What does the Snapchat IPO mean for the media industry?

With Snapchat valued at as much as $35bn ahead of its forthcoming IPO, now seems like as good a time as any to look into the chat app’s explosion, and what it means for media businesses.

Over the last few months, I’ve spoken to dozens of senior digital executives, not just those in commercial and editorial roles, but also those in disciplines like social media strategy and audience development. Two things have become apparent from those conversations: firstly, chat apps are becoming an increasingly important part of online publishing strategies; secondly, no one really knows what to do with them, or how it’s going to play out. (more…)

BSMEs show us how print can prosper in the digital age

Last Thursday’s annual BSME awards ceremony was a chance for magazine editors to get together and celebrate their successes – as well as commiserate with others who have not been so lucky.

At the moment, there is an increasing number of good news stories coming out of the magazine world. Yes, there are notable failures – or ‘corrections to the market’, as economists would put it – including the closure of InStyle, etc; but – whisper it – the industry is holding up. (more…)

How Donald Trump used Facebook Live to help win the election


In a previous post, we looked at the broad role the media played in Donald Trump’s stunning electoral victory last week. Here, I want to look in a little bit more detail at one significant aspect – social media. Or, to put it more bluntly, we’re going to look at how Donald Trump bypassed the mainstream media and used Facebook and Twitter to help win the election.

Data from EzyInsights, an organisation that normally helps news publishers understand how stories play across social media, shows that in the run up to the election earlier this month Trump was often gaining three times more Facebook engagement – likes, reactions, shares, comments – as Clinton. (more…)

What role did the US media play in getting Donald Trump elected?

This is not a sentence that I will write very often: Michael Gove was right. The public are sick of experts.

Latest evidence, clearly, is Trump’s stunning electoral victory – despite every expert telling the US public that he was unfit for office. Earlier evidence of the public’s growing distaste for experts came in the form of the Brexit vote and, from a different direction, Jeremy Corbyn’s double-header victories, both against the grain of ‘right-thinking people’.

Whatever you think of these events, they are all indicative of the same sense of anger and distrust. Anger with the political classes and distrust of the ‘mainstream media’, which is seen to carry their voices and echo the consensus.

So, people are bypassing mainstream media altogether. (more…)

Virtual reality and the future of recruitment

Have you ever played Job Simulator? It’s a virtual reality game set in 2050. In the game, jobs are automated and players take part in comical approximations of what real-world jobs must have been like to do when humans, rather than robots, had to perform them.

Let me tell you: it’s great fun! It might also be a window into a not-too-distant future of recruitment where VR could be used to prepare candidates for real-life job interviews and perhaps even the jobs themselves. (more…)

Convergence is back. In the mobile age, telcos need content

Across the TMT sector, convergence is back in a big way. The early 2000s were packed with mega-mergers like AOL and Time Warner, and the cross-market consolidation that saw the emergence of integrated offerings like Virgin Media.

Things quietened down after the financial crisis, but the last couple of years have seen a raft of big telecoms providers making moves back into the media.

From BT’s acquisition of Champions League and Premiership rights, to Verizon’s recent acquisitions of both AOL and Yahoo!, and now AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner, telecoms companies can’t get enough content right now. (more…)

PA to use ‘robot’ reporters – what now journalism jobs in the automated age?

The Press Association heralded a new phase of mechanised journalism in the UK with this week’s announcement that it will use ‘robot’ reporters to add to coverage of sport, business and elections.

The national reporting agency will augment its existing reportage, in the next few months, by offering ‘an extra level when it comes to short market reports, election results and football reporting,’ its editor-in-chief, Pete Clifton, told the Society of Editors conference.

According to the Press Gazette, Clifton told delegates the new service would work in a similar way to that used by Denmark’s national reporting agency, which produces hundreds of additional market reports a month with ‘robot’ journalists piecing together these simple stories.

Robot reporters might seem like something plucked from the pages of satirical science fiction, but their use is already very real. (more…)

Bob Dylan’s Nobel win: a victory and failure in one

Predictable scorn has been poured on the choice of Bob Dylan as this year’s winner of the Nobel prize laureate for literature.

One high-profile critic of the decision was writer Irving Welsh (a Dylan fan). He said he considered it an ‘ill conceived nostalgia award’ for someone whose best work is long behind them. Really? Doris Lessing and Harold Pinter, the most recent British winners, both won many decades after their masterworks. Like Dylan, both had continued to plough their own idiosyncratic furrows, but their major works were behind them by the time they were recognised. (more…)

As BlackBerry ceases production, Google re-enters handset race

There was a time, not long ago, when owning a BlackBerry was the mark of a serious professional – someone who was always on, always reachable – well, not any more…

As other firms accelerated their development of business-friendly smartphones, BlackBerry stood still. So it will have come as little surprise to anyone who has followed its fortunes that the ailing technology company intends to no longer make handsets and instead focus on developing software. (more…)

Generation Collaborate: can your business adapt for closer co-operation?

As baby boomers move into retirement, a new generation of workers is bringing in fresh perspectives and expectations that will impact how businesses operate and, ultimately, how they perform – so, are you ready for Generation Collaborate?

While the cliché is that Millennials represent an entitled generation, the truth is they actually want to earn and get on in the workplace – and as Fortune points out, this might have something to do with them graduating to the workplace at the deepest part of a recession.

Now, as the first wave of Millennials moves into management, they are being joined at work, in junior positions, by members of Generation Z – those born from the mid-1990s – and the combination of these two groups of digital natives is having a profound effect on workplace values. (more…)