Friday 10 January 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: Channel 4's media affair

This week, Channel 4 announced that it was ending its 5-year media affair with Youtube.

In a 2009 deal that saw all Channel 4 programmes (Skins, Peep Show etc) made freely available for on-demand viewing, both the broadcaster and broadcast sharer planned to benefit from a split of advertising revenues.

Now, however, the shiny-media-polish appears to have worn thin on this partnership; full length features and programmes have now been removed, though clips and trailers will still be shared. Broadcasters such as Channel 4 and BBC previously relied on platforms like Youtube for global distribution, but they have now developed their own on-demand technology to host their programmes.

The response from online trolls was predictably strong. In an age, and (in fact) a week (#Sainsburys), where media is becoming both increasingly difficult to source in hard copy and expected in freely, the news was met with acrimony.  In a Reddit post, given 467 up-votes, a complaint about having to stream Channel 4 through what the user described as a less than perfect website (in not so many words). This article incited 78 comments, most of which related anger at the media migration.

But is this announcement really a bad thing in the world of media and social media? Where does this leave Google-owned video-breathing beast of Youtube?

Youtube, the largest video sharing website and the second largest search engine,  was created to “share your videos with friends, family, and the world”. Whilst the quality of content varies, it's safe to say the vast majority is not of the polished Channel 4 product quality.  Now that full-feature and professionally made programmes have been stripped, will the platform return to its old roots of sharing social rather than professional content?

Youtube is an invaluable tool for the public to share material, and for businesses to portray engaging messages. It's arguably a far more important tool for these groups than for corporate broadcasters who now have their own means of digital distribution.

This purification of Youtube may take Youtube back to its core, improving its value as a social media sharing site. Without the distraction of the glossy programmes and feature films, those high quality videos shared by the public/ businesses will have more of a chance to make an impact. Citizen journalism will reach more eyes, and SME messages in corporate videos may be heard by more ears.

Abchaps have been getting back into their stride this week, enjoying the distinct buzz of anticipation around the City! A particular highlight was the Tech Start Up themed Market Lunch that Abchurch co-hosted with Alistair Crane, Executive Vice President of Monitise Create and original Founder of Grapple Mobile. Whilst Abchaps won't give too much away, it was undoubtedly a fabulous way to kick off 2014. We were fortunate enough to sit down with 10 of the City's most influential tech advisers, as well as the CEOs of start-ups that can only be described as "ones to watch" for 2014!

Cancacord Genuity strengthens its research team with three new appointments. Making the jump across from Oriel Securities is Charlotte Keyworth and Harry Philips who join the aerospace and defence desk and capital goods desk respectively. Arun George, previously of Edison Investment Research, also joins the technology team.

Our friends at Stephenson Harwood made a new partner appointment with the hiring of Suzanne Tarplee who joins the rail team. And Zeus Capital bolsters its healthcare team with a new analyst: Gary Waanders. Gary joins from Nomura and brings his wealth of expertise to the team; particularly in biotech and pharma.

"Vlog" - A video blog, or blog that contains video entries

Still suffering the financial effects of Christmas? Here are a couple of the best free events hitting London this weekend:

The London Ice Sculpting Festival takes over this weekend, so head East to Canary Wharf to witness the world’s leading ice sculpting teams chisel big boring blocks into spectacular creations as they carve everything from fashion pieces to miniature cities!

With the opening ceremony tonight, the annual London Short Film Festival takes over the City’s best indy cinemas and venues to showcase over 300 short films and documentaries. The LSFF will throw in the excellent added extras of live music gigs and parties too. With such an extensive series and tickets ranging from free to £10, check out the site to see what tickles your tastebuds.

Finally, for those not feeling the squeeze, soak up contemporary, cutting-edge and thought-provoking artistic culture and attend one of the mesmerising productions being performed at the London International Mime Festival.

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