All Posts in media

April 17, 2015Published by: Sharmin Cheema-Kelly

Ofcom considers deregulation to take growing power of internet into account

The shift to digital in recent years has meant an uphill challenge for British communications regulator, Ofcom, as it seeks to adapt its own regulations to the changing media and telecoms landscape.

Credit: Ofcom

Picture Credit: Ofcom

In her first interview since being appointed as Ofcom's chief in December, Sharon White said that deregulation and a lighter approach needs to be considered to reflect the tectonic shifts in how people read and watch content, as well as talk.

Ofcom has just begun its first review of the British communications market in a decade to take into account the burgeoning impact of the internet, and whether market definitions and regulations need to be redrawn. Ofcom would also need to consider the intersection and blurring distinctions between traditional telecom and media companies.

Live streaming services such as Meerkat and Periscope both present a challenge to the paid-TV world especially with the increasing costs of football rights, for example. While Ofcom traditionally appointed the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) to regulate broadcast advertisements on its behalf, YouTube advertising also falls under the ASA's jurisdiction - the roles both perform and the areas overseen need to be made clearer in this era of greater convergence.

Ten years after its last review and in the age of the internet, the time is now ripe for Ofcom to reconsider regulations especially when changes are unprecedented and happen at much greater speed. It's exciting times ahead for the tech, media, and communications industries and we can't wait to see what happens next.


March 31, 2015Published by: Drew

Live streaming services Meerkat and Periscope woo influencers, brands and the media

courtesy of the BBC

The BBC's Meerkat stream from coverage of the Ferguson protests, from the BBC's College of Journalism Blog

Live streaming video is a red hot area in social media right now. Last week Twitter launched Periscope, and at the beginning of March Meerkat opened up for business. Also since then, Meerkat landed $14m in funding from VCs and individuals including Universal Music Group, Jared Leto, David Tisch and Chad Hurley.

What's interesting to us here is a couple of factors: firstly that Meerkat and Periscope are making a bigger impact because they are here at the same time, and how the two services are being used by the media, high profile individuals and brands, ie not just by any old user, but influential users that are tapping into large audiences from the beginning. That presents a big opportunity.

Brands, influencers and media outlets have been bold in their rapid pickup of Meerkat and Periscope. We've seen some nice examples (and a load of curious ones - namely #fridgeview). Here's a run down of the more notable ones:

This article in BGR looks at Meerkat and Periscope's impact, in particular that it's not one of the top apps at all - but rather just with early adopters and the media. And that's how Instagram and Twitter started.

We're fans of video in general here at Battenhall, so it should be no surprise at all that we're fans of both Periscope and Meerkat. For what it's worth, Meerkat pips Periscope for my coveted prize of which one is best, because of the interaction you get with viewers.

Tomorrow marks the start of VEDA (Vlogging Every Day in April) and specifically BattenVEDA, which you can read about and get involved with here. Happy vlogging!

June 11, 2014Published by: Drew

Sony enters the streaming media market with PlayStation TV

Screenshot 2014-06-11 14.31.53

For media and entertainment companies, the streaming media market is very attractive and with good reason. Recent research from Park Associates reported that 20% of U.S. Broadband Households now have a streaming media player. Google Chromecast is the current market leader with Apple TV and Roku not too far behind.

However the current state of the streaming media market may change as another entertainment company is launching its own streaming media service which could potentially disrupt the market. At this year's E3, the largest annual trade show for the computer and video games industry, Sony announced that it was introducing its streaming box for its PlayStation 4 console aptly named "PlayStation TV." 

Already out in Japan but launching in the U.S, Canada and Europe this autumn, Sony's PlayStation TV streaming box enables users to stream content from any device onto their TV set as well as play games on any television set as long as they have a controller at hand.

People's television viewing habits have changed dramatically since the introduction of streaming media. The fact that Playstation TV allows consumers to stream content onto any TV set in a household and Sony is producing exclusive content for the platform indicates that Sony's streaming box could not only disrupt the market but potentially usurp Apple TV and Google Chromsecast as the market leader.

The revolution, in this case, will be streamed, not televised.

February 18, 2014Published by: Drew

Social media overtakes Google as top referrer to mainstream media

Courtesy of The Atlantic

Recently published data shows that in the the last 12 months we have seen a big change in the way social media and mainstream media feed one another. Facebook, in particular, sends up to 3.5x more traffic to mainstream media sites than Google does.

This piece, published by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic, opens the lid on this social data and looks at how to tailor a brand's social content in order to get the most traffic:

A year ago, social networks are the new homepage seemed like an (almost) original observation. Today, it's just a boring fact.

The conclusion is: Twitter and search in general are for news. Stay current and you'll stay relevant. Facebook however favours evergreen stories. This should be obvious though, as Thompson concludes:

If this feels like the wind-up before the Facebook-Has-Destroyed-the-News finale, you can relax. Entertainment was beating up on news long before Zuckerberg was born. People always outsold Time. Broadcast sitcom ratings always made mincemeat of PBS. The back sections of the newspaper have long cross-subsidized the foreign coverage of the A-section.

