November 6, 2013Soprano Jayne Casselman and pianist Dr. Lynne Haeseler conducted a Choral and Vocal Workshop at Arcosanti on October 19. 2013. The workshop centered on the discovery of interaction between space and voice in Arcosanti’s unique architecture and environment.[photos by Sue Kirsch]Workshop participants are going to participate in a Flash Mob Choir at You can also join pianist Lynne Haeseler, soprano Jayne Casselman and architect Jeff Stein for a unique concert experience in the intimate setting of the Marshall | LeKAE Art gallery in downtown Scottsdale. Part of an ongoing soiree series at the gallery, this performance explores the parallels between music, architecture and the ideas of artist, author and architect Paolo Soleri. Concertgoers are invited to stay afterward for a wine & cheese reception with the performers and enjoyment of the gallery’s current exhibits.Arias, Architecture and Soleriat the Marshal-Lekae Gallery in Scottsdale, AZFriday, November 15th, 2013 7 p.m.Lynne HaeselerPianist Dr. Lynne Haeseler is a collaborative and versatile artist who has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist, accompanist and dance pianist. Influenced by dance theater, she uses movement, lighting, visual effects and spoken word in her own piano performances. Creator and director of the Mysterium series, an ongoing cycle of contemplative sunset concerts, she also directs the Soiree series at Marshall-LeKae Art Gallery in Scottsdale. Her work is to inspire through music and creativity, by teaching, performing and staging events. She continues to create contexts for this inspiration to occur.Jayne CasselmanSoprano Jayne Casselman, began her career at the Kansas City Lyric Opera before moving to Germany and the opera houses of Kaiserslautern, Kassel, Dortmund and Mannheim. Her repetoire includes over 60 roles, and in 2009 she founded her own theater, Kulturhof Huthmacher in Dierbach, Germany. She received the Distinguished Artists Award in Philadelphia and was nominated Singer of the Year by the Opernwelt in Budapest. In the US she has done Master Classes and Recitals at ASU, the University of Arizona, and Glendale Community College. Currently Jayne collaborates with pianist Dr. Lynne Haeseler in an art song recital series at the Marshall-LeKae Gallery in Scottsdale, and teaches Applied Voice at Yavapai College.
The “increased significance of TV content” helped boost A1 Telekom Austria’s performance in 2018, along with resilience in its fixed-line business and growth in solutions and connectivity.A1 also saw strong growth in demand for mobile WiFi routers, in some cases substituting for fixed broadband.The company said that TV content and solutions and connectivity would “an important element” in driving demand for fixed-line services this year.A1’s pay TV base in Austria grew by 5.4% year-on-year to 313,000, up 5,000 on the previous quarter. Fixed broadband numbers dipped slightly over the same period, down 0.9% to 1.439 million. Landline phone customers were also down, taking fixed revenue-generating units down by 1.9% to 3.278 million.The company said that demand for TV options continued to be strong and that its converged fixed and mobile offering, with a hybrid fixed and mobile router, was driving growth.However, said the company, domestic fixed line revenues fell by 2.8%, with stronger demand for TV failing to offset a decline in voice revenues.In Bulgaria, where A1 owns the former Blizoo cable network, pay TV numbers were up by 4.6% to 507,500, while fixed broadband numbers were up 3.1% to 448,300. The company said that sports TV channels with exclusive content had underpinned growth in this market, helping to drive up revenue-generating unit numbers and average revenue per line.In Croatia, where A1 owns the former Vipnet cable network, pay TV numbers were up 8.7% to 229,300, while broadband subscribers grew by 1.6% to 254,000. The company said that a new sports TV package launched in June had helped fuel growth in a market where the focus is increasingly on bundled offerings and convergence. It said that growth in TV had helped boost fixed revenues despite a shift from fixed broadband to mobile WiFi routers.In neighbouring Slovenia, where A1 owns the former Amis cable network, pay TV numbers grew 6.4% to 60,200. Broadband subscribers were up 4.8% to 73,700.In Macedonia, A1’s local subsidiary grew its pay TV base by 4.8% to 128,800, while its broadband base grew by 14.8% to 131,600.In Belarus, pay TV numbers were up 64.1% to 408,100, while broadband numbers grew by 16.4% to 246,700.
