MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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RTÉ Ireland Takes the Lead Followed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC and SiriusXM

The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards announced the 2018 Finalists. World-wide since 1982, New York Festivals® Radio Program Awards honors the World’s Best Radio Programs℠, receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.

NYF’s Grand Jury selected 353 Finalists from entries submitted from 31 countries worldwide. Entries were judged by the 2018 Grand Jury on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium. All entries achieving Finalist status proceed to the trophy round.

“From audio books, podcasts, and sound art to documentaries, drama, and breaking news,” said Rose Anderson, VP/Executive Director of New York Festivals Radio Program Awards. “The international Grand Jury members once again selected Finalists whose content exhibited creativity and innovation.”

RTÉ Ireland saw a robust 38 entries advancing. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation moved forward with 25 entries, the BBC saw 15 entries advance and SiriusXM saw 10. Penguin Random House UK, Radio New Zealand, and TBI Media UK each saw 9 entries achieve Finalist status. 

Documentaries provided listeners with entertaining stories with a distinctive view and voice. Entrants advancing: Brook Lapping/BBC Radio 4, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, RTÉ Radio 1, Trevor Dann's Company Ltd, Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), ORF Austrian Broadcasting Corp., and Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Dramas achieving Finalist status include: “From Eden by Stephen Jones” RTÉ Drama On One Ireland; “Blood on Satan's Claw” Bafflegab Productions UK; “The Hours” Corporation For Independent Media/BBC Radio 4; and “Donjon - Duck Heart” Swiss Radio and Television. Mini Series advancing include: “This Is Country Music - Brad Paisley” TBI Media; TUMANBAY” Goldhawk Productions/BBC/Panoply; and “After Tuskar Rock” Eoin Brennan/ Newstalk/Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Comedy Specials advancing include: “Joan Rivers: A Life In Comedy” SiriusXM and “Colm O'Regan Wants a World Wide Word” RTÉ.

Music Specials and Sound Art captivated listeners, Finalists include: “Magic at the Musicals” TBI Media; “Aaj Bhi Sare Jahan Se Achcha” Radio Mirchi; “Bing Crosby Tribute Concert” JAZZ. FM91; “Strauss & Bernstein from Hill Auditorium” New York Philharmonic; Ode to an Enigma: How Bobbie Gentry Ghosted Us All” Ben Manilla Productions; and “Bruce Springsteen: Long Walk Home” Lonesome Pine Productions. Sound Art Finalists include the following companies: Deutschlandradio, Naleppa Audio Productions, and protophonic.

Breaking news reported on headlines issues from around the globe and Talk/Interview Special showcased a broad spectrum of topics. Companies achieving Finalists status include: Westwood One, Radio Television Hong Kong, ABS-CBN Corporation, Radio Mitre S.A., George Washington University, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, W Radio Colombia, and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The popularity of Digital Content, Podcasts and Audio Books is on the rise. Digital Content entrants advancing include: BBC Radio 2, The Guardian, Ebow Productions, Radio Mitre S.A., and Radio Free Asia. Podcast moving forward include: Intelligence Squared US Debates, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Bloomberg News, Swedish Radio, Radio New Zealand, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ESPN Films, and BBC. Audio Book entrants achieving Finalist status include: Penguin Random House UK, Radio Mirchi India, and Hörbuch Hamburg.

To view the complete list of 2018 Radio Program Awards Finalists please visit:

New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs will celebrate 2018’s award-winners on June 18th at the annual 2018 awards ceremony taking place at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City. To purchase tickets, visit HERE.

Production Hub is the official media sponsor of the 2018 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.

To nurture the Culture of Giving amongst Indians as part of its first year celebration.

Republic TV, India’s number 1 English news channel for non-stop 53 weeks is celebrating its milestone first year anniversary in a unique and special way. Republic TV has partnered with Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India, a not for profit organisation to fuel and accelerate the spirit of giving among the citizens of the nation. Republic is committed to the people of the country and will be championing meaningful causes to drive social change.

This partnership is symbolic of the culture of giving that Republic TV and CAF India want to promote, to encourage everyone to give back to the society. Through this collaboration, both partners want to encourage citizens to step forward, contribute and make an impact in their community, whether it is by giving time, money or knowledge.

Arnab Goswami said, “We don’t just believe in giving back to society. We believe in encouraging people to do the same. Being generous brings out the kindest best in people and makes them more empathic. We want to enable the citizens of our nation to experience the satisfaction and joy associated with the spirit of giving.”

