Top 10 countries for career womenTop 10 countries for career womenMoving abroad can boost your career but might also lead to financial drawbacks.Mexico, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bahrain, and New Zealand offer the best career prospects for women.51 percent of women working abroad are happy with their career opportunities, with 13 percent even very happy.Most women who move abroad for work-related reasons found a job on their own (47 percent).More than half the women working abroad (51 percent) are satisfied with their career opportunities. But at the same time, one-third of them (33 percent) state that their income abroad is lower than what they would make in a similar job back home, compared to only a quarter of men (25 percent) stating the same, as InterNations, the world’s largest network for people who live and work abroad, reveals. Based on the insights of close to 7,000 female expats living in 168 countries in its annual survey Expat Insider survey, the social network compiled a so-far unpublished ranking of the best countries for women to pursue a career. While respondents in all top-10 destinations cite above-average satisfaction with their career prospects, they often also benefit from a higher income than at home.Moving Abroad for Their Career: Women vs. MenAlthough almost a quarter of women (24 percent) move abroad for work-related reasons, this is still 16 percentage points less compared to men. Especially among expats sent on foreign assignments, women are still much rarer than men: while only seven percent of female expats were sent abroad by their employer, male expats are more than twice as likely (15 percent) to name the same reason for moving abroad. This is also the case for expats being recruited by a local company (4 percent women vs. 9 percent men) and those who wanted to start their own business abroad (1 percent women vs. 3 percent men). However, when it comes to being more self-motivated, women are close to catching up: eleven percent of female expats state to have found a job abroad on their own as their main reason for moving abroad, which is only two percentage points less than among men (13 percent).1. Mexico Higher salary level abroad: 29 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 68 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 45 hTwo-thirds of women working in Mexico (67 percent) state to be overall satisfied with their job. A German expat especially points out the “job and career opportunities in an environment where expats have a good standing”. However, working long hours, it comes as no surprise that 26 percent of female expats working in Mexico are unsatisfied with that factor.2. MyanmarHigher salary level abroad: 46 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 70 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 45.5 hMyanmar is at the top of the chart when it comes to female expats having a high enough household income to cover everything they need: in fact, 39 percent even have a lot more than enough at their hands, which is more than four times the global average (9 percent).3. CambodiaHigher salary level abroad: 33 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 63 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 42.4 hWith 26 percent of female expats stating that having found a job on their own in Cambodia was their main reason for moving, this is the by far most named reason for relocating to the country. “There are so many ways to develop yourself and try yourself in different spheres,” says a female expat from Russia. Moreover, the country has the highest satisfaction rate with working hours (82 percent) and job security (75 percent) out of the top-10 destinations.4. Bahrain Higher salary level abroad: 65 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 65 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 40.9 hClose to every woman working in Bahrain (93 percent) works full time; however, they work the fewest hours out of the top-10 destinations to pursue a career and significantly less than the global average (42.7 h full time). Unsurprisingly, 77 percent of working women in Bahrain are satisfied with their work-life balance. “You can still find time to relax after a day of work,” states an expat from the Philippines.5. New Zealand Higher salary level abroad: 53 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 61 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 41.8 hWith just above one-third (34 percent), New Zealand has the highest share of women working only part time. One of the reasons for this might be that a large share of them moved in order to increase their quality of life (28 percent), while only four percent named work-related reasons as their main motivation. However, those who work are highly satisfied with their work-life balance (74 percent), their job security (71 percent), and their job in general (76 percent).6. KazakhstanHigher salary level abroad: 62 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 67 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 45 hMore than half of the women living in Kazakhstan (53 percent) moved for work-related reasons: they found a job on their own (26 percent), were sent by their employer (15 percent), or recruited by a local company (12 percent). An expat from Georgia is happy to do “the job that I like and be valued as a good professional”.7. United KingdomHigher salary level abroad: 51 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 67 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 41.1 hWhile expat women often work in education (20 percent globally), the fields of work are more diverse in the UK: a share of 14 percent each works in education and in healthcare, while another 14 percent are found in advertising, marketing, and PR. A French expat reports that “the UK gave me a chance to prove that I could the job”.8. USA Higher salary level abroad: 62 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 64 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 43 h“The career opportunities are incredible,” says an expat from Canada living in the USA. Close to one in six expat women (16 percent) say they have a yearly gross household income of more than 150,000 US dollars, which is twice the global average (8 percent). On the other hand, they seem to have to work hard for it: the satisfaction with working hours is the lowest (52 percent) out of the top 10 countries to pursue a career abroad.9. KenyaHigher salary level abroad: 36 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 60 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 46.4 hA majority of women working in Kenya were sent abroad by their employer (20 percent), compared to only seven percent globally. However, they face long hours and jobs that are not necessarily secure — only 48 percent state to be satisfied with the latter (57 percent globally). It might be the income that makes them stay: same as in the USA, 16 percent have a gross household income of more than 150,000 US dollars per year.10. Ireland Higher salary level abroad: 51 percentSatisfaction with career prospects: 63 percentWeekly full-time working hours: 41 hIn Ireland, a majority of women (14 percent) work in healthcare, which is twice the global average of female expats in that field (7 percent). “It is easier to find job opportunities here,” states an expat from Romania. Moreover, they enjoy a high job security (64 percent) and, with less hours per week than the global average, they are also satisfied with their work-life balance (69 percent).Read More about Women Working AbroadThe Best Countries for Women to Pursue a Career AbroadWhat are the best expat destinations for women in search of great career opportunities? Drawing on the results of our Expat Insider survey, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the ten countries where women working abroad rate their career prospects most favorably. Some of the answers may surprise you!Desperately Seeking: The Typical Expat Women In honor of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we are taking a closer look at the average expat woman. Where does she live? Why has she moved there? What’s the state of her career? And is she happy abroad? Based on our Expat Insider survey, we can answer these questions and see if her experience of life abroad differs from that of her male peers.Women on a Foreign AssignmentAmong expats sent on foreign assignments, international women are still “the odd man out”. However, such figures don’t include many expatriate women who find a job abroad on their own. In both cases, international women, as well as their spouse, may face unexpected issues.What to Do When You’re Overqualified and UnderemployedAs an accompanying expat spouse, it can sometimes be difficult to get hired overseas, even when you’re motivated and highly qualified. Our guest author Emily McGee offers tips for thinking creatively about how to move your career forward or finding fulfillment outside of paid employment.About the InterNations Expat Insider 2017 SurveyFor its annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations asked about 13,000 expatriates representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries or territories to provide information on various aspects of expat life, as well as their gender, age, and nationality. Participants were asked to rate 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasized the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these aspects and considered both emotional topics as well as more factual aspects with equal weight. The respondents’ ratings of the individual factors were then bundled in various combinations for a total of 16 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up six topical indices: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, Personal Finance, and Cost of Living Index. Except for the latter, all indices were further averaged in order to rank 65 expatriate destinations around the world. In 2017 the top 10 were Bahrain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, Portugal, New Zealand, Malta, Colombia, Singapore, and Spain.For a country to be featured in the indices and consequently in the overall ranking, a sample size of at least 75 survey participants per country was necessary. The only exception to this is the Family Life Index, where a sample size of more than 40 respondents raising children abroad was required. In 2017, 65 and 45 countries respectively met these requirements. However, in most countries, the sample size exceeded 100 participants.About InterNationsWith about 3 million members in 390 cities around the world, InterNations (http://www.internations.org/) is the largest global network and information site for people who live and work abroad. InterNations offers global and local networking both online and face-to-face. At around 6,000 monthly events and activities, expatriates have the opportunity to meet other global minds. Online services include country and city guides created by a team of professional writers, guest contributions about life abroad, and discussion forums to help members with topics such as the local job or housing search. InterNations membership is by approval only to ensure we remain a community of trust.The InterNations app is available for Android and iOS and can be downloaded for free on Google Play and the App Store.Find more information about InterNations on our press pages, company website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or in our Expat Magazine.Source = InterNations
Auckland Airport awarded two $50,000 grants each to two regional tourism groups as part of its fifth annual round of Tourism Development Grants.The grants, awarded to Haka Tours and EatNZ, will support both recipients to continue developing and enhancing tourism experiences that will attract international visitors in off-peak seasons.Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s General Manager Aeronautical Commercial revealed that this year operators were asked to demonstrate a clear vision for “new tourism products and outstanding seasonal and country-wide travel experiences.”“The airport has a particular interest in the ‘clustering’ of tourism products that bring together groups of operators who create attractive experiences that enable travellers to explore more of New Zealand,” revealed Tasker.Haka Tours was awarded the grant for its small group of adventure snow and mountain bike tours. Founder Ryan Sanders said that this may help in extending their digital marketing campaigns across their North Island product range as well as assist in the development of a number of new tour initiatives.“We’re thrilled to have this support to continue developing our brand and experiences, particularly our new ‘Haka Black’ premium tours and our mixed activity tours across the mountain biking and snow industries.”EatNZ is a cooperative the country’s best chefs, producers, media event and tourism operators. Bringing together a platform to connect New Zealand’s food industry, EatNZ assists in promoting New Zealand as a food tourism destination.Angela Clifford, CEO EatNZ, said the grant will help to create a platform where travellers can find out more about New Zealand food, with the aim of growing the international profile of New Zealand food and the number of visitors travelling here for a food experience.
