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We hope you like our new look website which includes the option to self publish your news and diary events. We shall keep adding to it over the coming days and weeks, and look forward to hearing your feedback.

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Latest news from The Drum

5 Ways Netflix plotted its media dominance and changed TV habits
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Netflix's rise to the top of the pile has made it synonymous with TV viewing to the extent its globe-trekking growth seems irrepressible.

The firm, founded in 1997 as a DVD mailing company, has pivoted from its roots, now delivering content directly to consumers across a plethora of devices. It's meteoric rise, cemented by acquiring - or creating - those must-see shows which are now the staple of water-cooler discussions in atypical offices, has secured Netflix as a household name.

Original shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil and Marco Polo are mass consumed across the world - with Netflix aiming to be available in colossal 200 markets by 2016.

There are five factors behind this push.

1. Its original, uninterrupted content

Simply put, Netflix creates premium content .

Detaching its shows from the week-to-week scrutiny of viewing figure peaks and troughs by releasing its series' in bulk proved to be a masterclass.

Its shows are less susceptible to focus groups and viewer whims known to kill, dumb down or alter traditional TV content - empowering creators to see out their vision while taking criticism on-board for following series, it's the bigger picture that counts - 'how many people viewed the whole season?'

The shows focus on taking viewers to new environments, Orange is the New Black (a chaotic female prison), House of Cards (West Wing with bastards), and Lillehammer (Cosa Nostra in Norway...), Netflix also transferred the TV binge from physical media, such as DVD boxsets, to the digital realm.

Netflix's viewers don't have to wait a week for their favourite show (looking at you here HBO), seasons are often consumed in a single day - thus changing viewing habits.

High quality, ad free content, viewable across an array of devices at the convenience of viewers made Netflix the obvious choice for many.

2. Widely accessible online worldwide

The streaming service is available in around 81 markets and territories, it's easily accessed online, requiring only a subscription, a so-so broadband connection and a desktop, smartphone, tablet or smartTV device.

Underlining its dominance in the United States, Netflix accounted for over a third of downstream traffic during peak hours in the US in 2014. Meanwhile its nearest rival YouTube followed with just over 14 per cent of the market. 

And it's looking to replicate this model in the world's biggest market,China, talking to potential partners, including Alibaba and Wasu Media Holding to distribute its shows to the country's 4bn citizens – with the knowledge that Chinese audiences just can’t get enough of House of Cards.

3. The ‘Netflix model’ is hurting traditional satellite TV providers

A basic Netflix subscription costs a mere £5.99 a month. It can be cancelled at a moment’s notice and can be accessed on-the-move.

It's proving to be a major threat to Pay TV providers who have traditionally roped consumers into lengthy, cumbersome packages.

Many predict Netflix has delivered a killing blow to traditional TV broadcasting. Chief executive Reed Hastings famously said that “The age of broadcast TV will probably last until 2030,” adding it is “kind of like the horse, you know, the horse was good until we had the car”.

Just last month, Re/code analyst Michael Nathanson estimated that the 10bn hours of video streamed via Netflix last quarter may be responsible for the US networks' 43 per cent ratings decline.

4. It has a clear strategy to monetise pirates

As a disruptive force, a young Netflix had a lot to prove to get TV pirates to part with their cash.

Back in 2013, the firm admitted it uses sites like the Pirate Bay to determine what content is popular and worth licensing from developers and producers.

Rather than condemning those illegally downloading their favourite shows, Netflix head Hastings famously said can “create the demand” for content, instead marketing the firm as an easier alternative to torrent sites.

He said: “Netflix is so much easier than torrenting. You don’t have to deal with files, you don’t have to download them and move them around. You just click and watch.”

5. It wants to make its content global

Much like House of Card's Frank Underwood, Netflix is plotting world domination.

Currently, Netflix licences its content geographically, meaning what's available in one market could still be restricted in another. As a result, tens of millions of viewers regularly use VPNs and proxy networks to bluff their web addresses to open up new content libraries, especially in nations where Netflix hasn't launched.

The company estimates that it has over 30m paid subscribers in regions in non-Netflix regions, with an estimated 20 million coming from China.

Hastings said: "The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to [use a VPN]."

Increasingly, users will no longer have to access VPN's to see top shows, Netflix is keen to remove that final hurdle. As the firm expands its geographical coverage and the reach of its content, it's likely we won't stop binging Netflix shows any time in the near future.

