The streaming wars took an interesting turn last week, as it was announced that Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over its online distribution of new film, Black Widow. We’ll also mark the end of the X-Factor era, the start of a new one for a new PPA CEO, and take a look at two innovative new industry announcements for Ringier and Forbes. All that plus a flurry of new initiatives to tell you about from FIPP itself… what better way to kick off your media week!?
Black Widow strikes: There was a rupture in the Marvel cinematic timeline last week, when Scarlett Johannsen’s agent revealed that the actress was suing Disney for streaming her latest film, Black Widow, at the same time as it received its cinema release. Needless to say civil war broke loose, and Disney hit back by saying that Johannsen’s action was “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic”, before being subsequently fired-upon themselves by a number of groups including Time’s Up, who accused the company of perpetrating a “gendered character attack” on the actress.
Simon Cowell loses his X-Factor: One show that will definitely not be going on however is the original UK X-Factor. After 17 years of success and numerous spinoff incarnations around the world, Simon Cowell’s original offering was officially put to rest over the weekend. It was a behemoth of modern media – at a time when media journalists were still using the phrase ‘behemoth’ to describe big tings – that elegantly combined elements of television, the traditional music industry, live shows and tours, tabloid press generating PR, and of course online bantz.
PPA: From endings to beginnings, as the UK Professional Publishers Association (PPA) announces that its new Chief Executive will be Sajeeda Merali, who joins from the New Statesman Media Group, where she was Chief Revenue Officer. The appointment comes after what the association calls “a competitive recruitment process”, following the departure of previous CEO, Owen Meredith, in May.
Ringier buys out Springer: There was also a big time deal in the magazine media sector last week, when Swiss media group Ringier AG acquired 100% of the shares of Axel Springer in Hungary, Serbia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The joint venture between the two companies in Poland will stay in place, while Springer will remain a minority shareholder in Slovakia.
Forbes takes serious steps into e-commerce: Another hugely innovative and arguably slightly out-of-left-field announcement to hit our desks last week, was the news that US business media brand Forbes has ramped up its e-commerce ambitions with the launch of Forbes Store, an online destination for branded merchandise. In addition to a core collection of clothing and other products, the company will focus on limited edition collaborations relevant to some of its key franchises such as Under 30, ForbesWomen, and For(bes) The Culture.
You can read the full article on the FIPP website here.