Go back to the e-newsletter >Autograph Collection Hotels has welcomed the newest hotel from The Kessler Collection to its portfolio – Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston in South Carolina. This is the first South Carolina hotel for The Kessler Collection and for Autograph Collection Hotels and is anticipated to open by the end of 2015.“This year Autograph Collection Hotels has significantly expanded its portfolio to include Triada Palm Springs, Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona, The Press Hotel in Portland, Maine, The Mayflower in Washington, D.C. and Kameha Grand Zurich, with a steady stream of other new hotels being added across the globe,” said Julius Robinson, Vice President, Autograph Collection Hotels. “We are excited to add this latest Kessler property to Autograph Collection Hotels and appreciate their strong commitment to our brand. Autograph Collection Hotels is proud to have a total of 10 Kessler Collection properties in its global portfolio.”The 50-room luxury boutique hotel incorporates diverse offerings including an onsite Grand Bohemian Gallery featuring rare, local and original artwork, a wine blending experience and tasting room with curated selections, specialty coffee shop with micro-roasted coffee, farm-to-table culinary offerings with a regional focus, as well as a rooftop restaurant and terrace providing unmatched views of historic Charleston.The property is home to the largest art gallery in The Kessler Collection – Grand Bohemian Gallery, featuring local, regional and internationally recognised artists.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Holidaymakers can book flights they intend to take in 2010 as early as today (11th June 09) if they travel with bmibaby.The low-cost airline’s five most popular routes have gone on sale with more expected to follow.Flights to Alicante, Faro, Malaga, Murcia and Palma are now available for those who want to plan in advance.Julian Carr, commercial director of bmibaby, commented: “Travellers can now plan ahead and book early to secure the best deals.”This will be especially beneficial for the family market as they can secure the most popular school holiday dates. Plus those with holiday homes will be able to book their trips in advance now to get [a really] low flight price.”He added that before long the number of routes that can be booked will be expanded, offering passengers even greater choice.Last month (May 30th) Birmingham Airport celebrated the 25th anniversary of its current site, which was opened by HM the Queen in 1984.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedFlybe to launch number of new flights next summerRegional airline Flybe will launch a number of new flights to European destinations as part of its 2010 summer scheduleNext year’s summer schedule launched by bmibabyCheap flights carrier bmibaby has introduced the first phase of its summer 2011 scheduleCheap flights to Lourdes launched by bmibabyCheap flights to Lourdes launched by bmibaby
February 1, 2000Arcosanti residents who support the Black Mesa Indigenous struggle pack up foodand clothes collected from the Arcosanti Community. Photo by: DoctressNeutopia
State Rep. Julie Calley honored Roscoe Hires and Donald Eckman, two World War II veterans, at the state Capitol on Thursday.“As Americans, we have an obligation to revere and elevate those who have defended the freedoms we so often take for granted,” said Calley, of Portland. “These two veterans not only showed tremendous courage and selflessness, but after they returned home, they chose to mentor and support other servicemen and women. They are superb examples of the Greatest Generation.”Hires was drafted into the Army and became a member of the 101st Airborne division. He received his Purple Heart when he was hit by shrapnel in Neff, Belgium during the Siege of Bastogne. Later in the war, a German sniper killed four members of Hires’ squad four days after they landed in Holland. A bullet from the sniper ricocheted off Hires’ helmet grazing his head. After the war, Hires worked for Clark Equipment. He now resides in Ionia.Eckman was drafted into the Army in 1944 and served with Company B 3rd Infantry Division. He received two Purple Hearts, most notably during the battle near Holtzwhir when his platoon moved forward to a wooded area to observe a German tank division near a small town. With only 25 to 30 men in their company, they moved forward to the edge of the wood line. His platoon leader, Audie Murphy, along with Eckman and a few other soldiers snuck closer to see what they were facing. The next morning, they discovered a German tank regiment across the road from them. Eckman was wounded and honorably discharged. Following the war, Eckman returned to Lake Odessa.The ceremony in Lansing was arranged Doug Pickel, president of We the People Giving Back, and the organization’s vice president Eric Calley. The goal of this nonprofit organization is to honor the sacrifice of veterans, their families, and those in public service.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Julie Calley of Portland and her husband, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, stand behind World War II veterans Donald Eckman (left) and Roscoe Hires, after Rep. Calley presented each with a legislative tribute for their service. The two veterans also were presented hand-crafted plaques to commemorate their being recipients of Purple Heart for being wounded in battle. Categories: Calley News,Calley Photos 01Sep Calley honors World War II veterans at state Capitol
