Julian Assange
Julian Assange

Media Beat: November 04, 2018

The strange case of the invisible woman

The following is taken from Bob Hoffman’s most recent newsletter, The Ad Contrarian. You can sign up to subscribe here.

For years I've been writing about the stupidity of marketers and advertisers who are obsessed with young people and ignore the most valuable market in the history of markets -- people over 50.

Today we're going to get a little more "granular" and talk specifically about the mystery of why advertisers ignore women over 50. First the facts:

Forbes has called women over 50 "super consumers ...they are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation in history."

Women over 50 are the single largest demographic group with incomes over $100,000
      - They control 95% of household purchasing decisions
      - Contrary to the inane bullshit that they are "stuck in their ways," 82% will try new brands.

On average, baby boomer women make more money than millennial men. Median weekly earnings:
       - Highly coveted Men 25-34: $791
       - Completely ignored Women 55-64: $795

If Americans over 50 were their own country, they'd be the third largest economy in the world -- larger than the entire economies of Germany, Japan, or India. Between now and 2030 they will grow at almost 3 times the rate of adults under 50. And among adults over 50, women do the majority of consumer spending.

And what percent of marketing activity is aimed at people over 50? According to a 2016 report by Nielsen -- 5%. You read that right, 5%.

In what universe does this make any sense? The answer is obvious -- the stale, fossilized, 30-years-out-of-date universe of marketing.

If there is one thing you need to know about advertisers today it is this  -- we are totally obsessed with collecting data, and totally incompetent at understanding it.

BCE CEO says strong Q3 subscriber additions reflect investment strategy

BCE Inc.’s profit and revenue for Q3 were better than expected Thursday as the parent of Bell Canada reaped benefits from years of heavy spending to build its telecommunications and media businesses.

The growth came as BCE reported $814M or 90 cents per share of net income attributable to shareholders for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $803M or 90 cents per share in the third quarter of 2017.

Operating revenue totalled nearly $5.88B, up 1.4 percent from nearly $5.70B in the same quarter last year. – David Paddon, The Canadian Press

ELMNT FMs now streaming

A hiccup in launching the websites for the FMs in Toronto and Ottawa concurrent with the on-air launches on Oct. 25 has finally found its cure, and both can be found at elmntfm.ca  The Toronto frequency, at 106.5 on the dial, and Ottawa at 95.7 FM. Both are billed as “the spirit of” their respective cities. Stream LMNT.FM Toronto here, and Ottawa here. As well, both have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.

Quebec artists waiting for Netflix investments

Last May, Netflix held a two-day series of meetings in Montreal during which it received numerous pitches. Helene Messier, head of an association that represents 150 independent Quebec production companies in film, television and online, attended one of the events in May.

“There were more than 1,000 ideas submitted to Netflix during those meetings,” Messier said in an interview. “I know it can take time to develop projects,” she added, “but I would have hoped that by now we would have at least been able to announce something.” – Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press

Opinion: Ending the tax bill on CanCon

If the federal government has decided, if we as a nation have decided, that having a TV or video production industry is an important economic driver, as important as cars and planes and trains, then perhaps we should fund it like we fund Bombardier. Right from general revenues. No more 5% added to the TV bill to fund CanCon. No more consideration of an ISP tax.

This would make funding the CMF more of an industrial strategy than a cultural one, too. And besides, the traditional cultural fallback line of “telling Canadian stories” which has been repeated since time immemorial, sounds so lovely and is actually important, makes a huge portion of the Canadian public, even those in this business, roll their eyes and tune out.

As a branding effort, that tagline has failed and needs to be retired in favour of something that reminds Canadians about the serious economic value the creative industries bring to the country. – Greg O’Brien, CARTT.ca

The Evanovs want the CRTC to not fail them

There is a spirited discussion about the Evanovs (aka Dufferin Communications) trying to move its fringe signals in an imaginative play pitched to the regulator in Gatineau. This accordiong to one Sony.net board member who kicks off conversation. You can follow the pros and cons on the Sony.net board by linking to the headline above.

Rick Hodge signs off from The White House

It's rather fitting that Rick Hodge spoke his final words as a radio host from The White House on Friday. After all, it was from that Yates Street house, which doubles as a radio station, that his voice was first transmitted over the airwaves nearly 50 years ago.

Back then, he was a student at Merritton High School and an announcer from CKTB reached out to the school asking for students who would be willing to come in and share their thoughts on what it is like to be Canadian. – Melinda Cheevers, Niagara This Week

Inside the fight between Stephen Harper and Canada's wireless companies

For 40 years, Phil Lind served as the right-hand man to Ted Rogers, the founder and CEO of Rogers Communications. He provided strategic guidance to the entrepreneur as they build an organization that included wireless, cable, telephone, Internet and media assets. In his new memoir, Right Hand Man, Lind tells his own story of some of Canada’s biggest business deals. In this excerpt, he discusses the high-profile fight between Canada’s wireless industry (including Rogers, which owns Maclean’s) and Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.  – Maclean’s

Can podcasts shore up Spotify’s $1B annual losses?

