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ABC cuts out UK TV networks with new Spielberg series

The River on iTunesABC is going to sell its new US series direct to UK iTunes users:

The much-anticipated new US thriller series “The River”, from Steven Spielberg, and Oren Peli, the creator of “Paranormal Activity”, is set to make its UK debut on iTunes (www.itunes.co.uk/tv/theriver) on 8th February, just 24 hours after its US broadcast on ABC. iTunes customers will be first in the UK to see this chilling drama series. A Season Pass of all eight episodes of the much-anticipated show will be available to pre-order from today, with episodes one and two launching on 8th February.

The UK networks – non of which have bought the show – are cut out completely. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes…

[via The Medium is Not Enough]

Le Web: How is social-mobile-local changing media?

mediapanel3.jpgA panel discussion the changes in media wrought by the latest technology, moderated by Thomas Crampton. Not surprisingly, Paul-François Fournier, Executive Vice President, Orange Technocentre defines media as, essentially, businesses that produce content, which is a pretty broad definition. Brad Garlinghouse, President, Consumer Applications & Commerce Group, AOL thinks that keeping traditional media away from the innovative, digital media is vital to stop new efforts being crushed.

Is Techmeme media? Gabe Rivera, Founder & CEO, thinks it is, even though they don’t write any of the content. The term “media” is overused, he suggests. When people say “media” they almost always think of broadcast media of various sorts. Bruno Patino, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy Digital Director, France Télévisions Group & France 5 talks about the evolution of television and people start constructing social conversations online around TV shows as they watch them. This represents a loss of control for the media; they’re still in the game, they just don’t control it any more. And that’s not a bad thing. It maximises the experience.

Rivera suggests that most social media isn’t really integrated with existing media, just sort of bolted on the end. Very often tweets are just amplification or repetition. Fournier points out that media is changing on multiple fronts. TV is evolving into the multi-screen experience. Other media is now being published through social networks. There is lots of experimentation, and there will be failures and successes we learn from.

Patino argues that people don’t “deliver” the news any more, you give up control of your news when you publish it, and people will absurd it into their networks. The context in which we are telling stories is changing.
mediapanel1.jpgCrampton moves on the conversation from social to local. Social is about scale; local is the response. Garlinghouse reminds us that traditional media has struggled to fund local coverage for decades. Patch is AOL’s attempt to reverse that – targeted at areas of around 50,000 to 80,000 people. But he thinks Twitter is garbage – or at least he says as much before he starts back-peddling, throwing out the world platform instead. He thinks there’s a huge opportunity at the intersection of the social graph, the interest graph and the local graph. Crampton challenges the sustainability of the Patch model, and Garlinghouse says that the experiment will play out over the next few years. Some Patch sites are already profitable.

Scaleability is the key question, says Patino. We used to call local 500k to 600k. That’s not local on the web. The ground is changing everywhere, so the old volume business model just breaks.

Alexia Tsotsis from Techcrunch challenges the relevancy of local media. Patch is at about 10m uniques in 18 months – but it’s clearly a challenge, says Garlinghouse. But to say that local community is irrelevant is short-sighted at the very least. Patino thinks that we have to find a solution, so that local powers continue to be monitored. But Rivera wouldn’t do a local site. There are plenty already – and by definition, there isn’t much to aggregate and filter. The abundance just isn’t there. Garlinghouse points out that stories of national importance can start in local areas – it’s something like citizen journalism curated. The question is: are local merchants interested enough to advertise on the platform?

Is mobile passing the desktop for media yet Probably not, says Rivera. However Twitter says that over 50% of its activity is on mobile, and it’s over 30% for Facebook. Garlinghouse would like to see more customisation of news experience based on your social, mobile and interest graphs. Patino certainly thinks mobile is the new frontier for TV and very important. They’re looking at iPhone and iPad appellations that allow you to catch up with, and share, TV. And Fournier suggests their DailyMotion deal was driven by similar considerations.

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Publishing in a Device Rich Age

Apple Store Covent Garden

My AppleTV
I had cause to visit the brand new Apple Store in Covent Garden this morning; my AppleTV had developed the blinking amber light of death, and a visit to the Genius Bar was in order. 20 minutes later, it had been swapped out for a new one, and I was off to the Procter Street office. And I was happy. I love my AppleTV. I love being able to watch home movies easily on my HD TV, to be able to buy the video content I want, download it and watch it, and enjoy video podcasts from the comfort of my sofa. However, I know that such download/streaming services haven’t hit the mainstream, yet. 
However, the feeds I’d been catching up with on my iPad were full of the news that a brand new version of the AppleTV, to be called the iTV, may well be on its way, based on the iPhone OS (or iOS, as we should be calling it now), with apps and all. And that, in turn, reminded me of the Google TV effort on its way. Connected TV is here, and every effort is being made to push it mainstream. And what are the consequences of that?
Publishing, as a business, has been pretty slow to adapt to the mobile internet age. We’ve built entire corporate infrastructures based on two-channel publishing: print and the web. But devices that can access the internet are proliferating rapidly, and I suspect we’re moving towards a genuinely multi-channel age. And are we anywhere near ready to cope with some of our content being on internet-enables TVs?
Clearly the BBC is thinking about this, but then it has something of a head-start in the TV area. But it is, itself, a content company, that’s trying to adapt to a multi-platform strategy, just like the rest of us. And here’s the idea they’re pushing towards:
The BBC's multiplatform aspirations
You can find the whole thinking behind what they’re planning on the About The BBC blog
Now, clearly some of these moves are being driven by the BBC’s strategy review and the need to drive down costs. But I cna’t help find the clarity of what they’re doing appealing – start to reorganise around content types rather than output types (TV and radio are still in the chart, but you can think of them as video and audio entertainment content, and the pattern becomes clear). 
As the devices that people use to access content start to diversify, this seems like the only sane approach, otherwise the days of the web team fighting with the print team over a story will seem like a happy, bygone era, as multiple channel teams each fight over a story.,..
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