Legislator wants liquor tax revenues to fund programsThe House Health Policy committee approved legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Marino to help local agencies fight substance abuse in Michigan.Marino’s bill would dedicate a portion of the money raised through state liquor taxes to Michigan’s local community mental health agencies. Each local board would provide grants for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, primarily targeting alcohol and opioids. The funding could provide more than $17 million a year to combat alcohol-related disorders, opiate addiction and other conditions.“We keep hearing about it time and time again, substance abuse and opioid-related deaths are a major problem in Michigan,” said Marino, of Harrison Township. “Our local community mental health agencies are in the best position to identify and develop programs to fight the abuse of alcohol, opioids, and other drugs. This legislation provides more resources to people struggling with addiction and to the agencies equipped to help them.”Recent statistics indicate the alarming abuse problems are worsening. Opioid deaths in Michigan rose from 622 in 2011 to 1,689 in 2016, according to legislative committee testimony from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Opioid prescriptions in the state now top 11 million per year. The number of people in treatment for substance use disorders also is growing and exceeds 32,000.Marino’s bill is among the first of several bills introduced as a result of the work of the House mental health task force, a bipartisan group of legislators appointed by Speaker Tom Leonard to listen to the stories of people affected by mental health in Michigan. The task force released its report in January outlining the many ways the Legislature can work to improve conditions for those with mental health needs.Marino’s legislation now moves to be considered by the full House.### 01Feb Rep. Marino bill helps fund substance abuse treatment Tags: CARES Task Force, Opioid Categories: Marino News
Categories: Whiteford News 02Mar Rep. Whiteford to host local office hours State Rep. Mary Whiteford today announced plans to meet with residents of Allegan County during her scheduled office hours.Office hours will take place on Friday, March 16 at the Allegan District Library, 331 Hubbard St. in Allegan from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.“I look forward to talking with residents of Allegan County about their state government,” Whiteford said. “Hosting office hours throughout the community helps me better represent my neighbors and inform them about what is happening in Lansing.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend are invited to contact her Lansing office by phone at 517-373-0836 or email MaryWhiteford@house.mi.gov.
Categories: Wakeman News 08Feb Rep. Wakeman to host local office hours State Rep. Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township will host district office hours on Friday, Feb. 15 and Monday, Feb. 18 to meet with local residents of the 94th District.“As your voice in Lansing, I want to hear from you,” Rep. Wakeman said. “I am determined to remain accessible and accountable, and this is a great way to discuss your thoughts and questions on state government. I hope you will join me.”Office hours are scheduled for the following times and locations:Friday, Feb. 15 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Wickson Library, 359 S. Franklin St. in Frankenmuth; andMonday, Feb. 18 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Zauel Memorial Library, 3100 N. Center Road in Saginaw.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend may contact Rep. Wakeman’s office by calling (517) 373-0837 or by email at RodneyWakeman@house.mi.gov.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDemocracy Spring / Victoria PickeringApril 18, 2016; The HillThe Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening protests at the nation’s capital between April 11th and 18th were billed by some as the next generation of Occupy activity, They started with a 140-mile, ten-day walk from Philadelphia, and have resulted in 1,317 arrests, as nonviolent demonstrators staged daily events, each dedicated to another issue, and refused to move despite police requests. The media was out in full force on the event, but their big stories’ headlines were about the arrests of various celebrities.But amid the high profile participants present, like ice cream impresarios Ben and Jerry, actress Rosario Dawson, and former presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig, was an enormous swath of the activist wing of the nonprofit sector. These included Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the NAACP, NOW, and an impressive coalition of nonprofits working on multiple issues like labor, peace and racial justice, as you can see here and here.For those organized by Democracy Awakening, their common agenda was to advocate for:Fair consideration of the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, including timely hearings and a vote by the full Senate.The Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 2867, S. 1659), legislation that would restore the protections against voting discrimination that were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Shelby County v. Holder decision and make additional critical updates to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.The Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 12), legislation to modernize voter registration, prevent deceptive practices that keep people from the ballot box, and ensure equal access to voting for all.The Democracy For All Amendment (H.J.Res. 22, S.J.Res. 5), a constitutional amendment that would overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and allow elected representatives to set common-sense limits on money in elections.The Government By the People Act/Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 20 and S. 1538), a small donor empowerment measure that would encourage and amplify small contributions from everyday Americans.Democracy Spring’s agenda was similar, advocating for four bills already before Congress. Their goals are laid out in Vox, here.In a sector that is sometimes slow to cross boundaries in common cause, the coalition’s breadth is worth noting and celebrating, especially in that the common cause is the state of democracy. Because, after all, that is the business of our sector.