THE DAILY STAR/AFP: Facebook newspaper spells trouble for media
WASHINGTON: Facebook’s move to fulfil its ambition to be the personal “newspaper” for its billion-plus members is likely to mean more woes for the ailing news media. The huge social network has become a key source of news for many users, as part of a dramatic shift in how people get information in the digital age. Company founder Mark Zuckerberg told a forum in early November that his goal is to make Facebook’s newsfeed “the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world.” Zuckerberg said that while a newspaper provides the same information to every reader, Facebook can tailor its feed to the interests of the individual, delivering a mix of world news, community events and updates about friends or family. “It’s a different approach to newspapering,” said Ken Paulson, a former editor of USA Today who is now dean of communications at Middle Tennessee State University. “It’s neither good nor bad, but it’s something a traditional newspaper can’t do.” With Facebook, editorial decisions about what members see are made not by a journalist, but an algorithm that determines which items are likely to be of greatest interest to each person.
VARIETY: China’s BesTV and Oriental Pearl merge to create new media giant
Shanghai Media Group, a Chinese state-controlled conglomerate, has merged two of its listed subsidiaries to form a new group, that it claims will be the largest Internet media conglomerate in China. SMG is one of largest media and entertainment conglomerates in China and last week announced an expansion of its relationship with Disney. SMG is merging Internet TV service operator BesTV New Media and Shanghai Oriental Pearl. Shares in the new BesTV entity began trading Monday on the Shanghai stock exchange. BesTV expects to raise additional capital of up to $1.63 billion (RMB10 billion) through a private share placing, with half of the proceeds going into expansion of its Internet-based TV businesses.
THE NEW YORK TIMES: With Hunger Games campaigns, Lionsgate punches above its weight
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — With its cutting-edge social-media campaigns for “The Hunger Games,” the tiny 27-person marketing department at Lionsgate has become a model for Hollywood’s legacy studios: scrappy, thrifty, forward-thinking. But is the “Lionsgate way” even possible for the old guard to replicate? “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” the third movie in the post apocalyptic series, sold an estimated $123 million in tickets at North American theaters over the weekend. It was by far the biggest opening since last November, when Lionsgate released “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” taking in $158.1 million on the way to a global total of $864.9 million. Perhaps more impressively, given the constant discussion in Hollywood about reducing promotional costs, Lionsgate spent roughly $50 million to market “Mockingjay” in the United States and Canada. Hollywood’s six major studios, each of which operates a domestic marketing department at least three times the size of Lionsgate’s, routinely spend $100 million to release a major movie in North America.