Monthly Archives: March 2013

Why Hollywood Studios Need to Learn Chinese

The Wrap Movies
February 21, 2013

For the last few years, Hollywood has sharpened its focus on releasing English-language movies in China, one of the world’s fastest growing film markets. But that may not be enough.

In the next few years, they may want to make the movies in Mandarin as well.

A pair of recent releases co-produced by Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, a subsidiary of Village Roadshow Limited focused on Chinese-language movies, show why language may matter more than ever.

Its first effort, fantasy-action comedy “Journey to the West: Conquering Demons,” from “Kung Fu Hustle” actor-director Stephen Chow, earned more on one day — ironically, Valentine’s Day — than any other movie on any day in Chinese history, grossing 122 million reminbi ($19.6 million). It also has also become the fastest film to reach $100 million in its homeland.

And VRPA’s second film, ”Say Yes!,” a Chinese-language remake of a TV drama, set a new record for a romance film opening on Valentine’s Day, which this year coincided with Chinese New Year, earning $7.5 million.

Also Read: China Can Be a Gold Mine for Hollywood, But…

Together, the two films accounted for 85 percent of the box-office grosses on the Hallmark holiday.

“This will be the largest indigenous market outside of English language movies in the U.S,” Greg Basser, CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, told TheWrap. “It’s still very immature, but we have a big familiarity with the region and a good brand in the region.”

They aren’t the only ones tapping into the market.

DreamWorks Animation has partnered with three Chinese companies to launch DreamWorks Oriental (logo to the right), which will be headquartered in Xuhui. It will make original Chinese-language films based on local stories, and the first original movie should arrive in 2017. (more…)

Why Can’t the Booming Hispanic Market Get Its Fair Share of Investment?

Paramount Market Publishing, Inc.
Re-Post March 2013
January 15, 2013

“If the [U.S.] Hispanic market were a nation, it would soon be the 11th largest economy in the world,” global CEO Sol Trujillo told the Wall Street Summit of 2010. That would place it on the list right near Russia, Canada and Australia.

PMP author Isabel Valdes
PMP contributing author Isabel Valdes

At that size, and with tremendous growth potential – the Hispanic market grew 43% in the last 10 years — how can this market still seem invisible so much of the time, failing to get the investment share and business priority it ought to have?

The answer lies in a seriously flawed system for gathering multicultural sales data. What multicultural market researcher experts call the “sales data undercount” is estimated at between 40% to 60% of the true volume of multicultural consumer sales, depending on the brand or product category.

How does this occur? Most consumer product and service companies gather all sorts of multicultural demographic, psychographic and behavioral data and have made great strides in marketing and advertising to these customers. However, tracking sales remains poor: What percentage of corporate sales and growth is generated by purchases of each of the different consumer groups: Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American and Asians?

Spanish is Second Most Used Language on Twitter

Fox News Latino - Fair & Balanced
Published January 14, 2013

Spanish is already the second-most-used language on Twitter, after English, the director of Spain’s Cervantes Institute said here Monday.

Victor Garcia de la Concha was joined by Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo at an event in Madrid to present the institute’s 2012 Yearbook, which provides an in-depth examination of the presence of the Spanish language throughout the world.

Spanish, with its 500 million speakers, is second only Chinese globally and is in third place on the Internet.

Despite this “spectacular” evolution, the growth potential for users of Spanish continues to be outstanding given that more than 60 percent of Latin Americans are still not on the Web.

Besides the growing presence of Spanish online, Garcia de la Concha emphasized the annual growth of 8 percent in the number of people learning Spanish as a second language.

If the current growth trend continues, he said, 10 percent of the world population will be able to get by in Spanish within three or four generations, and the United States will be the country with the largest Spanish-speaking population.

In addition to the United States, the Cervantes Institute also will focus its efforts on the booming Asia-Pacific area, where demand for Spanish instruction is advancing more and more quickly.

In China, 70 percent of the requests to study Spanish currently are rejected because of the limited access to teachers. Despite that, some 25,000 Chinese university students are learning the language, compared with 1,500 in 2000. EFE

Francois Hasdenteufel, Advertising, Television, and Film Composer

January 2015

Mobile Innovation: Top Ten trends for startups

| February 13, 2013

Mobile experts and award-winning app developer teams from around the world gathered in Abu Dhabi this week for the World Summit Awards – Mobile. Here are my key takeaways for startups, summed up as Top Ten trends where major innovation is emerging.

Mobile Innovation

1. Augmented reality

Augmented reality is now the 8th mass medium — after print, recordings, cinema, radio, TV, Internet, mobile, according to mobile guru Tomi Ahonen. IKEA, Layar, Seeda, Tesco and iButterfly are examples of cutting edge AR implementations. “Augmented Reality in countries like Hong Kong is no longer a niche medium, it is a mass medium,” said Ahonen. French eyeglass retailer DirectOptic has even rolled out AR eyeware, which leads to higher conversion rates among shoppers. Startups and creative ad agencies will be at the cutting edge of this frontier.

