Monthly Archives: June 2015

In 2017, Norway will be first country to shut down FM radio


By Lizzie Plaugicon April 19, 2015

Norway will shut down FM radio in the country beginning in 2017, reports. The Norwegian Ministry of Culture finalized a shift date this week, making it the first country to do away with FM radio entirely. The country plans to transition to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) as a national standard.

A statement released this week by the Ministry of Culture confirms a switch-off date that was proposed by the Norwegian government back in 2011. The government has concluded that the country is capable of meeting all the requirements necessary for a smooth transition to digital.


“Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio-content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality,” Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey said in a statement. “Digitization will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development.”

DAB currently offers 22 national channels as opposed to FM’s five, and has the capacity to host almost 20 more. The cost of transmitting radio channels through FM is also eight times higher than the cost of DAB transmission, the ministry reports.

DAB has been available in Norway since 1995. DAB+, an updated form of DAB, was made available in 2007. According to the Ministry of Culture, it will be up to radio broadcasters to choose between DAB and DAB+ transmissions, although it is likely that by 2017, most broadcasting in the country will be in DAB+.

Several other countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are also considering a national move to DAB, but no other country has confirmed a timeline, reports.

Norway’s FM shutdown will begin on January 11th, 2017.

Meryl Streep Funds Lab for Women Screenwriters Over 40

Meryl Streep womens screenwriters lab


APRIL 19, 2015

Meryl Streep has funded a screenwriters lab for women writers over 40, to be run by New York Women in Film and Television and IRIS, a collective of women filmmakers.

The creation of the lab, and Streep’s involvement in its founding, was announced Sunday at a panel discussion presented as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Called the Writers Lab, the screenplay development program aims to increase opportunities for female screenwriters over the age of 40. This year the initiative will accept submissions May 1-June 1, with eight winning scribes named Aug. 1.

Among the mentors to participate in the Lab’s inaugural year are writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Beyond the Lights”), producer Caroline Kaplan (“Boyhood”), and writers Kirsten Smith (“Legally Blonde”) and Jessica Bendinger (“Bring It On”).

According to NYWIFT, Streep ponied up a “significant” contribution to fully fund the Lab. The actress has been a longtime supporter of NYWIFT.

The Writers Lab will take place at a retreat in upstate New York.

NYWIFT, which presents the annual Muse Awards as well as the Designing Women honors, is an entertainment industry association that supports female leadership in film, TV and digital media. Collective IRIS was founded by a trio of women with the goal of championing the female voice in narrative film.

Further information about the Lab, including how to enter, can be found on NYWIFT’s website.

Is your voice trustworthy, engaging or soothing to strangers?

The Guardian
Winner of the Pulitzer prize 2014

Analysis of millions of audio files has led one US company to claim that their software can predict how a person’s voice will make a listener feel

Certain cues in speech are more important than others when it comes to generating particular emotions in the listener.

Certain cues in speech are more important than others when it comes to generating particular emotions in the listener. Photograph: LLC/Alamy

Thursday 16 April 2015 07.56 EDTLast modified on Friday 17 April 2015

Few people consciously think about their voice, but the way we speak is one of the most fundamental parts of our individual identity. The intricate acoustic patterns which comprise speech affect how we’re seen in terms of our personality, our emotional state and even our professional competence, but it’s only been relatively recently that scientists have tried to delve into these complex vocal traits in more detail.

The first people in recorded history to study the human voice were the ancients Greeks, a race fascinated by the differences in the vocal spectrum and their varying impact on our emotions. Sometime in the 2nd century AD, the Athenian scholar Julius Pollux attempted to meticulously map out the full range of human vocal qualities as perceived by the listener.

Little survives of his work, apart from a detailed list describing how voices can range from being engaging or feeble to persuasive and even melodious. Pollux noted that the latter gave the impression of a cultivated individual. (more…)


Nielsen Logo


A new report by Nielsen reveals that video programming content such as TV, cable shows, professional video or user-generated content still generates its biggest audiences on television screens in Southeast Asia. But while the majority of viewers around the region say bigger is better when it comes to screen size, they also appreciate the convenience and portability of mobile devices. Around seven in 10 think watching video programming on their mobile device is convenient and more than six in 10 say a tablet is just as good as a PC or laptop computer for watching video programming.

