Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Digital and mobile media to drive growth...PwC report makes for gloomy reading otherwise

Beyonce slated for first F1 Rocks

Black Eyed Peas, N.E.R.D. also headliners
August 04, 2009

By Richard Smirke, Billboard

Beyonce and
Black Eyed Peas
are among the headline acts for the inaugural F1 Rocks concerts in Singapore.
The announcement was made Tuesday at the official launch of F1 Rocks in London, attended by Formula One honcho Bernie Ecclestone.
Others acts set to perform during the F1 Rocks Singapore event, which takes place Sept. 24-26 at Fort Canning Park, Singapore, include ZZ Top, Simple Minds, N.E.R.D

and Chinese pop star Jackey Cheung.

F1 Rocks Singapore is the first in a series of multi-artist live events resulting from a deal between Universal Music Group International joint venture company All The Worlds,
which has partnered with motor racing body Formula One Administration Ltd to create a global entertainment platform that will see international artists perform live at Formula 1 locations around the world.

Speaking at the launch event, Ecclestone spoke of his excitement at launching F1 Rocks and described partnering Formula One with the music business as "something that we've been talking about doing for an awfully long time."
He adds: "We've never found the right partners-now we have.
"Commenting on the international business benefits generated by F1 Rock, Becky Morgan, COO, All The Worlds, added:
"Formula One is the world's largest annual sporting series, so for us it's a great way to tap into global broadcasters."
According to All The Worlds CEO Paul Morrison, the target for next year's F1 season is to have approximately 6-8 F1 Rocks events taking place around the world, although he was unable to confirm what countries these would take place in or the dates.
He did, however, say that All The Worlds is currently in the process of finalizing the next two locations with the event's appointed global booker/promoter John Giddings.
Broadcast content resulting from the inaugural F1 Rocks event will comprise of two strands -- one being an hour-long entertainment show featuring celebrity interviews, live music performances and lifestyle features, starring personalities from F1, music, film and TV.
The second element will be music performances, available "as live" to broadcasters with a 30 minutes delay on the live show.
All content is being made available to Formula One's international broadcast partners.
Tickets for F1 Rocks Singapore go on sale Aug. 5 at the F1 Rocks website.
Ticket prices range from $150 Singapore-$210 Singapore ($105-$145).
LG Electronics is F1 Rocks' Singapore title launch sponsor.
The F1 Rocks Singapore line-up is:
Sept. 24 - Jackey Cheung, Da Mouth, Sodagreen
Sept. 25 - ZZ Top, Simple Minds, N.E.R.D
Sept. 26 - Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas

Herbie Hancock new LA Phil jazz creative chair
Chaka Kahn, Tracy Chapman guests on upcoming album

Associated Press
Aug 4, 2009, 06:17 PM ET
Herbie Hancock (above), has grand plans for his new position as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's creative chair for jazz.
The two-year stint, which begins in 2010, includes overseeing jazz programming for the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, helping to hire musicians and mentoring young artists.
The 69-year-old Los Angeles resident will take over from bassist Christian McBride.
"I'm interested in cross-pollination of music of various cultures," Hancock said Monday.
"And I would like to see more interaction between visuals and music.
Ballet or some sort of pop-oriented kind of dance interacting with jazz, visuals done with computer graphics or film segments with jazz, or a mixture of jazz and other genres.
"Hancock -- who won Grammys in 2008 for album of the year and best contemporary jazz album for "River: The Joni Letters," a tribute to his longtime friend Joni Mitchell -- has been known for pulling from different musical and art forms.
He is working on a new album, which also takes from different cultures.
He describes it as capturing "peace through global collaboration.
"The album pairs artists such as Chaka Khan with Ravi Shankar's daughter Anoushka Shankar and Tracy Chapman with West African singer Oumou Sangare.
Other musicians he's tapped for the album -- due out in 2010 -- include Jeff Beck and Dave Matthews.
"Our same language is our commonality as human beings," Hancock said.
"What I think about now is purpose.
I didn't think about purpose years ago.
It was 'write this tune.'
Now I think about what do people need, what does humanity need, what can I do to help in my way.
"Hancock attributes his outlook to chanting three hours a day and practicing Buddhism.
It helps him to discover himself, he said, and reach out to others.
"I don't want to lock myself into a box, a comfort zone," Hancock said.
"I want to spread this out throughout the globe, and make a record not just for American audiences."

House Dems denounce airplay fee legislation
Group urges leaders to kill Performance Rights Act
By Katy Bachman, Billboard
Aug 3, 2009, 06:53 PM ET
Broadcasters are getting more support from Congress to kill legislation that would impose performance fees on music airplay.
A group of 22 House Democrats sent a letter late Friday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi

and other Congressional Democratic leaders, urging them not to bring the Performance Rights Act to the floor for a vote.
Although the bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, more than 246 House members on both sides of the aisle signed the Local Radio Freedom Act, a nonbinding resolution that denounces any new performance fee, tax, royalty or other charge on radio for music airplay.
In the Senate, 23 members have signed the resolution.
In the letter, the 22 Democratic members cite concern that the there has been inadequate information about the impact of the legislation on local radio broadcasters and the local communities that depend on the stations for jobs, news, weather and emergency information.
"We are further concerned by the assertions that this bill will unfairly divert money from our local communities and direct those funds primarily to the large record labels," the 22 Democrats wrote.

