Media Weekly: The hottest rundown on record returns

After a brief break for Congress, The Media Weekly is BACK! And it’s better than ever before… There’s news, there’s views, serious issues, and it’s all wrapped-up in the most conscientiously concise commentary you’ve ever seen… 

Changing media climate

The UK is today expected to record its hottest day on record, with temperatures set to top 40°C for the first time in the country’s history. An interesting component within this change has been the media’s coverage thereof, with major news outlets shifting in recent years from ‘The sun has got his hat on’ to the message that clear and present danger is now being posed.  

“How are you all coping?” Asked Kay Burley, Sky News Broadcaster & Writer, in introducing the station’s breakfast show this morning. “Britain is bracing for record temperatures, with the mercury expected to rise to more than 40°C. Our infrastructure is feeling the heat with trains cancelled, roads melting, and even some flights grounded. A level four heat emergency has been declared for a second day, meaning that even fit & healthy people are in danger from the extreme heat.”

Meanwhile on the BBC, Outside Source Presenter, Ros Atkins, delivered one of his forensic dissections on “why this heatwave is not the same as 1976” – a previous hot summer that lives rent free in the minds of some nostalgic Brits, who refuse to believe the severity of the climate crisis the world is now facing. 

Fellow BBC Journalist & Presenter, Huw Edwards, took to Twitter to refute claims that the broadcaster was giving too much reporting real-estate to climate change, especially in light of the on-going Conservative Party leadership debate that the country finds itself in the midst of:

“🙄 Oh give it a rest. The’re still on 4 candidates and we’re 7 weeks from a result. Meanwhile viewers are telling us they’re FAR more exercised by climate change and the weather extremes. Go figure. ☀️🥵🔥” 

As the UK wakes up after what has now been confirmed as its hottest night on record, the media is also waking up to the perils of reporting on extreme weather conditions as a walk in the park.

Ads with that, Sir? 

As you may know, FIPP has been – I’m gonna say a pioneer – in charting the metoeric resurgence of reader revenues in recent years. But just as sure as night follows day (or as sure as it once was pre-climate crisis), it looks like the pendulum is once again beginning to shift back towards advertising…

Netflix has teamed up with Microsoft to deliver a cheaper streaming package that includes ads. The platform first wholeheartedly declared its intention to launch such a service back in April, when it posted its first fall in subscriber nulmbers in a decade.  

Greg Peters, Netflix’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we work together to build a new ad-supported offering. More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.” 

Meanwhile, Disney has announced a record US$9 billion in advertising commitments from its upfront ad-sales event this year, based largely its upcoming ad-supported tier for Disney+ and sports.

In analysing the numbers, Axios Media Reporter Sara Fischer wrote: “Upfront presentations were created decades ago for networks to sell their ad inventory to major agencies and companies ahead of their big fall season programs. Now, streaming has super-charged those efforts. In total, 40% of all Upfront dollars committed to Disney by advertisers and agencies this year are streaming and digital, the company said. Disney’s streaming platforms, Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu+, led those efforts.”

Snapchat for web 

Elsewhere in the media tech world, Snapchat yesterday announced that it has now graduated from mobile to desktop, providing a browser based app that users can access without picking up their phones

Initially availble only to Snapchat+ subscribers in the US, UK, and Canada, and regular users in Australia and New Zealand, the move is likely to help the company expand its reach amongst older demographics, and I daresay also capitalise on the pandemic-accelerated shift towards WFH. 

I’d also hazard a guess – as a media analyst – that this could well help the company to forge more significant content partnership deals further down the line, as users become aware that they can now stream Snap content direct to their desktop, in the same way they would a Netflix of a Disney+ show… Although that is of course purely conjecture, so on the other hand as a reporter I coulnd’t possibly comment! 

Harpers Bazaar Italy 

In other big time launch news, Hearst Magazines International has announced a print edition of Harper’s Bazaar Italy, naming Daria Veledeeva – formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar Russia, in the same role at the Italian incarnation of the brand. Veledeeva will oversee content strategy and development of the magazine.

Hearst Magazines International President Jonathan Wright, said: “The prestige and influence of the Harper’s Bazaar brand in the US and around the world is unmatched and the print expression is an important experience – our audience engages deeply and marketers can therefore connect with them in a more profound way.”

As for FIPP… 

We’ve just launched a HOT new series called Innovation Watch. It’s FREE to access, and based on the eight chapters of the 2022-23 Innovation in Media World Report, which was launched at Congress. 

Every other week, we’ll take a deep dive into one of the most evolutionary areas of the industry, providing analysis, book excerpts, and wider reading on the topic in hand. This week we’ll take a look at the evolution of audio, and in the meantime you can read the latest feature on the newsletter economy here

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