As device ownership in Southeast Asia continues to increase, particular genres and video formats such as movies, how-to shows, comedies, drama, news and sports are building a strong digital following, with Southeast Asian nations ranking among the highest globally when it comes to watching movies on a tablet (refer chart below).

There is a growing affinity among Southeast Asian consumers for anywhere, anytime connectivity and keeping up-to-date with the latest news. Filipinos ranked highest globally in terms of the extent to which they enjoy the freedom of constant connectivity (94%), and Indonesians (89%) ranked second highest globally. Desire for ‘always-on’ connectivity was also high in Thailand (88%) and Vietnam (88%) which, respectively, ranked fifth and sixth globally, while 86% of Singaporeans and 84% of Malaysians enjoy the freedom of being connected anywhere anytime, compared to just 76% globally. (more…)


Nielsen Logo


Heavy viewers and listeners are often considered the ‘super fans’ of the media ecosystem. These power users devote significant hours of their lives to one medium or another and are the most likely to consistently engage with content and advertising found on those channels. Aligning with the famous “pareto principle,” which states that 80% of consumption comes from 20% of the participants, heavy media users make up the lion’s share of the usage in markets all across the U.S.

Recently, Nielsen released the Audio Today report profiling the listening habits of the 243 million Americans who use radio each week. The report also included a profile of the heaviest users across four media sectors. And an interesting headline emerged: heavy radio listeners and heavy TV viewers are, for the most part, mutually exclusive.

Heavy TV viewers watch nearly double the amount of TV each week as heavy radio (more…)


Nielsen Logo

GLOBAL| 04-06-2015

From keeping tabs on friends via social media to skipping lines at the store by shopping online, technology continues to reshape our everyday habits. In fact, nearly seven-in-10 (69%) global respondents to a recent survey think face-to-face interactions are being replaced with electronic ones. And the digital landscape is only getting more crowded, as a new wave of digital devices, such as wearable and connected car technologies, gain traction.

Today, we have more control over when, where and how we watch video programming, but scheduled viewing hasn’t gone away for most of us. In fact, 65% of global respondents still prefer to watch video programming live at its regularly scheduled time. But more and more frequently, real-time conversations on social media are replacing physical gatherings around the water cooler to talk about a previous night’s episode of a favorite TV show. Not only does watching in real-time avoid spoilers, live TV has become a real-time social event that goes way beyond the confines of our living rooms. More than half of global respondents (53%) say they like to keep up with shows so they can join the conversation on social media, and nearly half (49%) say they watch live video programming more if it has a social media tie in. Forty-seven percent of global respondents say they engage with social media while watching video programming. (more…)

The 78 Counties Where Minorities Have Become the Majority

A Pew map shows that, between 2000 and 2013, whites became the minority in 78 U.S. counties.

April 2015

(Pew Research Center)

April 10, 2015 By 2040, the country’s white population will no longer be the majority. But for many regions around the country, this demographic shift has already arrived. A new map created by the Pew Research Center pinpoints the 78 counties in 19 states where, from 2000 to 2013, minorities together outnumbered the white population.

Pew crunched Census numbers from the 2,440 U.S. counties that had more than 10,000 residents in 2013. Whites made up less than half the population in a total of 266 counties. Even though these 266 counties made up only 11 percent of the counties analyzed, they contained 31 percent of the country’s total population, with many of them home to dense urban areas.

Most of these counties are sprinkled around the Sun Belt states in southern part of the country (below).

Of the 25 counties with the largest total populations, 19 now have nonwhite majorities. As of 2000, six of these (four in California and two in Florida) had white majorities. The most dramatic change within the last decade can be seen in counties in Georgia. The share of white residents in Henry County, for example, fell from 80 percent in 2000 to a little less than 50 percent in 2013.

