Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Morning Brief: Media industry records first revenue gains since 2007; Apple begins selling the iPhone 4 unlocked; Media picks debate winners, why bother watching?

Another study, this one from Pricewaterhouse Cooper, shows that last year overall media industry revenue grew 3.1 percent, the first growth in media revenue since 2007. The study, reported by Bloomberg last night, also predicted a similar level of gain, 3.5 percent, for this year.

Not surprisingly, digital products recorded the lion's share of the growth.

AdWeek explored the same report and says that the good revenue news is tempered by bad news for the magazine business saying that "underlying weakness in circulation will prevent publishers from growing print advertising at more than a modest pace."

Yesterday Kantar Media reported that the industry recorded a 4.4 percent increase in advertising revenue in the first quarter of this year. It also said, however, that the newspaper industry continues to lag behind, down 2.1 percent from a year ago.

Apple began offering its iPhone 4 for sale on its website in an unlocked state. Because the price of the phone is not subsidized by a carrier, the prices start at $649. Also, the phones will only work on GSM cellular networks, so Verizon customers are out of luck, though rumors are that the next generation of iPhone may be a 'world phone'.

Apple has been selling unlocked iPhones overseas for a while, but this is a first for the US market. But because the price is so high, it is unlikely that many will leap at the chance at buying an unlocked phone.

But, if you are a regular traveller to Europe, this may definitely be the way to go.

I will admit, I did not watch last night's GOP debate on CNN. Bachmann, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Cain, Santorum, Paul, Romney – isn't this the normal Fox News line-up?

But it hardly matters if you watched, the media will tell you who "won" and who "lost". Your own understanding of the facts and your positions really are irrelevant to the media, rather than report, they now see their job as to evaluate.

The Christian Science Monitor says Romney and Bachmann did well, while USA Today said the "GOP debate served up Muslim fears and pizza picks" – must have been a wonderful night.

As for ratings, well no one seems to be reporting those. But seeing as the debate was on CNN, not Fox News, it is likely that the normal audience for watching this crew would have bene confused – isn't CNN part of the evil empire?