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The Aus Media Report

Author: Dan Barrett

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Media reporter Dan Barrett explores the space where media, technology, and culture collides. Dan talks with reporters, industry leaders, and insiders to understand what's going on in the Australian media today.
16 Episodes
Right now Australia is mostly under lockdown, dragging with it the Australian cinema industry. NSW & VIC represent about 70% of the Australian exhibition industry. This week on The Aus Media Report there are two conversations, each representing different conversations happening within the industry. First up there is a chat with Eddie Tamir and Benji Tamir. The Tamir family own and operate several independent cinemas in Australia. Three cinemas in Melbourne - The Classic, the Lido, and Cameo; and one in Sydney - The Ritz Randwick. What are the challenges they have faced as an independent exhibitor in Australia? And what is their plans for re-opening (spoiler alert: it is a huge investment in refurbing the Ritz cinema). After that is an interview with Brodie Fogg from They just did a survey of Australian media consumers and found that 80% of Australians say they are pirating less than they used to. But piracy isn't going away completely down under. What does the survey tell us about how Australians are watching their screen entertainment? 
Mumbrella founder Tim Burrowes has penned the book 'Media Unmade: Australian Media's Most Disruptive Decade'. He joins the podcast this week for a conversation about the past ten years in Australian media, along with a very general chat about the local media market.
There's two great interviews this week. First off The Aus Media Report chats with Optus' Clive Dickens about this week's launch of SubHub. SubHub is a new initiative by Optus to bring all of your digital subscriptions under one app, making it easier to keep tabs on what you're subscribed to (and how much it is costing). The second interview is with Leo Puglisi - he's the Chief Anchor, News Chief, and Founder of streaming video news service 6 News. Last week saw his channel pulled from YouTube for supposed anti-vax sentiment. Within hours he got his channel back. He details what happened that led to his channel being pulled and tells us about his up and coming news business. He's amazing. You'll love this chat.
Just how much influence does Sky News Australia have? In a recent piece for Inside Story 'Is Sky News taking Australia by storm?' journalist and media academic Margaret Simons argues that reports of the news and opinion channels influence is overblown and she downplays recent reports of Sky News Australia's success in connecting with online audiences. Margaret Simons joins The Aus Media Report to discuss her experience of watching Sky News Australia for two full weeks recently and what she learned about the channel as it faces serious criticism (and a YouTube suspension) for COVID-19 denialism.
This week on The Aus Media Report we are talking about streaming services. How much do you know about TV from Africa? Probably not a lot. There’s a new streaming service that is set to change that. It’s called Demand Africa. It quietly launched in Australia streaming both a free streaming linear channel and subscription video on demand content through its app available on Apple TV, Samsung TV’s, iOS, and Android. The Aus Media Report speaks with Narendra Reddy, the Vice President and General Manager of the service, and also Dean Cates who is the exec in charge of Demand Africa. Also on the podcast this week is an interview with Samantha Laidlaw - she’s the head of a new local streaming service called Femflix which aims to stream movies that are either driven by female identified creatives or have very strong themes related to women.
This week on the show I chat with Justin Papps from PwC Australia, editor of this year’s Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2020-2024.  The report, now in its 19th year, examines Australian media consumers habits and how they’re changing: Where are Australians spending their money and time when watching TV? What are they listening to on the radio and Spotify? How are they consuming news and entertainment?  The report looks at consumption over the past year, but also offers projections up to 2024. It's all incredibly interesting. You can read the report yourself - download it from the PWC website.
Dan Barrett is joined this week by film critic Luke Buckmaster (The Guardian, Crikey, to discuss where technology is taking cinema.  Is the future VR? AR? Is it something entirely different? How will we engage with screens going forward? What happens to cinemas as movies evolve with audience interests?
This week on The Aus Media Report I am chatting with Jake Challenor. He’s the publisher of radio industry news site Radio Today. We discuss everything from the loss this year of the biggest name in radio, to Nine’s investment in bringing Brisbane’s only commercial talk station back to life, through to radio stations preparedness for the incoming digital disruption.