A key difference between the old forms of news and entertainment and Facebook is that the News Feed is entirely our creation, even if it reveals itself as an idiosyncratic and surprising list of stories. After all, Facebook doesn't "make" the News Feed. The friends and pages we follow contribute every story, and Facebook organizes them with a machine-learning algorithm that studies our past behavior to predict what stories should appear at the top. Since you choose your friends and you choose your interactions with your friends' posts, it's hardly a stretch to say that you choose your own News Feed.

January 24, 2014Published by: Drew

BuzzFeed usurps Huffington Post to become Facebook’s top publisher

BuzzFeed, the online website which aggregates viral content from across the web, has become Facebook's top publisher, beating the likes of Huffington Post and Upworthy.

According to NewsWhip, in November 2013 Huffington Post UK was the clear leader with BuzzFeed left to battle viral content website Upworthy for runner-up status. Yet, in just over a month, the viral newsite did not only beat Upworthy but it comfortably usurped Huffington Post UK from its perch in first place.

Using data taken from Spike, NewsWhip determined BuzzFeed's newfound status as Facebook publishing king was a result of a particularly strong December. In that month, BuzzFeed had 750,000 more shares on Facebook than its closest competitor.

Apart from illustrating BuzzFeed's growing popularity, the results from Spike's database also demonstrate that Facebook is still a popular site for sharing content. Publishers such as BBC News, New York Times and new addition Viral Nova all had substantially improved share numbers.

Despite reports of Facebook's waning popularity among teens, it certainly hasn't lost favour with users who love sharing viral news on the social network site. To read more on the report, visit NewWhip.




November 5, 2013Published by: Drew

Big Brother is watching you… so it can target you with coffee ads


“Big Brother is watching you.”

The famous and haunting phase from George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, in which a society is pictured under constant surveillance from an authoritarian government who could detect your every move and thought. This isn’t unlike the way modern brands are now using technology to monitor the way consumers behave.

Tesco this week announced it was going to begin introducing “minority report” style face-scanners to be installed in its petrol stations. This highly intrusive technology, aptly called OptimEyes, contains a hidden camera that scans queuing customers and detects their age range and sex. Using this information, the screens then plays targeted ten-second ads at customers. Although, arguably, not as prying as the WiFi bins which surreptitiously collected people’s data to target ads at them, it still does raise issues of privacy and people’s ownership of their data.

Targeted advertising is not a new practice but with the advent of smartphones and social media, marketeers have certainly taken advantage of the ubiquitous adoption of these technologies and the valuable customer insight they provide. According to a report by YouGov, online behavioural targeting accounted for 12% of all UK adspend in 2011. With access to customers' online shopping habits, interests and even social status readily available in some form through big data, it isn’t surprising that marketers will use this information to better sell products to our consumerist society.

Despite the uproar from some organisations such as Big Brother Watch, are consumers really against such an exploitative use of their personal data? Digital Advertising Alliance recently conducted a poll which seems to suggest consumers are rather blasé about behavioural advertising. The results, which were collated from a thousand adults, illustrated that only 4% of those who did the poll were in fact worried about behavioural targeting. Furthermore, the report showed that 70% of respondents liked seeing bespoke ads that appealed to their interests.

As smartphones and online sites become ever more prominent in society, it seems these advertising initiatives - such as Tesco’s OptimEyes - will become more prevalent. As long as brands don’t start targeting ads to us in our sleep, a society similar to the one described in 1984 is probably unlikely. Probably.

July 30, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Social media masters: A method in the madness?

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 16.35.32

This week The Wall Street Journal announced a shift in job titles relating to social media. Between 2012 and 2013 the number of jobs with the term 'social media' was down by 9% according to - additionally, jobs with the word 'Twitter' in the title dropped by 22%. But what does this mean about the world of work?

The main answer lies in finding a social media expertise, it's difficult for someone to understand social media strategy, if they don't have a role to play in the technical functions of an overall business strategy. In an attempt to tackle this new media, many universities are offering courses that focuses solely on this medium itself. The WSJ article by Zara Stone looks at The University of Florida, where an 18-month masters in Social Media is advertised to,

'...examine the impact of social media and explains how it can be used to influence the future of communication, marketing, journalism, politics, entertainment, public relations, and more.'

Understandably, educational establishments aim to broaden students' horizons, inspire them to do greater things or to dig deeper into the methodology (not practice) of their chosen subject. It could be difficult to dig into methodology of Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter though - as the intricate algorithms behind these platforms change daily.

The WSJ piece by Stone goes on to share that skill searches by potential employers with terms like 'Instagram' and 'Twitter' were up by 644% and 44% respectively, between 2012 and 2013. It seems that whilst candidates roles are becoming more integrated with bigger business goals, their innovative skill set is what matters.Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 17.09.00

Indeed social media has created an economy which is much more practical, volatile and intricate. You can't call social networking an industry - it cross-tangents with so many different departmental functions of any organisation that social media is a necessity everywhere. Needless to say, this all leads to one big question - when a candidate applies for a job, how will a degree or masters in social media be perceived, surely knowledge of new media, innovation, interpersonal skills and technology is more important?

Perhaps then the best way to really understand social media is to get hands on, learn how it applies to your pre-existing expertise and innovate the way you choose to use it.