Recent months have seen a plethora of mega-media deals on boardroom tables. No doubt more will be coming, but not all will work out. All this buying and selling looks on the face of it to be about one thing: that bigger is better. But is the calculus as simple as size wins?Look at the recently tanked deal of Danish telco TDC buying the entertainment assets of Sweden’s Modern Times Group (MTG). Lauded as creating the “ﬁrst truly convergent media and communications provider in Eu-rope”, the deal was unceremoniously dumped only a few days after it was announced. The reason? TDC received a sweetened takeover offer from a consortium led by infrastructure group Macquarie and the latter was wholly uninterested in the MTG assets, which by their very nature are riskier than the cash ﬂow to be reaped from relatively predictable tele-coms infrastructure.Has TDC missed an opportunity? Perhaps. There’s no doubt that MTG – or parts of it – will still be very much in play, given that major shareholder Kinnevik is facing a TV concen-tration issue following the merger of Tele2 and Com Hem. Perhaps MTGx, the group’s high-growth business, including online busi-nesses and eSports, could be spun off.The failure of the TDC-MTG deal doesn’t cloud the overriding view in media that scale matters and that ownership of content assets is a key differentiator.Look at the continued moves by Liberty Global to work with Vodafone in markets around Europe. Liberty is looking to sell “over-lapping assets” in markets where the two players both operate, namely Germany, where Vodafone already owns Kabel Deutschland. Scale matters.And look at Telefónica, which has seen its video ARPU grow 8% in 2017 off the back of its investment in content – including original commissions like La Peste, which helped drive viewing to its on-demand platform. Content and especially content that appeals to local tastes, is going to be increasingly important to drive attention and audiences to any service, be it a triple-play communications provider or a local broadcaster.Indeed, in a world where Google, Amazon and Facebook are increasingly focused on vid-eo, it is no wonder that scale appeals. The big legacy media players are facing ambitious and deep-pocketed tech companies that are com-ing to eat – or at the least eat into – their lunch.Christmas 2017 produced the shocking news that media’s consummate mogul Ru-pert Murdoch was throwing in the towel and selling the bulk of the 21st Century Fox enter-tainment business to Disney. He may be in his 80s but Murdoch is still very much with it. His view is that the big tech giants are best fought by joining forces with a bigger player.“From a strategic point of view, this is the right time to sell,” Murdoch told reporters and analysts when the deal was announced. “We are living in an age of disruption.”The US$66billion (˜54 billion) deal will see the Fox movie studio, television produc-tions, and international businesses, including Star TV in Asia and Sky in Europe, go to Dis-ney. Disney’s ambitions in over the top servic-es – and its majority ownership of BamTech which gives it control over its OTT technolo-gy – combined with Fox’s content, its stake in Sky Europe and ownership of Star TV should help propel the new Disney-Fox combo to build out alternatives to Netﬂix and Amazon services much faster. OTT is key to future growth as the appetite for SVOD services con-tinues to grow.The demand for premium episodic drama series has gone through the roof, driven by the growing appetite of the big tech platforms for stand-out series that will raise their visibil-ity among potential subscribers and as Face-book and YouTube up their video ambitions, among advertisers as well.Meanwhile, HBO is thinking more inter-nationally about both HBO Go, it’s OTT offer, and about its content, while Netﬂix and Ama-zon are also ramping up commissioning that appeals to local tastes. The likes of HBO, and producers and distributors from Fremantle-Media to the BBC are all having to move more quickly – and greenlight projects faster – as the competition for A-list talent grows.Not to say that there aren’t partnerships to be struck between the tech giants and the leg-acy media companies with both broadcasters and platforms co-commissioning with Netﬂix and Amazon. It’s not a zero sum game. At least not at the moment. But Disney, which has pledged to no longer sell its content to Netﬂix, is clear that building its own scale business is key to thriving going forward.Meanwhile HBO parent company Time Warner is also part of the scale-play land-grab, having agreed last year to be bought by tele-com giant AT&T. The combination of big telco AT&T and big media company Time Warner has an increasingly familiar ring. The scale-play, including vertical integration of distri-bution and content assets, is now considered the sine qua non of survival in the “disrupted’ media landscape.