Here’s Why Founders Should Care about Happiness

First Round Review

March 2015

Scott Crabtree spent 24 years climbing the ladder in the gaming and software industries, eventually leading his own engineering team at Intel. And after observing life at companies big and small, he recognized one commonality: The happiest people are the most productive. The difference was so striking to him that he retired and rebooted his career, founding Happy Brain Science to surface and share the scientific underpinnings of what makes people happy and how that makes them more effective at their jobs and in their lives.

“Happier people are more successful, more creative, energetic, resilient,” says Crabtree. “They work better together. They absorb more information. They have more tools in their tool belt to help them handle whatever life throws them. They are healthier, they live longer — and they show up at work more often.”

There’s a common assumption, he says, that you will be happy when you are successful. But the reverse is actually true, and not just anecdotally. Hard neurological science supports the idea that happy people have more capacity to succeed. And beyond that, that happiness is not a genetic mandate, or a product of circumstance. It’s a choice. Here, Crabtree boils this choice down into three opportunities for change that can make people happier. As an employee, a manager, and a founder, these opportunities are also the building blocks of high performance.


In order to be happy, you can’t rely on goal achievement. You have to delight in the work that gets you there. The most productive people in the world don’t just like what they do on an everyday basis — they enter a flow or high-performance state that brings them consistent satisfaction. (more…)

Gavin Polone on TV’s Dirty Secret: Your Agent Gets Money for Nothing (Guest Column)

The Hollywood Reporter

by Gavin Polone

“Package fees,” which can allow agencies to make more money from a TV hit than the show’s actual creator, are an embarrassment to Hollywood.

This story first appeared in the April 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

I’m all for increased efficiency when it comes to producing filmed entertainment. I embrace moving a production to where it can be made more cheaply, cutting a schedule to the minimum necessary to realize the project’s vision and doing away with decadent perks. I even understand why my fees and profit participations have been reduced, in line with other producers, over the years; and I accept that it was necessary for some of my friends to lose their jobs during the recent rounds of layoffs at major studios and networks. Pruning dead branches allows the tree to keep growing. But what I can’t abide is how those same companies, which ask us to make do with less and find it expedient to de-job those who have served them loyally for years, continue to tolerate the most deplorable cost associated with creating their product: the television package fee.

If you are unfamiliar with what packaging fees are, I’ll give you more details in a bit, but in short, it is a large upfront payment and an even larger back-end participation that talent agencies receive for doing exactly what they are supposed to do for the regular 10 percent commission they charge their clients. (more…)

Meet the Mexican DJ who created a new media empire



By Dan Gentile on March 15th, 2015

It’s Saturday night at Imperial, a sweaty dance club in Mexico City’s hip Roma neighborhood. Ears are still ringing from a punk band whose set just ended, but the stage has been reset with a pair of CDJs and a laptop with a sticker that reads SLKTR. The DJ has a lightning bolt tattoo on his arm underneath the letters TCB: taking care of business.

The music jumps from obscure underground house tracks to Disclosure remixes to early aughts bangers like the Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers.” “Last Night” by the Strokes makes an appearance, as does a pair of ’90s hip-hop sure-shots, before the groove locks into a string of contemporary cumbias that remind you that you’re blocks away from what might be the best al pastor tacos in the world.

The man at the helm is Alejandro Franco (aka SLKTR), and taking care of business means more than just moving the dance floor. The 35-year-old native of Mexico City is at the helm of a booming digital media company called Sentido Común (Common Sense). Like Franco’s DJ sets, Sentido Común manages to feel informed by hip American music culture yet distinctly Mexican.

The cornerstone of the company is, which was founded in 2007 to fill a similar niche in Mexico as Pitchfork does in the U.S., with around-the-clock music news, definitive album reviews, feature interviews, and international festival reporting. Shortly after launching, WARP added a print component that set the brand on a different path than its American role model (at least until recently). Franco’s official title at the magazine is publisher, but he still makes time to file stories: It’s hard to pass up an interview with Pharrell Williams. (more…)