’s Five, Channel 4, TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC and Arqiva Ltd. The partners plan to launch the project around Christmas.

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, a relevant merger situation is created if two or more enterprises cease to be distinct and if the value of U.K. revenue of the business being taken over exceeds £70 million. It also applies if a 25% share of supply in the U.K. is created as a result of a transaction. The project, which will allow U.K. viewers to watch free-to-air broadcasts and Internet content on television, will help traditional broadcasters attract new audiences while retaining existing viewers who have turned to the Internet for entertainment.

Project Canvas partners welcomed the OFT decision, noting the joint venture wouldn’t own, control or aggregate any content. “Project Canvas aims to create an open platform that delivers a connected future for free-to-air TV and a competitive market for internet-connected TV services in the U.K. The Project Canvas partners are committed to achieving that aim,” Project Canvas director Richard Halton said in a statement.

In December last year, the BBC’s controlling trust provisionally approved the corporation’s involvement in Project Canvas, saying that “the likely public value of the proposal justifies any potential negative market impact.” Watching TV programs online has increased in popularity, aided by the BBC’s on-demand Internet-TV service, iPlayer. Commercial broadcasters are exploring ways to distribute their programs to boost advertising. Project Canvas has faced criticism from pay-TV companies, particularly British Sky Broadcasting PLC, which cites a lack of independent scrutiny for the project. News Corp., the owner of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co., holds about a 39% stake in BSkyB.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703691804575254360827852610.html?mod=WSJ_business_whatsNews

Facebook is the UK’s fastest growing video site

Facebook is the fastest growing video site in the UK over the last year, according to new comScore data.

The latest comScore data reveals that during February 2010, 43 million videos were watched on Facebook – which is a 205 per cent increase on the year. Last February only 14 million videos were watched via the site. Overall online video viewing in the UK has grown by 37 per cent during the last 12 months – with 5.5 billion videos watched via websites during February 2010. Google properties, mainly driven by YouTube, were still the most popular online video destinations, recording 2.5 billion video views during February 2010, which marked a 17 per cent annual increase.

The BBC websites ranked second with 140 million videos viewed across its web properties during February 2010, and was followed by Megavideo, which recorded 53 million video views – during the same month.

Facebook came fourth in the list, closely followed by Microsoft’s collective web properties. Channel 4 came in sixth position with 39 million videos watched during February 2010 – which was a 76 per cent increase on the year. And ITV came in eighth position recording 29 million video views – which was a 134% increase on the year.

Blinkx, the popular video search engine experienced the second largest growth spurt, behind Facebook, increasing its video views by 205 per cent over the year. During February 201, 29 million videos were viewed via the site.

Sky came in 10th position, experiencing a 139 per cent increase in video views, with 20 million videos watched via its sites during February 2010.

The UK video market has grown substantially over the last year, with several aggregators entering the market, as well as the UK broadcasters increasing their own video presence. Channel 4, for instance, is concentrating on developing its own catch up service, 4oD, while signing syndication deals with the likes of YouTube, and new players, like SeeSaw.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/7638196/Facebook-is-the-UKs-fastest-growing-video-site.html

Why did it all go wrong for the once fashionable social network?…Bebo has failed to evolve in the way of Facebook and Twitter

Buying a fledgling social networking site is the quickest way for a giant corporation to gain credibility with a youthful audience, but it is also the fastest way to waste a few hundred million pounds.

US internet giant AOL snapped up Bebo, the UK equivalent of Facebook, for $800m two years ago, only to announce last week that it was embarking on a “strategic review” that is likely to lead to its closure. At the time of the deal in March 2008, which made millionaires of Bebo’s founders Michael Birch, a Briton, and his Californian wife, Xochi, AOL described it as “a game-changing acquisition” that “puts us in a leading position in social media”. That lead evaporated remarkably quickly.

Back then, Bebo had a global audience of between 7.1 million (according to online ratings company Nielsen) and 40 million (said Bebo). Most agreed it was the third largest social networking site in the UK behind Facebook and MySpace, although it had struggled to gain traction in the US. According to figures from ComScore, Bebo’s global unique visitors in February 2010 totalled 12.8 million, down 45% on February 2009. Facebook had 462 million visitors, MySpace nearly 110 million, and Twitter 69.5 million.

What went wrong? Being brought by a global corporation tarnished the cooler-than-thou image of an independent start-up that was particularly popular in school playgrounds. Aggressive expansion by Facebook also played a part. Like most social networking sites, Bebo also benefited from a novelty factor that can disappear as quickly as it emerges. News Corp, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, bought MySpace for $580m in 2005, only to watch its appeal diminish along with its value as it loaded the site with adverts.

