The past few days have broadened the definition of a media company. Stop for a moment and try to make a list of media businesses like TV, radio, print, performances (huh?), programming (huh? aren't TV and radio programming?), social media (huh? they ain't really media, are they?), etc. It seems media has blossomed into a whole bunch of things -- making it kind of hard to define "media" anymore.
There's broadcast TV, satellite TV, over-the-airhead TV, taped TV, streamed TV, DVR TV, pirated TV, local TV, not-so-local TV, cable TV, DVD-TV, digital TV, smartphone TV, digital camera TV, peep-hole TV and, oh yeah, live TV! Not to mention YouTube TV.
Now think of the changes announced in the last few days:
AT&T's DirecTV is going to be distributed via Verizon's FiOS … not to mention every other retail distributor of Internet access. That, of course, includes Comcast and Xfinity. (An aside: We're taking bets for guessing the day Xfinity announces universal program distribution, too. So far, April 1 leads but I'd pick March 15, the Ides of March. An aside on the aside: Will Xfinity packages compete against linear Xfinity on Comcast cable systems? That would be a new kind of Comcastic.)
Facebook is bidding for NFL streaming rights … against, among others, CBS.
Amazon is streaming live linear fashionista content aimed at online, real time shoppers.
Verifey Media Pro Camera is a new London-based business (with app) that aggregates live eyewitness video "news" content from on-the-scene amateurs, verifies it and then markets it to mainstream (or lame-stream) news outlets.
Podcasting (or, what might be called targeted long-form radio) is growing exponentially.
ESPN is "open" to exploring direct subscriptions via whatever.
Somebody warn Matt Blank, but CBS says Showtime could be a skinny service.
One stealth company with ties in the tech world is working on creating a media service data-tracking the Internet of Things. (Does privacy count anymore?)
CenturyLink will create OTT services aimed at Millennials outside its Prism TV footprint.
New Day (the first UK newspaper launch in 30 years) debuted February 29 as a print-only paper. I'm not certain how many digital-only blogs or newswires started on the same day, but I'll bet it was more than one … especially covering the new standard in low-ball Presidential politics.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
So, what's "media"? All of the above, and more. Much, much more.
A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about governments around the world and relationships vis a vis media companies. Or, rather, we wrote about the various manifestations of governmental pressure on media businesses.
Naturally, a few more days brought more pressures. Turkey's government, acting in spite of the country's constitution, confiscated the nation's largest daily newspapers, the English language Zaman Today and its parent the Turkish language Zaman. The opposition papers shut down for a couple days and then reappeared as mouthpieces of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
But, hey, we've got the 1st Amendment. Nothing to worry about, right?
Well, let's not forget what one of our major political parties did after CNBC's reporters moderating a debate of Presidential candidates asked too many "hard questions" -- they shut that network and parent NBCU out of doing any other debates. Not quite censorship per se. Yet.
I'll be absent for a couple of weeks. I'm getting a new left knee!
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