Media Beat: March 30, 2018

Why the Ontario Liberal budget is like the greatest radio contest ever

I debated whether to post this, given this is not supposed to be a political forum. But while I was out walking the dog on Wednesday listening to the droning voice of Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa reading the bloated Liberal budget, it suddenly occurred to me that what I was actually hearing was a retread of what could arguably be called the greatest radio promotion in history.
 
I’m talking about "The Last Contest," which originated at KCBQ in San Diego and was syndicated to radio stations all over North America – most notably in the GTA on CFTR and CHAM in Hamilton.
 
In case you missed that remarkably hyped hit that helped put the fledgling CHUM challenger on the map, it involved a series of intricately and incredibly produced promos that promised listeners they could win "prize packages" filled with jet planes, huge yachts, new houses, trips around the world, your own tropical island and unbelievable one time only events (like getting the O’Keefe Centre rented out to you and your friends for a night, with a promise of a limousine ride to the venue and a standing ovation no matter what you did).
 
It was a breathtaking idea, giving away potential fantasy prizes, some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
 
There was just one catch. You had to be the right caller at the right time when they gave out the secret phone number. And of course, they only gave out the number twice in the entire six months or so that the thing ran. So, in effect, they promised you the moon and barely gave away a clog of dirt. It was brilliant, and yet you couldn’t turn it off.
 
Fast forward several decades and the Liberal budget is doing the same thing – giving away every conceivable goodie while not actually having to deliver any of them.
 
So as much as I hope we never see their likes again after June 7th, I have to give them credit for taking a lesson from a classic radio element that appealed to the greed in all of us.

And let’s hope this truly is their Last Contest. – Radio Active, SOWNY.net

Ad-supported media trumps on-demand by a country mile

Netflix has upended the TV industry, forcing all of its network and streaming rivals to devise new ways to fight back against the company this year. The biggest threat has been to the ad industry, which has resulted in a number of networks—including NBCUniversal,truTV and Paramount Network—reducing their ad loads to compete with advertising-free outlets like Netflix, Amazon, HBO and Showtime.

But according to a new report from Nielsen, even with more content options than ever before, audiences spent roughly the same percentage of their time on media platforms (86 percent) watching ad-supported content last year as they have during the past 15 years.

That share for ad-supported content has remained relatively flat over the past decade—85 percent in 2007, 84 percent in 2012—and down slightly from 89 percent in 2002. – AdWeek

State Dept. to demand tourists’ social media history

The US DOS will publish new rules this week that would require most visitors and immigrants to the U.S. to turn over their recent social media histories, carrying out one of President Trump’s key security enhancements from his extreme vetting executive order.

Travellers would also be asked to list previous phone numbers, email addresses and international travel in the last five years, and to detail any immigration problems they’ve had, whether with the U.S. or elsewhere. They’ll also be asked about potential family connections to terrorism. – The Washington Times

Apple CEO rips Facebook: "Privacy Is a Human Right"

"I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation," the exec said in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher and MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "However, I think we're beyond that here." – The Hollywood Reporter

The Beeb says it's being squeezed out by Netflix and Amazon

The BBC has released its second annual report since its new charter was established and the broadcaster paints a rather bleak picture for itself. It highlights the fact that the media landscape has changed quite rapidly in recent years and will most certainly continue to do so, and it says that the industry is "more and more dominated by a small number of US-based media giants with extraordinary creative and financial firepower." The BCC added, "Their business models and huge budgets mean we are increasingly being squeezed out of an ever more competitive environment. British creativity and British content are now under real threat." – Endgadget

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