Channel operators are becoming less reliant on single sources of revenue. Flexibility is key as the number of distribution networks and video consumption on the internet grows.A+E Networks’ Pawn Stars Channel providers are increasingly looking to diversify their revenue streams, for example by developing advertising businesses, mixing channel distribution with the sale of rights to other channels, licensing and merchandising of associated products and ‘going over the top’ direct to consumers.For many channel providers the traditional business of selling channels to platform operator for a per subscriber carriage fee still offers plenty of room for growth.“Our current revenue model is designed to provide all stakeholders – us as the channel, the platform and the customer – with the best possible scenario. As this is probably the best option for the premium pay TV market, at this moment we are not contemplating any change,” says Neeraj Arora, executive vice-president and head of international business, Sony Entertainment Network.Most of our competitors come from a particular media, like pay TV, where it is harder to adapt to new technologies. Gregory DorcelThe reliance of most pay TV broadcasters on the tried and tested model of selling a channel to an established distributor for a carriage fee is founded on the fact that it continues to work. Despite all the discussion, particularly in the US, of cord-cutting and migration to web-based services, the fact remains that much of the world still receives analogue TV via traditional distribution systems.According to Bruce Tuchman, president of MGM Networks, the company is focused on increasing the penetration of MGM channels both in existing markets and new ones. The MGM Channel most recently launched (as an HD-only service) in Canada and is present in a number of markets around the world. “We have subscription VOD associated with the channel in many countries and we are also on multiple devices but with all that said, the subscription TV business is booming. It’s going very well and it’s still that linear channel business model that is overwhelmingly the source of revenue for all players [in the market].”Despite the ongoing debate in the US about the impact of cord-cutting on pay TV revenues, Tuchman points out that in many international markets, analogue TV still accounts for the vast majority of viewing. This is doubly true in high-growth emerging markets, where a burgeoning middle class is hungry for subscription TV. “For many international markets it will be a while before there is an inflexion point,” he says. “Whether it’s linear or on-demand, it’s all about giving the customer what they want. The important thing about this business and the thing I’m optimistic about is that a consumer will pay a subscription to receive a premium product. Sometimes it could be supplemented by advertising but the sales model will endure.”Unlike many international channel operators, France 24 is publically funded and therefore susceptible to budget restrictions. The news broadcaster is therefore making a concerted effort to increase revenue from alternative sources.From launch, the strategy for France 24 was to offer the channel free of charge in basic pay TV packages in order to give it maximum exposure. However, as Frank Melloul, France 24’s head of strategy, development and public affairs, explains, there are certain markets where it makes sense to offer the English language version of the channel free of charge, while making the French language version available on an à la carte basis with revenues split with the operator. “This responds to a general trend that shows that niche channels are not helping operators to reduce churn,” says Melloul. “However, these channels can be positioned as premium content to help operators increase ARPU.”Melloul points out that France 24’s French feed in Hong Kong is generating “significant and sustainable” revenue, with more than three thousand households paying for the channel six months after it launched .Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has started to see some potential in launching free-to-air in some European markets. The company, which operates a portfolio of channels covering music (MTV, VH1, Viva), kids (Nickelodeon) and entertainment (Comedy Channel, Colors, BET, TR3S), has traditionally partnered with pay TV operators but according to Bob Bakish, president of VIMN, any move into the free-to-air space is dependant on the nuances of individual markets: “The great thing about multichannel, and this was especially true early on, is the advertising and affiliate revenue. It is a different mix depending on the country and the market because some grew up in free-to-air and some are traditionally more affiliate fee driven. In Spain for example there has been an explosion in the growth of multichannel and digital terrestrial. We launched [Nickelodeon] on DTT just over a year ago and DTT does provide a different opportunity. We don’t have a strategy to become free-to-air everywhere, but it does provide us with an opportunity.”As an adult video content provider, Marc Dorcel’s business model is ingrained in paid-for services – the company doesn’t receive any revenue from advertising. But as a company that isn’t reliant on traditional pay TV carriage deals, it has established various ways for people to access its aggregated content. According to managing director Gregory Dorcel, the company’s goal is to distribute content “by any means, on any device, all over the world”. Marc Dorcel has a presence on linear TV as well as transactional and subscription VOD platforms across cable, satellite and IPTV platforms. It also has a well-developed multiplatform strategy covering smart TVs, pay websites, smartphones and tablets. The business model is paying off – in the last six years Marc Dorcel’s turnover has increased by 250%. “We always focus on the development of new technologies and new platforms to carry our content in the best way. Most of our competitors come from a particular media, like pay TV, where it is harder to adapt to new technologies,” says Dorcel.Financially, the company is doing well and Dorcel claims it has seen little impact from the weak economic environment in EMEA. The biggest challenge, he says, comes from piracy: “We have been subjected to piracy like many entertainment companies. The entire content industry is losing billions [of dollars] but only internet providers and governments can stop the pirates.”Ad revenueFor most channel providers, the