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share41TweetShare9Email50 SharesTristanb at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsAugust 26, 2016; TruthOut.orgAs summer ends, more than 50 million American children are returning to school hoping for quality teachers, up-to-date textbooks, and working bathrooms. In this election year, candidates running for every office from president to local school board trustee debate the quality of the education being delivered and the best public policy for improving it. Much of the political fireworks are sparked by debates over the role of the marketplace in publicly funded education, the effectiveness of testing as a mechanism for improvement, the Common Core curriculum, and teacher unions. Very little attention is directed toward debating why school funding has decreased and what the effects will be of spending less on our children.The size of our annual school budget, more than $630 billion, blinds us from seeing that our investment in public education has been decreasing since 2008. Many of the headlines in recent months have focused on the role of the federal government in public education, but when it comes to funding our schools, it contributes only a small portion of the total national school budget.States and local bodies shoulder the major share of the financial load. Their ability and willingness to fund schools, combined with decisions to shift funds from schools to businesses and other priorities, determine how well our schools can fulfill their promises.When the national economy hit bottom in 2007 and 2008, both state and local funding streams were under attack, and education funding was pushed downward. The federal government did step in with increased funding, allowing states to ease the recession’s impact on education. But as the economy improved, a gridlocked federal government eliminated these emergency funds, and states and local governments faced the challenge of recovery on their own.Left to their own resources, most states have chosen other priorities and not restored their funding to pre-Great Recession levels, even as school populations have increased and the need to strengthen schools has become more evident. According to a study of school funding published in early 2016 by the Center for Policy and Budget Priorities:Twenty-five of the 46 states with data available are providing less general aid per student this year than in 2008.In seven of those 25 states, the cuts are 10 percent or more.In three states—Oklahoma, Alabama, and Arizona—the cuts are 15 percent or more.The reasons that states have not chosen to restore funding levels vary. In some states, the economy has not yet recovered and their tax revenues remain constrained. For others, other budget needs are seen as more critical, such as Medicaid and underfunded public pension plans. For others still, it is a matter of political philosophy: Government should be small, taxes low, and efficiencies are there to be found. Whatever the reasons that many states keep their contributions to education depressed, the burden of meeting the needs of children is falling more heavily on local resources in a very regressive manner.To make matters worse, many states and cities have chosen to prioritize tax incentives for businesses in the belief this will spur economic growth. In Chicago, according to blogger Scott Klinger, “Last year, one subsidy program alone cost public services $461 million. Meanwhile, the city’s schools are facing a budget that is $140 million less than they had last year.” Chicago’s schools were only able to operate last year by borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars and needed to lay off 1,000 people in teaching and support staff positions.Bruce Baker, a school funding scholar at Rutgers University, has described how a dependence on local funding affects educational equity.You’ve got highly segregated rich and poor towns. [They] raise vastly different amounts of local revenue based on their local bases, and [the state] really doesn’t put much effort into counterbalancing that.Last spring, NPR made Professor Baker’s words quite vivid as it described the budget reality of two suburban Chicago districts with very different budgetary realities. The Chicago Ridge School District is able to spend $9,794 per student, well below that year’s national average of $11,841. Another Chicago school district, Roundout District 72, finds itself able to spend $28,639 on each of its students.With the passage of No Child Left Behind almost two decades ago, the federal government began to drive major changes in how public education would be delivered and increased the level of “accountability” that would be imposed on local schools. Governors and state legislators have led efforts to seize greater control for public education from local school officials. But greater operational control has not been matched with greater fiscal responsibility. Rather, for many districts local taxpayers are left with a greater share of a shrinking school budget. And spending less matters.Earlier this year, NPQ reported on another recent study, “The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms,” by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico.Money alone may not lift educational outcomes to desired levels, but our findings confirm that the provision of adequate funding may be critical. Importantly, we also find that how the money is spent matters…a 25 percent increase in per-student spending over the course of a student’s school-age years could eliminate the gaps in income and years of education between children from low-income families and those making at least twice the poverty line.Here’s a first-week-of-school quiz for federal and state educational policy makers: Do current federal and state policies fund local schools at a proper level? If not, how can funding grow? Do we fund each school and every student equally? If not, how will we ensure that we do? If your answer is to continue dumping the school funding burden on local shoulders, you will get an “F” on this test.—Martin LevineShare41TweetShare9Email50 Shares
