The Week Kick-off: Channel 4 brings the Deuce ahead of consultation close

It’s an innovative time for television and streaming rights at present, and that was highlighted at the weekend by Channel 4’s last minute deal with Amazon to broadcast the US Open final in the UK. We’ll also take a look at the VMAs, Apple News+, Marie Claire’s transition to digital-only, and Native American podcast This Land, which launches its second season this month. The week in media… Kicked-off! ⚽️🏈🎾

Emma Raducanu serves up 9.2m viewers for Channel 4 

Ahead of the weekend’s tennis action, traditional television broadcaster Channel 4 cut a last-minute deal with Amazon that allowed UK audiences to watch Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory for free. The match delivered strong audience figures for the channel – reaching 9.2m viewers at peak – and allowed Amazon to ingratiate itself to the masses while also retaining the right to stream the event itself. 

But the real value in the move, as Guardian Media Editor Jim Waterson wrote, “could be in the broadcaster showing it is willing to make bold decisions to prove its worth as a public service broadcaster… going all-out in its fight against government plans to privatise the outlet. A consultation on the changes closes on Tuesday.” 

As for Raducanu, the player herself has immediately created a whole new media spotlight, with rolling news coverage ongoing since her win. Other outlets and brands will no doubt be close behind in recognising the gravitational pull of the new star.

VMAs bring the sparkle back to awards ceremonies

The day after the tennis and just down the road in Brooklyn, the Barclays Centre played host to the MTV Video Music Awards, as the channel celebrated its 40th anniversary. It’s been an undeniably difficult period for awards shows over the past 18 months, as these celebratory gatherings have struggled to find their spark in a virtual setting. This year’s VMAs represented a triumphant return to form, with big wins for Justin Bieber, Foo Fighters, and Olivia Rodrigo as well as performances from Normani, Doja Cat and Lil Nas X. Full results here.

Success for magazine brands on Apple News+

And as if that wasn’t enough traditional media glamour for one week, Press Gazette reports that several US magazines have doubled their reach on Apple News+ this year. According to Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), the Top 25 magazines on the platform had a total average circulation of 1.25m in the first six months of the year. Brands like People, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, TIME and Cosmopolitan have all enjoyed significant audience increases and you can view the full breakdown on the Press Gazette website here

Marie Claire US goes digital only

One brand that will be seeking to ramp up its digital success is Marie Claire, which ‘quietly informed its subscribers via a letter that its Summer 2021 issue would be its last’ last week, according to The New York Post. The publication was transferred from Hearst to Future earlier this year in a significant deal, and will now focus on digital content. 

This Land podcast delivers Native American voice

The second season of Rebecca Nagle’s This Land podcast debuts this month, and FIPP Journalist, Pierre de Villiers, last week sat down with the writer to find out more about the platform. Stirring debate over land rights, sovereignty and the Indian Child Welfare Act, the podcast (produced and distributed by Crooked Media) is already playing an important role in correcting the way indigenous issues are covered in the United States.

“Less than one per cent of media staff at major news outlets in America are indigenous,” Nagle points out. “What happens as a result of that is a lot of really poor coverage, whether it’s coverage that is factually inaccurate, culturally insensitive or just a case of Native people being left out the story and the conversation entirely I think This Land is ground-breaking in a way in that it’s a mainstream, non-Native media company putting a lot of resources behind indigenous storytelling and reporting.” Full article here

As for FIPP… 

We’ve launched a brand new report in partnership with UPM, looking at ‘Media’s Future in a Post-Covid World’. Written by John Wilpers, Senior Director at Innovation Media Consulting and long-time speaker and partner at FIPP events, the study looks at: the future of work, revenue models, sustainability, storytelling, and print’s prospects. You can find out more and download the full report here

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