Spotify unveiled a new product feature a fortnight ago that caught my attention. The streaming music service has been pushing aggressively into podcasting and has announced that podcast producers can now place songs during a podcast. It is Spotify merging music and talk for its subscribers. You could be forgiven for thinking that this is starting to sound a lot like radio. Is this Spotify aggressively taking on radio? Or is this an entirely new form? On The Aus Media Report we speak with Podnews editor James Cridland about the new Spotify feature. After we talk with James Parkinson, the producer and host of podcasts By Association and Gameplay about producing his shows. We also get in a bit of Spotify chat.
This week on The Aus Media Report: Film and media journalist Michael Bodey joins Dan Barrett to talk about the current state of going to the movies. The industry has been severely damaged by COVID-19 at a time where going to the movies for entertainment is becoming less essential thanks to the rise of streaming services. Technology reporter Daniel Tyson from tells us all about the new Google Chromecast powered by Google TV. It's a new version of the Chromecast that comes with a remote control and takes on the Apple TV and Telstra TV.  You can contact Dan Barrett via email or via Twitter @TheDanBarrett
Broadcaster and writer Melanie Tait has revisited the culture of her youth through A Country Podcast - a new podcast series exploring the Australian iconic series A Country Practice. She discovered that the show actually reflects modern values and the politics of our moment surprisingly well. Tait tells us about why she started the podcast, but also what she has discovered during that process. The Aus Media Report also speaks with arts reporter Dan Johnson about In Queensland, a new daily news service that is servicing an under-served Queensland news market with politics, business, arts, and other topical stories. With a team of well-known QLD reporters on board, In Queensland is taking on the larger news organisations.
Dan Ilic is the creator and host of A Rational Fear - a comedy panel podcast that has recently become a lot more active in the fight against climate change.  Sarah Moran is the CEO of Girl Geek Academy. It's a company aiming to cultivate a passion for coding in girls to bring a greater gender balance to the tech industry. Girl Geek Academy has recently been moving to create media products that further engagement with this young audience. This week on The Aus Media Report are interviews with Dan Ilic and Sarah Moran about trying to make a positive change in the world. Host: Dan Barrett Further Reading: A Rational Fear - Girl Geek Academy - The Aus Media Report is a Televised Revolution podcast.
In Australia we don’t really talk about deplatforming people very often - certainly not to the degree you hear about internationally. Why is that? With Pete Evans causing controversy in the media this week Dan Barrett chats with Josh Taylor, reporter at The Guardian Australia. Also: A new broadcast channel launched this week to limited fanfare. 10 Shake is a youth-orientated channel. But isn't it a little strange launching a channel at a time where viewer numbers are falling, while aimed at the same audience who gave up broadcast TV for on demand platforms like Netflix years ago? Dan has a chat with TV industry  commentator Steve Molk about what 10 Shake says about the current TV industry and where it's heading. 
The Aus Media Report - 24 September 2020 This week: It has been just over a year since former Sky News journalist Ahron Young launched the streaming news and opinion video service Ticker TV. Young joins us to tell us about the growth of the channel over the year, how it works, and the future direction for this interesting service. Also, in the past fortnight Sony and Microsoft each launched their next-gen gaming consoles. But are the new Playstation and X Box machines as evolutionary as they claim to be? Byteside editor Seamus Byrne joins us to explain how these machines are positioned in a market that has heavily embraced eSports and are on the cusp of a VR/AR revolution.
Welcome to the first episode of the Aus Media Report. This week: Journalist Cameron Wilson on the rise of QAnon in Australia. What is it? How large a presence does it actually have in Australia? And should we be worried about its rise? Former ABC Breakfast radio host Spencer Howson is now teaching the next generation of radio talent. In an industry shifting from broadcast to on-demand audio (podcasts) and fewer on-air jobs available, what is the future for these budding professionals?
Well-known former TV producer Rob McKnight is launching a new streaming video service - Live+. He's a huge believer in live, studio-based TV and is out to bring live TV to the world of on-demand streaming.  The service will launch later in the year. Its announcement today got the attention of Dan Barrett, so he pulled McKnight into the Aus Media Report studios to chat about the new venture. Dan's a little bit skeptical. Can McKnight win him over?
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