“As a news brand, we feel strongly that our platform should engage in meaningful conversations that foster positive impact in the society. We want to commemorate our first anniversary towards the cause of a more inclusive India, and we are committed to contributing INR 2 Crore upwards of media assets to promote this initiative. As a news brand we want to leverage our widespread reach to stoke the fire of giving back. As a culture, we have always been a generous society, and we want to highlight that there are many meaningful ways of contributing”, said Vikas Khanchandani, CEO of Republic TV.

Republic TV & CAF India are extremely committed to this project & believe strongly in the Culture of Giving. CAF India, has been working tirelessly to make giving better and more impactful in India for almost closed to two decades. Give4Good an online donation platform powered by CAF India makes it possible for donors to donate from anywhere in a quick, convenient and secure manner. Over the years CAF India has been successfully running numerous giving campaigns and published many reports like ‘World Giving Index’ to encourage the spirit of giving & volunteering.

Meenakshi Batra, CEO CAF India said, “We are very excited about this partnership. India has always had a deep rooted culture of giving. We hope to further nurture this by spreading awareness and encouraging each & every citizen to come forth and become the drivers of strategic giving culture in the country. With Republic TV’s reach and CAF India’s expertise we are sure that the momentum of giving will gain traction amongst people worldwide!”

CAF India & Republic Network are working together to build the India Giving Index which will be based on extensive research across the length & breadth of the country. Republic will use its broadcast and digital platforms, along with partner channels to highlight, promote, and celebrate those who are championing the cause of giving and contributing meaningfully to social causes.

The network invites everyone including individuals, NGO’s and corporates to come together and join this giving movement that aims to transform lives and communities.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 00:00

BBC StoryWorks expands into India

BBC StoryWorks, the global content marketing team within BBC Global News Ltd, has expanded into India with staff now based in the country for the first time as part of wider growth across the Asia Pacific region.

The in-house creative agency, which produces content-led marketing campaigns on and BBC World News, brings together the boldness and innovative qualities of a creative studio with the agility and responsiveness of the newsroom.

Based in New Delhi, Ankita Bakshi, has been appointed as Creative Solutions Producer to deliver content for brands that appeals to the BBC’s premium audience. Bakshi will be working directly alongside Regional Sales Director Vishal Bhatnagar in building out the BBC StoryWorks capabilities in India, capitalising on the advertiser demand for content-led partnerships.

This support was previously provided to Indian brands by the BBC StoryWorks team in Singapore. The expansion is in response to increased demand and a desire to provide local clients not only with access to better local insights but also to the international experience and knowledge of the BBC StoryWorks team globally. Hiring expertise on the ground provides all of these things as well as in-market servicing and the flexibility for quick turnaround.

Global Head of BBC StoryWorks, Richard Pattinson, says:

“This is a great move for BBC StoryWorks and it will really strengthen our position in the region to be able to service clients on the ground in India. The world class quality of our content combined with our valuable audiences (English and local languages) are of attraction to select Indian advertisers and with an increased demand for branded content from Indian based clients for national and international campaigns, we needed to have an asset in market to meet client and agency needs. BBC StoryWorks has seen a steady growth since its launch in 2015 and this hire is part of a large expansion across Asia Pacific this year, including more senior hires in Singapore and increasing staff in India and China, with further markets to follow. BBC StoryWorks is playing a contributing role in more than 65% of advertising sales revenue in the Asia Pacific region, a sharp increase on last year.”

Creative Solutions Producer for BBC StoryWorks in India, Ankita Bakshi, says:

“I’m delighted to be joining the BBC StoryWorks team in New Delhi. India is an exciting and rapidly growing market and I look forward to offering our local clients a more personal and bespoke service, building on our insights to enable them to maximise the impact of the campaigns we deliver.”

Divest “Now” – to fund digital growth strategies

· 87% of companies are planning to divest within the next two years

· 70% of executives consider the changing technology landscape is directly influencing their divestment plans

· 65% of companies hold onto assets too long when they should have divested

· 50% stated not presenting the business as a stand-alone business had “scared off” buyers or prompted lower bids

EY Global Media & Entertainment Sector recently published the M&E Global Corporate Divestment Study 2018: How can divesting fuel your future growth? The report is a survey of executives from large M&E companies around the world that gauges plans for approaching divestments, managing portfolio strategy, improving divestment execution and making the remaining business agile.