Argonon’s long-planned online property based on UK factual entertainment format Cash in the Attic will go live today.CashInTheAttic.com was first mooted in July 2011 as online hub for fans of the BBC antiques trading format, which was cancelled in the same month after a decade on air.London-based production group Argonon, which launched in 2011 with expansion TV and digital plans, confirmed the plan a year later with the hire of 19 Entertainment digital executive Martin Lowde as MD of CashInTheAttic.com.Argonon then appointed London-based multi-platform specialist Miomni to create the platform.The site will allow members of the public and professional traders to have their various items valued by a team of experts. Twenty experts across 35 categories will assess uploaded images, videos and descriptions before making judgements and offering advice on how to market the products. Argonon claims each upload will be assessed within 48 hours.Furthermore, low-value items can be sold directly through the website’s ‘Marketplace’ function, which links to online auction sites such as eBay. Traders with high value items will be pointed toward professional auction houses.The site will also include 15,000 clips from the TV show, news and features sections, a classified ads section, an aggregation platform, a forum and an industry events calendar.
Frederic RoseFrance-based TV technology company Technicolor has unveiled a new strategic plan aimed at capturing growth opportunities in the media and entertainment services market, creating relevant new and valuable IP assets in media and entertainment from direct research investments and its operating businesses, and deepening the competitive advantages of its operating businesses.The group said it would expand its patent licensing platform and develop new licensing models. For its M-GO streaming service, Technicolor said it would expand its offering, building greater scale, and increasing geographic reach, organically and via partnerships.Technicolor said it would also grow its production service and technology platform from its current position in creative skills and technology to capture share in growing film, TV and advertising segments and expand in OTT, games and animation markets.For the connected home segment, the company will seek to strengthen its efforts in emerging markets, particularly in Asia. The group will also aim to build on its current key customer relationships and product development expertise to provide a broader range of products and services, including OTT devices.The Group aims to reach an adjusted EBITDA of around €400 million and a free cash flow comprised between €160 million and €200 million in 2017, which will be the low point in terms of financial performance due to the end of the MPEG-LA licensing programme.Technicolor has set the objective to return by 2020 to an adjusted EBITDA above €500 million with a free cash flow in excess of €250 million.Technicolor posted Q4 revenues of €981 million, up €22 million, driven by direct licensing revenue, and net income of €128 million.“I am extremely proud of the work done by everyone in Technicolor to deliver a fantastic performance in 2014 resulting in a positive net income and the initiation of a dividend. As we now embark on our Drive 2020 strategic plan, we will remain fully focused on creating shareholder value as a leader in media and entertainment services, developing and monetizing video and audio technologies,” said CEO Frédéric Rose.
Liberty Global-owned UK cable operator Virgin Media will build on its recent launch of dynamic ad insertion on its video-on-demand platform with a wider addressable advertising offering within the next year, according to Lynette Turnbull, head of digital entertainment product management.Taking part in a joint presentation at TV Connect with advertising technology partner BlackArrow’s CEO Nick Troiano, Turnbull said that the initial launch had laid the basis for the use of more third-party data to be integrated in the advertising offering in the next 12 months, with the launch of further addressable advertising service options for later this year.Turnbull told TV Connect attendees that digital advertising is growing faster than TV advertising thanks to the ability to measure the effectiveness of campaign performance and the rise of big data, which has enabled much greater targeting capability.She said that broadcasters needed to embrace big screen video-on-demand, expanding their offering and investing in an effective and deliverable monetisation strategy.“We need an effective audience measurement standard,” she said, adding that, from a platform perspective, Virgin Media will pay a role in supporting thisShe said Virgin Media had usage data and customer data along with multiplatform reach, allowing it to bring additional benefits to advertisers. She said this was not limited to addressable advertising on VoD but could be developed for linear ad dynamic ad insertion as well.Turnbull said advertisers would buy spots against segmented audiences, as this enabled them to provide more relevant information to customers. Addressable advertising stands to benefit all players in the chain, including platforms, advertisers, broadcasters and viewers she said.Virgin Media’s partnership with BlackArrow had enabled it to bring in additional features such as ad pacing, frequency capping and real-time reporting to its advertising offer, said Turnbull.
