Opinion | Features
- Ahead of tonight's launch of Freeview Plus, Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen looks at what the new HbbTV service will mean for broadcast rights, piracy, and the way advertisers serve up their content. It’s not every day that you get a TV sales boss like Nine’s Peter Wiltshire admitting the weaknesses of television as a medium. “It was one of the great achilles heels of broadcast television that it was one-to-many,” says Wiltshire who is group sales and marketing director for Nine.
- With more Australian companies eyeing Asian expansion Matt McDougal looks at the particular challenges of establishing a brand in the Chinese market. We often mistakenly believe that globalisation means we all have the same tastes and consumer habits. In some cases perhaps this is true to a certain extent but never forget to localise. No brand should count on its international recognition to reach the Chinese population. Mattel, for example, paid a huge price when they belatedly realised Chinese girls did not attach the same importance to a Barbie doll compared to Western girls.
- Tomorrow sees the launch of Freeview Plus, the long-awaited industry hybrid broadcast/IPTV service. Ahead of the launch, Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen talked to Freeview and the five major TV networks, in this two part special, to look at how it might impact the medium and the wider industry. It's 2019 and 32-year-old Eve from Kirribilli in Sydney comes home late from work. As she settles on the sofa after a long day in the office she flicks on the TV, and realises she has missed the season premiere of her favourite US TV drama series. Years ago Eve could have caught up on her tablet or computer, but the major TV networks would have made her wait until the program had finished broadcasting and then a little time waiting for it to be made live online, as well as limiting her to their broadcast schedule.
- With several of Australia's biggest media accounts coming up for tender and many changing hands this year David Spasovic looks at what is causing so many client-agency relationships to fracture. A cursory glance at the recent stories, opinion pieces and comments in the trade press present an image of significant rumblings of discontent in our industry. A quick count of media relationships that are or have recently been reviewed is evidence of this - Woolworths, Federal Government, Lion, Diageo, Nestle and CBA are a few accounts that fall into this category.
- As the government considers changes to national security legislation Keiran Hardy looks at what today's proposals would mean for the media if implemented, in a cross-posting from The Conversation. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) will publish its report on the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 (Cth) sometime during this sitting of parliament. The bill, introduced in the last sitting of parliament, has attracted significant criticism for the potential impact of proposed offences on media outlets. The main fear, fuelled by the fallout from the WikiLeaks and Snowden affairs, is that journalists could be imprisoned for reporting intelligence abuses or mistakes revealed by a “whistleblowing” intelligence officer, even when doing so would be in the public interest.
- With publishers struggling to monetise digital and marketers unable to achieve cut through John McLean argues it's time to ditch banner ads and get collaborating. In a medium infatuated and necessitated by innovation, display advertising has been criminally bereft of it since it’s inception 20 years ago. The first banner ad appeared in Wired Magazine in 1994* and little has changed since around 2000 when rich media placements became more common due to better connection speeds.
- With Buzzfeed pushing to be recognised as a news site Ciaran Norris looks at why it matters for new online media outlets to be seen as serious. Every morning on its News Breakfast show the ABC runs through the major stories on the front pages of the day’s newspapers, covering everything from the Sydney Morning Herald to The Age, the Daily Telegraph to The Mercury. But it has also, for some time, included the homepage of the Australian version of The Guardian which differs from the rest of the organisations included because it has no printed version.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation Michael Cowling asks whether the recent controversy over the Facebook Messenger app shows people have reached the limit of what information they're willing to give away to companies. The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook Messenger app, the answer appears to be: “Not as far as Facebook thinks.” For those who are not yet on Facebook (yes, there are some), the social media giant has been asking all users who want to continue sending messages to their Facebook friends on their mobile devices to download a Facebook Messenger app. Facebook is preparing to stop the chat feature on its main Facebook app.
- Instant messaging is the new digital battle ground. Daniel Young looks at what impact this battle might have for the traditional social networks. The social media landscape is changing, again, and the new players are demanding brands shift their mindset - from being human to getting personal.