main supplement to carriage fee revenue is advertising. Pay TV advertising remains something of a poor relation in advanced markets, with pay TV broadcasters maintaining that it still does not get a share of the pie that reflects its growing share of the audience.Sean Cohan, senior vice-president A+E Networks International says that pay TV generally doesn’t attract the amount of ad money that it deserves, especially for channels that attract large audiences. He says there is a case for educating advertisers in order to drive ad revenue to A+E’s portfolio of channels and to the wider pay TV market. Despite that, he says existing distribution models remain core.There are some signs that this is changing however. Marcin Boroszko, managing director of Liberty Global-owned, Poland-based pay TV ad sales company At Media, which represents a number of international channel providers in three central European territories, believes that cable and satellite channels – at least in the markets in which At Media is active (Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic) – are set to benefit from a virtuous cycle of growing audience share, increasing purchasing power for highly valued international content and further fragmentation of the audience as a result of digitisation. This, says Boroszko, will enable them to grow their advertising business at the expense of national free-to-air broadcasters.Cable channels, says Boroszko, are now focusing much more than before on analysing viewership data and on feeding that analysis into programming and scheduling decisions. International channel providers are increasingly scheduling on a territory-by-territory basis in order to grow their viewing share. “The next step is that if we see that the future is about growing viewership you need to invest in local programming,” he says.In addition to local programming, however, international thematic channel providers have an advantage over national broadcasters because they can buy rights to prime content on a multiple territory basis. National channels, faced with a declining share of viewing and growing content acquisition costs, will struggle to maintain their position, he argues.New platformsDespite the growth of multiscreen services delivering content to various connected devices, new platforms have yet to prove their worth in terms of delivering revenue.Nevertheless, some channel providers have gone much further in evolving the business beyond the traditional distributor carriage fee model. Turner, which operates a number of channels in the European market including CNN Europe, kids networks Cartoon Network, pre-school channel Boing and most recently Cartoonito, and entertainment networks TCM and TNT, now sees a significant divergence between the US, where the business is still predominantly affiliate fee-based, and Europe, where it operates a mix of pay and free TV channels and has seen significant growth in licensing and merchandising revenue and other traditionally non-core activities.Casey Harwood, senior vice-president, Turner Europe, says that over the last year his company in Europe has looked at a number of ways to expand its business, including the launch of general entertainment channels such as TNT (already available in Germany, Spain, the Nordic market and Turkey, in the latter case as a free-to-air channel with its own terrestrial frequency) and truTV. However, in the case of general entertainment channels, says Harwood, rights issues tend to be more complex so such channels are likely to be rolled out on a market-by-market basis, as has been the case with TNT.In the kids genre especially, however, the opportunities to earn revenue from activities not directly related to the TV channel are considerable – notably through licensing and merchandising of toys and games. In markets where pay TV penetration is relatively low, such as Spain, this lets Turner drive brand awareness of particular kids shows to a wider audience than can see the show. “We can get into businesses such as consumer products while looking for windows for content outside of pay TV,” says Harwood. “Our pay TV business is still a large part of what we can do but we have also been rolling out free-to-air channels under the Boing brand, and we are much more active in windowing of content with third-party channels where that makes sense.”From such initiatives (and additional areas including games), Turner has built a business that rests on a number of different but interrelated revenue streams – principally subscriptions, merchandising and advertising.Another kids channel, KidsCo, has developed a solid base of carriage deals across the globe since it launched in 2007. According to global CEO and founder Paul Robinson, the time is now right to start thinking about diversifying revenue streams by embracing advertising and sponsorship deals. But, he warns, kids channels in particular have to tread a fine line to ensure the brand is not adversely affected. “As we grow our distribution, advertising becomes more of an opportunity but we are going to be very careful to adhere to Ofcom guidelines globally and to limit the amount of ad minutes on air,” says Robinson. “You are not going to see anywhere near the volume you have on competitor channels. We think that’s important as part of the safe environment for kids that KidsCo promotes.”KidsCo has ad deals in place in some markets, including Turkey and Singapore, and while Robinson sees it as a “big opportunity” he is wary of how it will be perceived by various parties. “You have to be careful not just because of the sensitivities relating to children but you also have to be careful about how much advertising you have on a pay TV channel.”Merchandise is another area of revenue generation that KidsCo is eyeing. With the number of original productions growing (it has already aired home grown series Boo and Me and The Beach Crew and is planning to launch another two titles in 2012), so too does the potential for merchandise sales. It has already experimented with Boo and Me plush toys, which are available to buy on Malaysia Airlines flights in a nod to the fact that the series was a Malaysian co-production (and available to view on flights). “It was a nice start and shows us the potential. Further down the line, if we can make these original productions successful there’s definitely a market for licensing,” says Robinson. But, he admits, “you don’t pick up major toy or DVD licences until you’ve proven the show is popular and successful.”