2. Wearable computing

2014 will be the year of wearable computing, according to Rich Long, mobile researcher from the University of Copenhagen. Eyeglasses, helmets, wristbands and even rings will have local and mobile communication capabilities, and the traditional mobile phone will not be needed for a new range of emerging apps. (more…)

Half of Tablet and Smartphone Users Are Using These Devices to Listen to Music, According to The NPD Group


PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 11, 2013 –Mobile devices including tablets and smartphones are increasingly being used as portable music players, according to the new Audio Consumption Study from global information company The NPD Group. Forty percent of tablet owners report they use it to listen to music, while 56 percent of smartphone users say they use it for music listening. Among those using the smartphone for music listening, 39 percent said they listen to music at least once a day and half (54 percent) report they are using the device more for music compared with a year ago.

In the case of smartphones, 65 percent of the music users reported using Internet Radio, such as Pandora, while 30 are using on-demand services, such as Spotify or Rhapsody. However, many (60 percent) bring their own music to the device. Tablet owners have a similar passion for using Internet Radio, and half (49 percent) port their own music files to the device. (more…)

The Rise of Chinese Media in Africa

Media Source Africa

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2013: By Mark Kapchanga

Amidst Western media stories of China’s “exploitation” and “neo-colonialism”, now the emerging superpower wants to tell its own African story.

The Rise of Chinese Media in Africa

China’s growing role in Africa is no secret. Its expansive resource-backed infrastructural projects are widely reported on and the $200 billion/year trade between China and Africa has been turning heads around the world.

Sino-African relations are covered abundantly in Western and African media. But now, China wants to narrate its own stories. Concerned that the loudest stories of China-Africa relations being heard are ones of exploitation, neo-colonialism, and the propping up of dictators, China’s central government has initiated a big media push to offer a counterbalance to Western narratives.

China’s media dreams

China’s central government has reportedly set aside $7 billion to expand its state-run media globally. This is starting to bear fruit.

In January 2012, China Central Television (CCTV) set up headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and soon began courting Africa’s top journalists. In December, China Daily, China’s biggest English-language newspaper,launched Africa Weekly. (more…)


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Five Myths About Russia

Mark Adomanis, Contributor

The past several weeks have been very busy, and I haven’t had a chance to post quite as much as I’d like to. I thought I’d throw my hat back into the ring with a short post about where Russia is today. Part of what gets me so frustrated about most mainstream media coverage of Russia is that people tend to conflate the country’s condition (e.g. people drink a lot, don’t make much money, and are generally miserable) with its trajectory (e.g. people are drinking more, people are making less money, and people are getting more miserable). These are, obviously, two very different things, but they’re often treated as if they’re interchangeable.

Russia is, in a myriad of ways, still a messed up place, and you don’t need to look very far to find evidence of all kinds of nastiness, abuse, corruption, dysfunction  and general awfulness. But what interests me is that, in contrast to the doom and gloom of most reporting, many of the country’s basic social indicators are actually improving. Life expectancy is going up, wages are going up, the birth rate is going up, and the death rate, the suicide rate, the murder rate, and the poverty rate are all going down. I thought I would put together 5 charts that push back against some of the mistaken narratives I often encounter in the media. This doesn’t mean that “Russia is awesome” but it ought to seriously complicate our picture of a country in which things are supposedly growing ever more desperate.

1. Russia’s population is “shrinking rapidly” (more…)

Intel to Launch Web TV Service by Year’s End

The Wrap Media
Covering Hollywood
February 12, 2013

Intel will launch an Internet-based TV service by the end of the year, Erik Huggers, the vice president and general manger of Intel Media, announced at AllThingsD’s Dive Into Media conference on Tuesday. Huggers’ discussion with the tech blog’s Peter Kafka and Walt Mossberg confirms a longstanding rumor, and Huggers went into some if limited detail about the service.

Intel will release its own device, which will feature live TV, on-demand and applications.

While Intel will make its service available on other devices, he insisted controlling everything part of the product is critical in this kind of venture.

“You need to control the chip, you need to control the operating system, you need to control the app layers, you need to control the sensors, et cetera,” he told the crowd in Laguna Beach. “If there were platforms out there where we could deliver exactly what we have in mind, there wouldn’t be a need to do it. But there isn’t.”

In providing live TV and apps, the Intel service would compete with both existing cable suppliers like Comcast and set-top boxes like Roku. Much of the current discussion around cable is tied to price, as the prices for channels continue to rise.

Huggers said the service would still accept bundled channels, but will distinguish itself through personalization. It will include a camera that follows the viewer, tailoring content for the viewer and providing better information for advertisers.

Creepy? A little, but you can turn it off.