Ofcom CEO Sharon WhiteUK broadband customers will be able to walk away from their contracts if speeds fall below “acceptable levels”, thanks to new Ofcom legislation. In a strengthened version of the UK broadcast regulator’s Code of Practise, customers will be able to end their broadband contracts at any point, not just in the first three months, if they experience internet speed problems that cannot be resolved.Virgin Media, Sky, BT, TalkTalk and EE are among the broadband providers that have signed up to the strengthened code, which was announced today,Ofcom said that as households connect more devices to the web – from PCs and laptops to smart TVs and tablets – the code helps customers “have the information they need to make an informed choice about which broadband package is right for them.”“When Ofcom was established, access to a reliable internet connection and mobile phone was a ‘nice to have’. Now it is essential to the functioning of the economy, to the way people work and live their lives,” said Ofcom CEO Sharon White.The new code also includes new processes to make switching broadband and landline providers easier, and plans to make it easier for consumers to change mobile providers.
Modern Times Group (MTG) has signed a new multi-year deal with Swedish operator Com Hem for the distribution of MTG’s free and pay TV channels.The new deal adds the TV3 Sport HD and eSportsTV channels to Com Hem’s offering, while Viasat Sport Premium will also be available in the Shown Sport and Viasat Premium packages.Com Hem will also continue to distribute MTG’s free TV channels TV3, TV6, TV8 and TV10, and Viasat’s premium package.“Our strategy is to have an offer with both breadth and depth to meet the variety of requirements that today’s TV viewers,” said MTG Sweden CEO, Anders Jensen.“The expanded agreement with Com Hem offers all sports enthusiasts access to both the best football as other highlights from the NHL, NFL and Swedish speedway. And those who love the eSport will get access to 2000 hours of live gaming every year.”
Sky Deutschland has teamed up with Telefónica Deutschland to make its revamped online TV service, Sky Ticket, available to O2 customers in Germany.Sky this week launched Sky Ticket, which allows online TV users to purchase day, week or month passes for sports and entertainment content rather than sign up to a long-term contract.The new online service enables sports fans in Germany and Austria to access Bundesliga matches for €9.99 a day, €14.99 a wee and €29.99 a month. Entertainment passes are also available.The one-day €9.99 ticket gives access to content including series from Sky Atlantic HD including compete box sets, while a monthly cinema ticket gives access to blockbuster movies for €14.99.The deal with Telefónica will see O2 customers able to view Sky’s Bundesliga, Champions League and Formula 1 coverage along with other exclusive sports content.Holger Ensslin, managing director legal, regulatory and distribution at Sky Deutschland, said that the agreement would enable it to reach a broader audience with Sky programming.Markus Haas, chief operating officer at Telefónica Deutschland, said that the deal was the “perfect match” between the country’s leading pay TV operator and O2.
Spain’s audiovisual service providers invested €212.6 million in Spanish and European film and TV series creation in 2014, but History Channel and DTS – the former Canal+ now owned by Telefónica – failed to meet their obligations, according to figures released by competition regulator the CNMC.While History Channel undershot its obligation only by a tiny margin thanks to higher spending in previous years, which compensated for a 2014 shortfall, DTS was in deficit to the tune of €7.4 million. Telefónica, which has since acquired DTS and committed to a major programme of investment in drama series, spent €4 million in 2014, exceeding its obligation comfortably.Spain obliges TV operators to invest 5% of their revenues in financing European films and TV series, while public companies must invest 6%.The €212.6 million total for 2014 represents a 12.8% increase over the previous year, despite the fact that providers’ overall revenues fell by 10% due to a decline in the advertising market.Public broadcaster RTVE and commercial broadcasters Mediaset and Atresmedia were the biggest contributors, spending €48.7 million, €55.8 million and €41.1 million respectively.Other big spenders included NBCUniversal, which spent €27.2 million, Disney, which spent €7.6 million.The major destination of funding in 2014 was original Spanish-language TV series, which received €79.8 million in funding collectively.
