Red Bull the Drink that’s a TV Channel

15 10 2012

When Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the surface of the moon in July 1969, an estimated 500 million people worldwide watched the event.  When Felix Baumgartner in a suit reminiscent of those worn by the Apollo astronauts, leapt from his Zenith capsule 24 miles above the Earth’s surface the audience was a mere 8 million. The difference was no broadcast channel was carrying the live footage.

Red Bull’s Stratos Channel on YouTube beat the previous record for a live YouTube broadcast by seven and a half million.  The Channel has also racked up an astonishing 367 million views in total with three quarters of a million subscribers which should serve it well with YouTube’s latest search algorithm.

The event was significant because Baumgartner broke records for the highest jump and became the first man to break the sound barrier, but the way it was viewed was significant too.  It has been true for years that you don’t need to be a broadcaster to broadcast, but this was a defining moment in demonstrating that event TV doesn’t need a conventional TV channel.   Red Bull isn’t just the sponsor it’s the media owner and that’s a much more powerful position to be in.   You can see the highlights in this 90 second round-up – courtesy of Red Bull.

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Contagion’s Bacterial Billboard Goes Viral

14 09 2011

For years agencies have offered and clients have demanded advertising campaigns that will “go viral”.  Roughly translated as we have money for a creative execution but no budget for media.   Agencies and clients don’t decide if videos go viral, audiences do that. Here however is a real ‘viral’ clip or more accurately ‘bacterial’.  It was created to promote the film Contagion.





Crowd Sourced Gig Video – The National

31 08 2011

Last week I made the trip from my native Manchester all the way to Edinburgh for a gig. The National is Brooklyn based an indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio and despite a series of European festivals this was a short tour. I’ve seen them three times before and they never disappoint.

 

I had my iPhone 4 with me so took a few video clips and images as reminders of the experience but the highlight was the acoustic rendition of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, with the audience singing along and singer Matt Berninger leaping into the crowd.  I was so captivated I didn’t video it, but at least five other people did.  With some cheap video  software I edited the clips together and produced a crowd sourced video.  With the increasing quality of videos on phone this will become ever more possible and bands without the cash to hire a crew will still be able to have multi camera live video footage.





10 other reasons for ‘The News of the World’ closure

12 07 2011

Although the hacking scandal was the catalyst for the closure of the News of the World, it was far from the only reason.  Here are 10 other factors that probably played a part in the News Corporation decision to the stop the presses.

1. They had been planning a 7 day a week tabloid anyway and The Sun is a more powerful brand than The News of The World.  A managing editor for the 7 day combined paper was already in place before the scandal broke.

2. To reduce claims about competition and help the BSkyB bid.  Even just a week ago the most likely barrier to the bid for full control of BSkyB was one of media plurality.  By ditching a huge circulation title they provided a counter to the claim that they controlled too much of the UK news media.

3. Money The title paid half a million in compensation and costs in the Max Moseley case.  There have also been a series of out of court payments over hacking and other matters in recent months and there’s little doubt these were escalating.  Perhaps there was a fear that the paper despite its circulation would make ever-increasing losses.

4. News Corporation is a global concern and its global reputation is more important than the fortunes of one British newspaper.

5. To deflect attention from the embattled Chief Executive on News International, Rebekah Brooks. It may have been a motive but it didn’t work.

6. Showing muscle. Murdoch is ruthless and wanted to seize the agenda and demonstrate that he was in control.  It showed they were capable of changing the game.

7. It was no longer the UK’s biggest selling newspaper. It’s circulation had fallen below 3 million and for the first time in decades The Sun was on average outselling the NOTW.

8. To protect friends in high places Andy Coulson’s associations with convicted criminals was already on record.  Further discussion would be uncomfortable for the prime minister and the Murdochs.

9. It’s over for newspapers.  An exaggeration maybe but consolidation of UK newspapers was long overdue.  Media experts have been predicting that titles will go for years.  News Corporation is a bigger company.

10. They know there were far worse transgressions and the brand was toxic. Now we know that too.





Murdoch and the News agenda

7 07 2011

The shock closure of the ‘News of the World’ might be seen as a major PR offensive designed to bring the debate on the phone hacking scandal to a close but it could well be an opportunity for Murdoch junior to kill several birds with a single stone.

Those that think that twitter is one of the birds in question would be guilty of an oversimplification.

The closure certainly seizes the news agenda at least for a time.  It changes the direction of the media storm and perhaps is intended to give Rebekah Brooks some breathing space but dig a little deeper and there’s another angle.

It was reported well before the latest storm broke that the were management mergers at the top of the Times and the Sunday Times but also at The Sun and the News of the World.  Rebekah Brooks was on record saying “We will take a comprehensive look at where there is common ground across our titles …where there is common ground we will find ways of implementing efficiencies to editorial systems and processes and, where appropriate, we will find ways of introducing seven day working.”

Tellingly the web addresses sunonsunday.co.uk and .com were both registered two days ago by a UK individual using the name Mediaspring and who opted to have their address omitted from the registration.  Would it be too cynical to imagine that Murdoch has used the situation to cut costs at Wapping and retain an integrated Sunday red top tabloid using the Sun brand?





Time to Close your Digital Department

22 06 2011

In the last three or four years there has been a rush amongst many PR consultancies to appoint a head of social media or to build a digital team.  If there was a right time to do this (and I doubt it), that time has certainly passed.

Digital PR skills can’t be siloed.  It’s unacceptable for someone who claims to have expertise in PR not to understand the implications of digital channels and the near universal access to on-line media.

Even the terms ‘mainstream’ or ‘conventional’ media have little currency.  The Guardian is mainstream and yet open journalism is now at the heart of its strategy.  How many titles exist solely in a world where dead wood and ink are the only route to readership?

A specialist digital PR team is a cop out which allows people to believe that there are core skills that don’t include an understanding of blogs, social networks, the value of links, PR led SEO, and analytics.   If you still have a digital team get them to train the rest of your people and then merge their activities.  You won’t be asking people to cross the line.  There is no line.





Google Android’s Honeycomb and Other Sweets Things

3 02 2011

Google has just launched its “iPad killing” version of Android for the tablet market.

The mega powerful Motorola Xoom will be the first device to use the new platform – Android 3.0 or Honeycomb as it will be known.

So why ‘Honeycomb’?  Well all of the Android platforms have been given names that refer to desserts or sweet treats.  They are also in alphabetical order – Cupcake (1.5), Donut (1.6), Eclair (2.0/2.1), Fro-yo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3) and now Honeycomb (3.0).  Presumably they started with a ‘C’ because there were two previous versions of Android on the market.  The next iteration of the platform is rumoured to be called ‘Ice-Cream’ and is slated for release in the middle of this year.

So why the names.  Well it’s quite simple.  According to Mike Chan ex-Android Systems Team & Power Management Lead  “Desserts make for a tasty team treat when the release ships. Seriously.”








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