Media and entertainment sector faces constant change as disruptive forces continue to transform the way in which consumers and businesses interact with and consume content and data. Digital technology is evolving future business models, hence, companies that are agile and flexible will only be able to thrive. As a result, market leaders realize now is a good time to divest and fund their digital growth strategies.

Our latest Global Corporate Divestment Study indicates that a record number (87%) of companies are planning to divest in the next two years — strikingly higher than the 33% reported in our 2017 study.

Media and entertainment companies are confident in the sector growth prospects as well as in their own corporate earnings. Companies are looking to focus on their core areas and as a result are looking to reshape their portfolio. They’re starting to look at divestments and understand what they need to do to drive better value within their control.

In divestment situations, the seller is usually focused on optimizing the following three key components: a) Value; b) Speed; and c) Certainty. Early preparation and focus can help optimize all three components.

While most media and entertainment companies (77%) prioritized securing Value over Speed of execution in their most recent divestment, achieving that expected Value can be a signifi cant challenge. Once a formal divestment process has begun; Certainty often becomes the main priority and its impact on Value and Speed can often only be managed appropriately via early preparation and focus.

Sellers should have a clear understanding and agreement on what elements they are willing to compromise to optimize the other; for example by trying to divest in 18 months versus 6 months, may give the seller the opportunity to be better prepared for the sale process and hence will increase value and certainty; but it has come at the expense of speed.

Market forces: technology is evolving business models

Companies are facing intense pressure to evolve their business models using rapidly advancing technology.

As new technologies power innovation, business models in the media and entertainment sector look starkly different than they did just a few years ago. Companies are reorganizing their business models and more than two-third (70%) of executives agree that the changing technology landscape is directly infl uencing their divestment plans. The challenge today’s companies face is deciding what, where and when to divest.

Divest to get a competitive edge

The key divestment driver continues to be a business unit’s relative weakness in competitive position in its marketplace — cited by 90% of companies in the latest findings, up from 57% in 2017. Media and entertainment companies are confi dent of their future growth plans.

Almost half of the companies (47%) planning a divestment say they intend to use the proceeds to fund investment in new technology. Those companies divesting to fund technological change are primarily looking to improve operating effi ciency (75%) and address changing customer needs (80%) in their remaining businesses.

Strategic reviews: develop an “always-on” real-time review process

Especially in this fast-moving market, companies need a portfolio review process that makes them ready to act.

Companies that conduct portfolio reviews at least annually are twice as likely to exceed performance expectations for divesting “at the right time.” However, 65% of media and entertainment companies stated they held on to assets too long. The future of portfolio reviews is a real-time process that captures the exponentially increasing amount of external data and do w-time assessment of performance using advanced analytics.

Take an “outside-in” perspective toward their business portfolio

Almost all media and entertainment companies (98%) struggle to understand how technology impacts the value of their businesses. Furthermore, overcoming emotional attachments to assets and admitting “failure” in one of their business units was highlighted (78%) as a second major challenge in the portfolio review process.

Sellers should avoid this inward focus by taking an outside-in view of their portfolio — understanding shifts in customer expectations, future business models and growth trajectories, as well as competitive positioning. Companies that identify emerging trends are best equipped to readjust their portfolios and recycle capital to take advantage of new growth areas.

Media and entertainment companies are at the forefront of ongoing digital revolution. The companies recognize that changing technology and customers’ expectations demand a different asset mix to thrive in the future. Hence, they must raise their game further and build a sound portfolio strategy to remain in position to disrupt trends.

Hence, they should be aware of the following:

Pace of divestments has sped up and will continue to accelerate

In this fast-moving market, companies should not wait too long to accept that a business may be better off in the hands of another owner.

Strategic and programmed portfolio review process has become an imperative

Businesses need to exploit data and analytics tools to improve decision making and identify non-core assets or lower growth legacy businesses which, can be divested.

Effectively positioning and presenting the business for sale is crucial to extract value

Companies need to spend time up-front to adequately capitalize and operationalize the business for potential buyers. It is important to understand the investment story for the next owner as well as all the opportunities, challenges and restrictions associated with it.

To be a successful marketing leader, marketers have the audacious challenge to think big, execute smart, and deliver growth, according to Gartner, Inc.

Analysts explained how to execute on these objectives during the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference.

Gartner analysts told an audience of more than 1,400 marketing leaders that marketing success requires the ability to look into the future and anticipate where things are heading. Great leaders anticipate potential challenges, as well as opportunities to do their best to assure they are well positioned and prepared for future developments.