Vulnerable financials aside, there are a wealth of reasons why Spotify grabbing a stake in the burgeoning podcasting market makes sense. Around $14 billion is spent on U.S. terrestrial radio advertising annually, according to BIA/Kelsey. As digital upstarts continue to eat into FM’s popularity, those dollars are moving in only one direction. – Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone

Google podcasts for Android now let your share episodes and shows

Since launching, Google has laid out big plans for long-form audio, like using AI to transcribe episodes, translate, and make podcasts available around the world. The company also discussed plans to elevate audio as a form of search result alongside text, links, and videos in the future. – Google

Julian Assange is a terrible house guest

The Ecuadorian embassy is fed up with his indifference to basic hygiene; his mooching of food and wi-fi; and his woodwork-damaging indoor-skateboarding habit. Another bane to the embassy is Assange’s relentless opining on Ecuador in ways that might jeopardize its foreign relations, and his audiences with visitors like activist and onetime Baywatch starlet Pamela Anderson, who, like Assange, has been closely linked to the Kremlin and Russian president Vladimir Putin. – Virginia Heffernan, Wired

The devolution of AM radio

The de-evolution of radio is of course the de-evolution of America, as the atmosphere has shifted from potentially inclusive to proudly non-inclusive. The shift — or rather, the reassertion of racial isolation that has always been with us — has been angering, sometimes bewildering. I feel like someone cut me off from my own past without my permission.

I hate that it has been so completely taken over by loud angry white guys. And yet late at night, I still listen. – Erin Aubry Kaplan, The New York Times (via Warren’s List)

The New York Times is on pace to earn more than $600 million in digital this year

The number’s significant as the halfway point in a journey the Times set out on three years ago: to double total digital revenues from 2014’s $400 million to $800 million by 2020. It’s taken three years to get halfway there, and there are only two years left to meet this ambitious timetable. (But hey, journalists know deadlines can always be pushed a little bit.) – Joshua Benton, Nieman Lab

AMC now owns Acorn TV and The Urban Movie Channel

The deal furthers AMC Networks’ digital strategy to accelerate its interests in direct-to-consumer ad-free subscription services the company owns or controls, in addition to providing access to strong IP in its ambition to continue diversifying AMC’s revenue opportunities. – Cord Cutters News

Extremism has become a business. Just look at Gab

Media entrepreneurs of the 20th century amassed huge fortunes and great power by gathering the largest possible audiences. How? By finding happy mediums. Their 21st-century counterparts are more likely to follow a different path. They use the Internet to assemble passionate audiences, not always large; niche audiences whose intensity will motivate them to subscribe, to donate, to purchase, to obsess. Coded algorithms operate alongside social networks to steer each of us into communities of the like-minded. Digital entrepreneurs figure out what we crave and then give us more of it — whether it is recipes, college football, inspirational memes or some sexual kink.

Andrew Torba’s business model involves people who really enjoy talking about killing Jews, among other topics. As his company explains it, Torba in 2016 spotted “a unique opportunity to carve a niche in a massively underserved and unrepresented market.” People who relished repugnant rants were being dumped from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Torba’s new company, dubbed Gab AI, would allow their rants to flourish. Through subscriptions, tipping and other expressions of customer passion, Gab would capitalize on “a fragmentation process of the social media networking ecosystem into smaller niche communities with shared values and ideals.”

This plan to cash in on extremism is revealed with unusual clarity in Gab’s annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. – David Von Drehle, The Washington Post

How to know when you’re slowly but surely becoming a bad manager

No one sets out to become a bad boss. Yet, slowly but surely, it’s easy to become the bad manager we all dread.

Times are stressful. You’re trying to make things happen. You notice your team isn’t as engaged as they should be. You can feel your patience getting shorter and shorter. You feel stuck and exasperated about leading your team. The more you do, the worse it seems to get.

Then, a sinking feeling hits you: You might be becoming a bad manager.

I’ve had that sinking feeling in my own stomach before, too. Especially in the early days of running Know Your Company, I was plagued with self-doubt. “Am I doing this right?” I wondered. “Am I falling into the trap of doing things that I’ve hated in other bosses?”

Since then, I recognized the early signs of a bad manager — the kind of manager I dreaded working for. Now, I’d like to share these signs with you, so you can hopefully avoid these pitfalls and get back on track to being the good manager you want to be. – Claire Lew, Medium

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