The number of cumulative active users globally of Hisense’s Internet TV platformTV maker Hisense is due to set up an ‘internet TV operation centre’ in the US, as it expects its smart TV user-base to more than double in the next year.Hisense said that it currently has 2.6 million TV subscribers in the US and projects this to increase to more than 6 million by 2018.“Netflix is the content partner with Hisense TV in the US and its user activity ranks the top compared with other partners,” said the company in a statement.“The primary aim of Hisense was to enrich and differentiate the content and thereby increase the sales competitive power of Hisense TV.”Hisense said it will close series A financing this year, and will use this funding to set up the US internet-TV operation centre.
Pan-European consolidation amongst broadcasters once again became a talking point over the last couple of weeks thanks to a couple of big moves by Italy’s Mediaset.First came the Italian company’s acquisition of a 9.6% stake in Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1in what CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi characterised as a strategic move.“The rapid process of globalisation that is determining the international scenario is such that European media companies like us need to join forces if we are to continue to compete, or even just resist, in terms of our European cultural identity, eventual attacks by the global giants,” said Berlusconi.Mediaset followed up its investment in Germany with a move this week to consolidate its Spanish namesake, in which it holds a 52% stake, under a new Netherlands-based holding company, MediaforEurope (MFE).The Spanish move was welcomed by analysts as a “bold move” that will create a stronger business. Investment bank Berenberg said that the new structure would deliver synergies in the area of distribution and advertising technology. However, it noted that these synergies are less likely to extend to content, where local remains king.The last point is a highly significant factor for broadcasters considering whether or not pan-European mergers make sense. The attraction of consolidation generally is to achieve scale and enable the realisation of synergies. In the case of broadcasters, content is the major cost item, and opportunities for synergies from common content commissioning and acquisition are limited across markets with different languages and cultural expectations.While there is a growing international market for certain types of high-end drama, the overall opportunity for mass-market broadcasters to realise cost savings from international mergers is limited. For commercial broadcasters, that leaves synergies from technology and the advertising business.There are clearly opportunities here. In technology, the move away from over-the-air broadcasting to streaming means that there are clear economies of scale in building cloud-based distribution platforms that can serve multiple markets.In advertising, European broadcasters are already teaming up to realise the benefits of cooperation. The European Media Alliance of major European broadcasters, in which ProSiebenSat.1 is a key player, was created as a way to facilitate cooperation across national boundaries where that made sense, with advertising a central focus. The European Broadcaster Exchange initiative of ProSiebenSat.1, Mediaset, TF1 and Channel 4 to set up common access to inventory for premium international brands to run pan-European campaigns is one example of this.Cooperation on advertising at a technical level is also a fruitful area. ProSiebenSat.1 last week also teamed up with German commercial broadcaster rival RTL Deutschlandto establish a 50:50 joint venture to deliver a platform for programmable buying of addressable TV and online video ads.This week I chaired a panel session at the Variety TV Summit Europein London that addressed evolving partnerships between broadcasters both in streaming and in advertising. The session featured executives from ProSiebenSat.1, BritBox – the US JV between BBC Studios and ITV whose name has now been adopted for a planned British SVOD service –and Spain’s Atresmedia, which has partnered with Mediaset España and RTVE to create LOVEStv, a joint platform for advanced TV and, in the future, a joint OTT initiative.The panellists assessed, among other things, what does and does not make sense, with Nicolas Eglau, EVP of international at ProSiebenSat.1 observing that cooperation, rather than a full merger, is probably sufficient to realise the synergies that exist in areas such as advertising.For these reasons, the prospects of wider consolidation in European broadcasting are probably not strong, at least for the near future. Speaking to German newspaperDie Weltabout the Mediaset investment, ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Max Conze this week said that Mediaset was welcome as an investor but added that a broader merger made little senseas it would be a diversion from the goal of reorientation to a future likely to be dominated by streaming. He said that the European Media Alliance offered a way to “build business models together”.Whether cooperation or consolidation is the best way to deliver synergies in advertising and streaming is still a matter for debate. Berenberg’s analysis of the rationale for MFE endorsed the view that a combination of this type has greater potential to deliver benefits that looser forms of collaboration.However, consolidating an entity in which the consolidator already has a majority stake and a long history of involvement has fewer potential pitfalls than a full-on merger of independent large-scale broadcasters. A bigger pan-European consolidation may still be some way off.