ITV took a gamble on another UK start up, Friends Reunited, paying £120m in the same year, only to sell it at a huge loss last year. Company insiders criticise AOL for failing to invest in Bebo, and point out that an acquisition by a corporate giant tends to stifle creativity. That may hide a more uncomfortable truth, however, which can make a mockery of the savviest owners. Social networking sites are businesses based on the fickle behaviour of internet users, who are free to move on to the next site when a competitor emerges and are offered few reasons to stick with their existing site. In that sense, Bebo was a fad.

It may not have fallen into the trap of letting naked commercialisation scare its teenage users away, but nor did it evolve in the manner that many of its competitors did. Facebook is used by adults as well as children. Much of Twitter’s power, influence – and likely longevity – derives from the fact it has become a professional tool, rather than an online outlet for gossip posted by its users.

Start-ups rarely fare well when they are taken under the wing of a bureaucratic corporate parent, and Bebo may also have suffered by hitching its wagon to AOL, a business that has itself seen better days. It is owned by Time Warner, an American media giant that owns CNN, Time magazine and a host of other assets, but the $162bn deal that brought AOL and Time together is now regarded as one of the most disastrous in corporate history.

Buying Bebo was an attempt to build on AOL’s status as the world’s first internet provider by bolting on a new audience, but internet users are notoriously promiscuous. For Bebo’s young users, the site turned out to be the online equivalent of a teenage crush – intense while it lasted, but it didn’t last…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/apr/11/bebo-mistake-aol-facebook-twitter

Virgin Media signs video Web deal with Brightcove

Cable TV operator Virgin Media has chosen online video publisher Brightcove to provide and support short videos for its more than 11 million monthly website visitors. The two firms said in a statement that Virgin Media would use the Brightcove platform to carry its online news, music and entertainment content alongside adverts. The Nasdaq-listed British cable firm, which has recently launched an online music video service, said Virginmedia.com would be at the heart of its entertainment line-up. Media companies around the world are increasingly making their content available online, to reach new users and the advertising money that is available on the Web. Brightcove has said it has also seen an increase in companies asking about their services since the start of the economic downturn, as they look to launch new services but hold back the costs. Brightcove, which is privately held, already has partnerships with British broadcasters ITV Channel 4, Five, BSkyB and STV. The firm last week announced a deal with Turner Broadcasting to support its content throughout Europe.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE61O1BC20100225

Project Canvas kicks off advertising pitch

Project Canvas, the proposed on-demand web TV venture, is looking for an agency to handle its UK advertising account.  The service, which is backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT and TalkTalk, is planning to approach agencies with a view to holding a pitch for the business.

The successful agency will be responsible for handling all of Project Canvas’ ad campaigns, with the venture due to spend almost £50 million on marketing and brand development in its first four years. Project Canvas is due to launch its set-top boxes later this year, which will allow consumers to access each of the participating broadcasters’ video-on-demand offerings, as well as giving people access to internet content on their TV screens. Research conducted last year predicts that, by 2014, Project Canvas could reach up to 3.5 million homes.

However, the venture still faces problems, such as keeping set-top box costs down and finding a way around bandwidth bottlenecks.
News of the advertising pitch comes a month after the BBC Trust, the governing body of the BBC, gave its provisional approval to the organisation’s involvement in the project

http://www.brandrepublic.com/BrandRepublicNews/News/980147/Project-Canvas-kicks-off-advertising-pitch/?DCMP=EMC-DailyNewsBulletin

Sky loses challenge over ITV stake

Broadcasting giant BSkyB has lost its challenge at the Court of Appeal over the Government’s decision to force it to reduce its 17.9% stake in ITV.Sky began its legal challenge after a Competition Commission finding that the group’s shareholding gave it influence over ITV’s strategy in a way that restricted the market. The Government ordered the media group to ditch more than half the holding – down to below 7.5%.

A challenge at the Competition Appeal Tribunal was unsuccessful and three appeal judges ruled that the direction to reduce the shareholding must stand. Lord Justice Lloyd, giving the ruling of the court, refused permission to take the case to the Supreme Court but Sky can apply directly for a hearing.

The judge said the appeals by Sky and Virgin Media arose from the acquisition by Sky in 2006 of 696 million shares in ITV. A spokesman for Sky said after the hearing: “BSkyB notes the decision by the Court of Appeal in relation to BSkyB’s shareholding in ITV. We will review the judgment and order carefully and consider next steps in due course.”

Shortly before the share deal, Virgin had announced an offer worth about 122p a share whereas the Sky acquisition was at 135p a share, 17% above the share price of the day. The Government referred Sky’s deal to the Competition Commission, which found that the acquisition had created a merger situation and this was expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition which could operate against the public interest.

Sky won its appeal over the number of people controlling media outlets serving UK audiences, with the appeal judges reinstating the Commission’s conclusions that the acquisition would not operate against the public interest on this issue.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5ijFzxs4-0ShYdgIFMhGyWUFqGA6w