"You must have clarity on where you would like to steer your organization," said Chris Ross, research director at Gartner. "You need to consider how fast your organization is capable of running and have an understanding of what you need to do when you get to your destination.

A Polarizing Environment

Mr. Ross explained that people, organizations and events are all being viewed through polarizing filters. A company’s brand is not exempt from this. The company may be evaluated for things far beyond brand messaging and core value proposition.

"The sourcing of your products, the views and behaviors of your executives, your HR policies, profiles of your customers and an infinite number of other variables will be pushed through the big public polarization machine," Mr. Ross said. "It’s important to recognize this is happening and anticipate the issues and implications that may result.

This environment can be even more extreme when there are occurrences of what Gartner calls "lightning strike events". These are dramatic current events, such as shootings, geopolitical incidents, major business news, and natural disasters. While some brands react in a positive light, there are numerous examples of companies who have felt the repercussions from mishandling these events.

"Even if your brand has no interest in harnessing the power of lighting strike events, being apolitical or neutral is increasingly difficult," Mr. Ross said. "People frequently demand to know your organization’s position on important topics or current events. Not making a statement may expose your brand as conspicuously absent from the collective conversation, while even neutral or well-intended positions may end up distorted in such a polarized environment."

It’s All About Trust

How consumers respond to a company’s messaging often depends on how much the consumer trusts the company. Data from Gartner Iconoculture shows that consumers overwhelmingly trust their Local Businesses (93 percent) and Small Businesses (90 percent). However, consumers show much lower trust for Corporate America (41 percent) and Their Government (36 percent).

"Bigger is not better," Mr. Ross said. "Trust is intimate, small and local. All these polarization and trust issues are driving a shift in consumer values. They are driving consumers to seek serenity, security and inclusion. Consider how your brand could be addressing these shifts in values. Do you have a narrative about how your product or service can make people’s lives more serene, safe and secure? Are you doing anything to advance the culture? These are important things to consider."

Gartner analysts point out that narrative has to be backed by products, services, and customer experiences that are consistent with brand positioning.

Technology as the Accelerant of Disruption

Andrew Frank, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, explained how platforms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple are making decisions about which ads and products to show people based on continuous observations of what messages they respond to.

"Meanwhile, marketers are using their own ‘black box marketing’ automation tools to feed these platforms with goals, content rules and budgets. They learn from feedback when customers visit their sites, buy or don’t buy, renew – or fail to renew – their relationships, and provide feedback in the form of ratings and commentary," Mr. Frank said. "Emerging technologies will give marketers even more opportunities to learn about their audiences than ever before."

Knowing what consumers want isn’t the same as knowing what they value. Prescriptive analytics recommends what buyers should pay and sellers should charge. This appears in bot technologies that are scanning websites and using artificial intelligence to optimize bids and offers.

"Soon, bots will be haggling with bots," Mr. Frank said. "Bots, like search engines, will soon learn to reflect their users’ preferences, and winning vendors will learn to read those reflections and optimize their offerings in response."

Mr. Frank said GDPR and blockchain are two of the hottest buzzwords in digital marketing today. He said their combined hype has led to speculation that perhaps blockchain holds the keys to replacing walled-garden-based identity, profile and consent management systems with something more decentralized and consumer friendly.

"There are many reasons to doubt that blockchain can solve this entire problem, but the consent part – tracking transactions in which consumers give or withdraw permission to process their personal data – is a more tractable problem," Mr. Frank said.

"Consent is the new currency," Mr. Frank said. "Collecting and respecting consent will give us new insight into what customers are doing, across walled gardens, with them in control."

Great Plans Require Great Leaders

Gartner analysts said it’s important for leaders to exhibit traditional traits like business acumen, but balance them with soft skills, like communications.
"Leaders today must be inclusive to drive the change that is necessary for these tumultuous and exciting times," said Elizabeth Shaw, research director at Gartner. "Traditional change management is not going to get you the change you need to be successful. Instead of doing things to people; you must engage and permit people to be part of the process. The days of barking from an ivory tower are over."

Ms. Shaw pointed out that leaders are embracing employees and leading with intention. She said great leaders are purpose-driven.

"They’re taking bold steps to reinforce their vision and core values to drive impact beyond the barriers of traditional business to address polarization, shifting values and trust issues," Ms. Shaw said. "Courageous leadership is powerful during turbulent times."

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