Missing People enlists social media celebs to reunite families with #TheBigTweet
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

A number of celebrities are helping push a charity's push to find missing people in the UK.

The group, called Missing People, is today (Monday 25 May) tweeting an appeal for a missing child every half an hour for 24 hours, backed by celebs such as JK Rowling, Simon Cowell, Martin Sheen and Katie Price.

Social media users are encouraged to share the tweets using #TheBigTweet hashtag in a bid to bring the missing home as a result of it being International Missing Children’s Day.

A number of celebrities already have helped to publicise the push.


AP reports that Stephen Fry said: "It is a very simple concept and there is simply no excuse not to get involved, by retweeting these appeals, we can all help extend the platform that might bring those children home.

"Circulating the details of these children through the social media site is such a simple, yet incredibly effective way to give the appeals as much coverage as possible.

"I was so impressed by how the world of Twitter responded last year - an incredible 58,000 retweets in one day. The result? Two missing children were found. Invaluable."

Check out the campaign at the @missingpeople handle or #TheBigTweet to get involved.

Tennent's 'The Wellpark' video shorts campaign marks shift from TV to online as strategy lead
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Tennent's, Scotland's best-selling lager brand, has long been one of the country's biggest advertisers, possessing a heavily coveted marketing account over the years for its big budget TV campaigns that would make national newspaper headlines for their creative ideas.

In recent years though, the brand has been absent from TV screens.

However, it's new marketing campaign, entitled 'The Wellpark' and developed mainly for online, might just be a glimpse into Tennent's future strategy as it turns to online video for the first time. 

Instagram resorts to emailed ‘Highlights’ to win back users
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Instagram has embraced email marketing to inform users what they are missing from their photo networks.

In a bid to drive engagement on the site, the photo-sharing service has started mailing a ‘Highlights’ reel to users, according to TechCrunch

The packages feature the best pics from users’ top followers and are being used to capture those drifting away from the service by letting them know what they are missing.

Instagram, which boasts 300m monthly users worldwide, has been fighting off competition from other photo apps and blogging sites. Offering an easy to unsubscribe to email is one of the techniques Instagram is implementing to ensure it stays on top of the competition.

In December the service overtook Twitter's userbase by reaching a total of 300m global monthly users – now seeing 70 million photos and videos uploaded every day.

Fifth Ring celebrates 11 wins in 2015 across Hermes Creative, BMA B2 and Global ACE awards
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Fifth Ring has announced it “is thrilled” with its performance this year after picking up four platinum honours at the Hermes Creative for corporate website; marketing video; annual report and internal communications campaign.

The global energy marketing communications agency also struck gold in four Hermes Creative categories where it was recognised for company branding; publication article; business to business website and trade show exhibit.

After winning 46 awards in the whole of 2014, the company also picked up accolades at the BMA B2 and Global ACE awards.

Ed Davis, general manager of Fifth Ring said: “We are thrilled with our number of award wins this year, and it is a testament to the hard work and talent of our teams.

“The awards come at an exciting time for the company as our offices in Houston and Singapore look to expand and these accolades highlight Fifth Ring’s integrated approach is successful in the global market."

This comes after the firm struck up a strategic partnership with Brazilian communications agency Zoom Out to target oil and gas-producing regions the world over earlier this month.

Adidas unveils X and Ace lines after scrapping its Predator football boots
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Adidas has launched two new football boot ranges after making the bold move of scrapping its main Predator line last week.

After canning the iconic F50, Predator, 11pro and Nitrocharge boots, Adidas has relaunched with the philosophy that there are only two types of footballer, those who utilise control and those who are fuelled by chaos.

On revealing the Adidas X and Ace boots (pictured left to right), Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola, said: “It's chaos or control. There are players who think more about what the team needs and what is the best solution for the team. This kind of player is an intelligent player who has a vision about what the team needs. He controls."

"Then there are the ones who cause chaos. The ones who play on instinct and on talent. They are a little outside of the field. They can create absolutely everything and you can't control that. You cannot limit that."

The Adidas branded boots will first appear in the Champions League Final in Berlin 6 June.

They will be available worldwide for purchase following the final 1 June.

Eurovision generates six million tweets with Graham Norton, Russia and Australia driving conversation
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

Early reports suggest last night's Eurovision Song Contest attracted around 6 million tweets from across Europe, and yes Australia.