- In the wake of the decision by retailer Woolworths to retain Carat as its media agency, Mumbrella's Nic Christensen asks if the much-maligned pitch for the $240m account is a case study in how clients should not treat their agencies. It's funny how history has a habit of repeating itself, but you'd like to think the marketing world would occasionally learn a trick or two. Some of the decisions in the process which led to the decision by Woolworths to keep its mammoth media account at Carat certainly make you wonder what goes through the minds of some clients when they pitch.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation science astronomer Michael J. I. Brown shares his experiences in debating with and challenging online trolls. I often like to discuss science online and I’m also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably brings out the trolls. “Don’t feed the trolls” is sound advice, but I’ve ignored it on occasion – including on The Conversation and Twitter – and I’ve been rewarded. Not that I’ve changed the minds of any trolls, nor have I expected to.
- Using big data to look at past trends is not the best way to work out what your customers want, argues Peter Swan of the UNSW Australia Business School in this cross-posting from The Conversation. A passer-by happens upon a drunk searching for a lost wallet under a streetlight. With nothing in plain sight, the passer-by asks “Where did you drop your wallet?”. “Over there,” gestures the drunk across the street, “but I’m looking here because this is where the light is.”
- This has been a bad week for the newspaper industry, says Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes As far as Australian newspapers go, this has been a most disillusioning week. I love 'em - but jeez, they make it hard.
- After the tragic news of Robin Williams' death after a struggle with depression Oli Shawyer shares the story of his battle with the black dog, and how talking about it helped him beat it. The news of Robin Williams rocked me to my core yesterday. I didn’t know the man personally but there is something so profoundly tragic about a comedian, someone whose job it is to make us laugh every day, suffering so intensely. To be fair, it’s a testament to how fucked up depression really is – that it can somewhat delude a man beloved by so many people, into deciding that he is better off dead.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation Nicholas Sheppard of Victoria University explores what measures have so far been tried, and failed, to stop copyright infringement and piracy. There’s been a bit of talk recently about getting internet service providers (ISPs) involved in the enforcement of copyright law. The federal Attorney-General and Minister for Communications recently released an Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper in the belief that "even where an ISP does not have a direct power to prevent a person from doing a particular infringing act, there still may be reasonable steps that can be taken by the ISP to discourage or reduce online copyright infringement". Exactly what might be “reasonable steps” and how they might be funded are among the subjects up for discussion. Critics fear that it means turning ISPs into copyright police.
Ten’s programming chief David Mott departs
Speculation is likely to focus on Adam Boland, now at Seven, as a replacement for Mott. Boland is understood to be under contract at Seven until October. Another rumoured candidate is the programming director of Seven Melbourne, Graeme Hill.
However, Ten spokesman Neil Shoebridge told Mumbrella: “Both theories are totally wrong.”
Beverley McGarvey is to fill Mott’s role on an acting basis until a replacement is found.
In an interview at the beginning of the year, Mumbrella editor put to Mott the rumour that he might be replaced by Boland:
The announcement from Ten this morning:
Network Ten today announced the resignation of Chief Programming Officer David Mott.
“David has had an extraordinary career at Ten over the past 16 years,” Network Ten Chief Executive, James Warburton, said.
“He has been a fantastic asset for the network and we are sorry to see him go. David’s legacy at Ten includes landmark television programs such as MasterChef, Australian Idol, Rove Live, The Biggest Loser, Thank God You’re Here, The Project and Big Brother, and – more recently – Offspring, Puberty Blues, MasterChef All Stars and Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms.”
Mr Mott said: “It’s a sad day when you say goodbye to friends and colleagues, and leave a place you hold so dear. But it’s a great day when you take stock on what has been achieved over 16 fantastic years.
“I am proud of the bold programming decisions we have made at Ten over that time, because without risk there is less chance of success.
“In a job where you live and die by the numbers, perhaps I’ve been luckier than most. It’s been a great ride, and I’ve loved every second of it. I leave behind a focused and committed creative team and I wish them all the best for the future.”
Beverley McGarvey continues as Network Ten’s Network Head of Programming and assumes Mr Mott’s responsibilities on an acting basis.
At the beginning of the year, Warburton used his first public appearance as CEO to back Mott, calling him ‘the best in the business’.
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