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Power shift, Part II

Power shift, Part II

The economic downturn may have jolted the region’s media industry, but it is triggering changes that are long overdue, Part II.

September 21, 2009 9:44 by



Click here to read Part I.

Winners and losers. “Whenever you get into a situation about content creation and the effect of any sort of downturn, whether global, local or even sector specific, it’s interesting because content is content is content,” says Tony Orsten, CEO of Abu Dhabi¹s media hub Twofour54. “People keep having ideas, broadcasters still have to put shows out, and movies still get made.”

Twofour54 was created to be a centre of media production and content creation in the region. With an official launch in October 2008, it was opened right in the middle of the economic storm, but according to Orsten, business has been brisk. This doesn¹t mean producers and broadcasters haven’t felt the pinch, however.

The consolidation of advertising revenue into the big content providers has made life very tough for small and medium-sized media entities, as Julien Hawari, Co-CEO of Trends’ own publisher Mediaquest Corp., observes. “From now on concentration will be the norm, and big players are going to become bigger,” he says. “Medium-sized companies might not survive, but the smaller, creative independents may be OK.”

Gabriel Chahine, a partner at global management consulting firm Booz & Company, agrees. He specializes in the media and telecoms industry, and says that radio and TV are currently the media of choice for advertisers; radio thanks to its cost efficiency, and TV because it’s the home of the really big media outlets.



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