Digital and mobile media to drive growth
PwC report makes for gloomy reading otherwise
By Mimi Turner
Aug 4, 2009, 09:38 AM ET
Digital and mobile media will drive the bulk of growth in the entertainment and media sectors in the U.K. during the next four years, but will be not be enough to plug the gap left by a decline in revenue from traditional media, according to research published Tuesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The data on the effect of the recession on the U.K.'s media, entertainment and advertising sectors predicts that even by 2013 the overall U.K. advertising market will still be $3 billion below the market high of 2007 levels.
The research warns that 2009-10 will continue to be hit by tough market conditions, and predicts that even the fast-growing internet advertising sector will contract by 3.2% in 2009-10, while television advertising revenue will be down 10.5% by the end of next year.
By 2011-13 TV advertising revenue is predicted to be growing by 3.4% while wireless and mobile revenue is projected to be up by 11.5%.
"The combination of a global recession and the structural shift towards digital platforms has accelerated the decline of some traditional media," says report author and PwC partner David Lancefield.
"The considerable growth in digital usage and revenues will not plug the gap left behind over the next few years," he added.
PWC's research found that U.K. advertising companies have born the brunt of the media recession, suffering a 50% increase in insolvencies over the last year compared to a 40% year-
on-year increase in insolvencies from publishing companies and a 25% increase in film and television company bankruptcies, with smaller companies in each sector hit disproportionately hard.
The rate of insolvencies peaked in the first three months of the year, but in the second quarter the rates fell.
Since 2007 352 U.K. advertising companies have ceased to operate, closely followed by 317 insolvencies in publishing and 264 television and film companies.
"In the main, we are seeing small advertising companies slide into insolvency," Lancefield said.
"The contraction in advertising budgets is hurting all companies but currently picking off the small independents that do not have deep pockets or the ability to diversify.
"Both advertising and TV/film insolvencies peaked in the first quarter of 2009 with 68 and 22 collapses respectively as the cyclical downturn hit hard.
"TV, film and advertising companies rely on a healthy stream of work coming through the door, with a long lead time from story board to screen," Lancefield said.
"Any extended pauses between contracts, or reduction in budgets in the current climate, could mean the lights go out."
I'm told this is part of Discovery Communications' chairman David Zaslav's channel-by-channel rebranding effort.
The talks, which began as low-key chat months go, are revving up -- focused on letting Spielberg create a Discovery digital network for high-end non-fiction series and documentaries.
Zaslav, after all, is into "name" joint venturing:

he turned over Discovery Kids to Hasbro, Discovery Health to Oprah Winfrey, and this is in that vein.

(Under the 50-50 joint venture with Hasbro, for instance, Discovery will handle advertising sales and distribution, while Hasbro will provide studio-produced programming.)

Problem with this strategy is that the follow-through has been lacking.

Each of the joint ventures looks great on paper and in joint press releases but is having a hard time getting off the ground re management, programming, and so on.

There are even rumors that Oprah will put out of chaotic OWN, which has seen management change after management change, and that would be a big blow to Zaslav's plans.

Unlike a lot of media companies, the niche cabler is doing well with its stock price up a whopping 80% this year -- something Zaslav is obsessed by.

Today, Discovery Communications reported its 2nd-quarter profit quadrupled (in part because of that 50% sale of Discovery Kids) as the cable-television network operator saw a 12% jump in overall ratings at its holdings.

Discovery even saw 1% ad-revenue growth in its U.S. networks business.

Revenue dipped slightly.

MORE AGENCY WAR: WME Loses Rachel Weisz To CAA, Gains John C Reilly From CAA

I hear actress Rachel Weisz fired her longtime Endeavor/WME agent Jenny Rawlings to go to CAA.

Even rival agents are calling it "a move of ingratitude, disloyalty, and stupidity".


Rawlings reportedly "killed herself" to get Weisz the Mummy series which made Weisz millions, and the part in 'Constant Gardener that got Rachel the Oscar, and the new Peter Jackson film The Lovely Bones.

"Weisz can now join all of the other 40+ actresses that CAA represents who don't have their next job either, such as Kidman, Bullock, Bening, Pfeiffer, Watts, and Winslet," one competitor emailed me.

Weisz's husband, Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky, is repped by CAA.

Meanwhile, WME has signed John C Reilly from CAA.

Jennifer Aniston On Being "The Lonely Girl"

Jennifer Aniston strikes a sexy, open shirtl pose for the September Elle and says she doesn't mind that her romantic history has left her known as "the lonely girl."

"If I'm the emblem for 'this is what it looks like to be the lonely girl getting on with her life,' so be it.

I can make fun of myself.

And I'll bring it up as long as the world is bringing it up," she told the mag.

"I'm not going to ignore the pink elephant in the living room," the 40-year- old cracked.

"It's fine. I can take it," she says.

She also says she has always relied on humor.

"I remember being 7 and asking my mom if I was as pretty as [my best friend] Monique," she recalls.

"And with all the love in the world, my mom looked at me and said, 'Oh, honey, you're so funny.'

So, she doesn't lie to me . . .

She answers the question by not answering and instead tells me what she thinks is my greatest strength."

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