disney

Digital gurus hail 'most exciting time' for online video

YouTube and Facebook, which between them boast 19 billion daily views worldwide, offer huge online platforms to video content producers but television is also entering the market.

Sky’s new TV service Sky Q includes an online video section, bringing together content from many digital creators, including Barcroft Media, Red Bull Media House and GoPro. And youth brand Vice recently announced that its first European linear TV channel, Viceland, would launch in September.

Disney+ steps in for families

When Disney announced that its eagerly awaited streaming service, Disney+, would launch in the UK and Western Europe in March no one knew that the service’s debut would coincide with a global pandemic keeping millions of people at home.

“With much of the UK looking for entertainment while they are stuck at home, Disney+ is likely to be a big hit,” said Shiv Pabari, director of media and entertainment at Simon-Kucher & Partners. “Families, in particular, will be excited by the content offered.”

Rupert Murdoch's secret battle with Downing Street

Simon McBurney as Rupert Murdoch in The Loudest Voice (Credit: Sky)

During these past 12 months Rupert Murdoch has been only half the man in the UK he used to be. But that’s only by one measure – Ofcom’s “share of references”, which calculates which news sources are consumed across different media. It was a year ago, in September 2018, that the then 87-year-old’s long association with Sky came to an end.

Will 5G change TV?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (Credit: Warner Bros)

Chicago and Minneapolis may not seem like the homes of cutting­edge technology but, on 3 April, they became the world’s first two cities with commercial 5G mobile services serving 5G-enabled smartphones.

The service was launched by US carrier Verizon, keen to beat several Korean rivals to the bragging rights for commercialising 5G first, if only by a few hours.

What Comcast's purchase of Sky means for the future of the pay-TV platform

Riviera (Credit: Sky)

It’s official. Sky, the leading pay-TV platform in the UK, is no longer a Murdoch company. The man most closely identified with the launch and development of the film and footie satellite giant, Rupert Murdoch, signalled his departure late last year, when his 21st Century Fox media behemoth agreed to sell most of its pay-TV and Hollywood studio assets, including a 39% stake in Sky, to Disney for $71bn.

Fox clearly preferred the Mouse to a competing approach from US cable and broadcast combo Comcast.

Paloma Faith stars in Disney's new 101 Dalmatian Street series

101 Dalmatian Street (Credit: Disney)

Set in 21st century London in the borough of Camden, the comedy follows eldest siblings Dylan and Dolly, parents Douglas and Delilah and the 97 younger puppies.

Actor and comedian Ben Bailey Smith will voice Spencer Sausage Dog, the side-kick of Portia Poodle, voiced by the singer Paloma Faith.

“I’m voicing a poodle who is dark, intense has tons of attitude. She is pretty much the coolest pup in Camden Town and loves taking centre stage when drama happens,” said Paloma Faith of her new role.

Comcast and Disney vie for the Murdoch empire

(Credit: AP)

However it ends, the battle royal for the right to own most of the assets of 21st Century Fox, and all of Sky, reflects deep and significant trends in global media. The resolution (in favour of suitors Disney, Comcast or both) may end up being less important than what the outcome tells us about market dynamics.

This battle is about the response of legacy media to accelerating shifts in consumer behaviour and to the threats posed by the big digital disruptors. In a market where content and distribution are increasingly intermingled and global, size unlocks the prize.

Disney's new kids series promises pure magic

The pair are among a talented roster of British talent who will feature in new animated comedy series, Sadie Sparks.

Launching on the Disney Channel in early 2019, the show follows 14-year-old Sadie, who finds out she has magical abilities and becomes a wizard in training – under the guidance of a very old, very grumpy rabbit Gilbert (Hound), who has been sent to help her harness her skills.

Content wins in battle of sale versus scale

From left: Mike Darcey, Kate Bulkley, Matthew Garrahan, Mathew Horsman and Tim Hincks (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)
The genesis of the event, “Sale or scale”, lay in 21st Century Fox boss James Murdoch’s comments at last year’s RTS Cambridge Convention on the benefits of size: “Scale buys confidence to invest strategically and take risks, and supports the development of new technologies and innovation.”