The number is a modest increase on 2014's 5 million but is more impressive given this year's lack of stand out moments to drive conversation as Austria's bearded Conchita Wurst did in 2014.

The contest was won by Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw, who had long since been the bookies favourite. His song Heroes had an upbeat and contemporary sound but it was the elegant staging that set it apart and ultimately helped secure the victory. Russia came in second place with a powerful ballad that led the voting for much of the evening, followed by Italy and an unexpectedly successful Belgium.

In honour of the contest's 60th year, longtime fans Australia were allowed to enter and came a respectable fifth, picking up a solid 10 points from the UK but sadly not repaying the favour - Electro Velvet finished 24th with five points. Germany & Austria came joint last on nil points, the latter being the worst performance by a host nation in living memory.

Analysis by Crimson Hexagon reveals that this year's conversations focussed more on the surroundings of the show than the acts themselves: fancy dress, food & drink, and scorecards were the biggest conversation starters, whilst UK commentator Graham Norton also made their list. UK viewers dominated the conversation with London alone representing a third of chatter, whilst despite airing at 6am down under Sydney was the second biggest, followed by Paris & Madrid.

Whilst Twitter represented over 70 per cent of the publicly visible noise (Facebook posts are typically private and harder to identify), 28 per cent of conversations took place on Tumblr where popular posts where shared as many as 40k times. Russia proved a popular talking point, with its attitude towards homosexuality something of a shadow over their entry, and of course humour played a big part too, not least as Europe tried to rationalise Australia's involvement.

First Great Western issues apology for "shocking and callous" on train announcements following fatality
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

First Great Western has been forced to apologise after an employee announced delays on a train to Plymouth were caused because someone "couldn't be bothered to live anymore". 

Esmee Phillips complained to the rail company about the "shocking and callous" announcements which she says left passengers "completely open-mouthed".

First Great Western has since apologised for "any distressed caused" by Friday's announcements which occurred when a man was killed on the line between Slough and Reading. 

Phillips said passengers on the train headed for Plymouth "cringed" at what they heard. 

"It was shocking as it was said in a very callous and tasteless way, especially as you don't know what personal experiences other passengers have gone through," she said.

A spokesperson for First Great Western told the press: "We expect high standards from our onboard teams, who are trained to make clear announcements about delays. When this involves a fatality this should be done with sensitivity and care. We're sorry for any distress caused to customers and can confirm that this incident is under investigation." 

Jay Young, who was also travelling on Friday, added the announcements made people in his carriage "gasp". 

Ad of the Day: Cadbury - Discover the joy of Puddles
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

A purple stuffed duck called Duckie has stolen our hearts and scooped today's ad of the day title. 

Introducing Cadbury's Dairy Milk Puddles, a new soft-centred chocolate, the minute-long spot sees Duckie bearing the brunt of the elements tied to the front of a lorry. 

As the sun breaks through Duckie brightens as the puddles on the ground reflect the beauty in the world…much like this Bank Holiday's weather. 

Advertising Agency: Fallon, London, UK
Executive Creative Director: Nick Bell
Creatives: Rob Spicer, Adam Griffin
Production Company: Academy Films
Producer: Tracy Stokes

Brands, celebrities and more come out in support of Ireland's historic #MarRef result
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

Brands, celebrities and, um, God have tweeted their support as Ireland becomes the first country to legalise marriage equality following a referendum vote.

With the highest voter turnout in over two decades ballots from 43 constituencies revealed over 60 per cent of voters were in favour of gay marriage.

Ireland's equality minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin kicked things off tweeting: "Ireland hasn't just said "Yes"…Ireland has said: "F*CK YEAAHHHH". A tweet that has now been retweeted more than 12,000 times and favourites nearly by nearly 10,000 Twitter users.

Paddy Power, Ben & Jerry's and Innocent all tweeted their support with the bookmaker joking that Ireland had next year's Eurovision entry "wrapped up" following the vote.


Entrepreneur Richard Branson said it was "great to see the people of Ireland voting to live in a country where everyone is treated equally" and author JK Rowling called the result "extraordinary and wonderful."

Prominent figures in the LGBT community Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres and Ricky Martin voiced their support for the result with Fry tweeting: "The sanctity of marriage has been upheld."


Media owner Vice offered its congratulations to Ireland.

And as a double rainbow appeared over Dublin city centre an account purporting to be 'The Tweet of God' said the vision was clear indication of his feelings about the result.