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Tyler Brûlé on his aversion to social media and success with Monocle - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 02, 2016

Monocle magazine – “a briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design” – is the London-based centrepiece of a growing brand, which now includes radio programming, travel guides, a string of retail boutiques, and cafés in London and Tokyo; he also owns Winkreative, a creative marketing agency that does work for clients such as Porter Airlines....Monocle is said to be profitable. What can other media learn from its success?[Answer] I think it pays to be conservative, from a business perspective. We’ve been fortunate that we don’t have the deepest pockets in the world, and so we’ve had to be very careful. But I think that’s kind of good for us, and we’re very happy that we haven’t done a tablet edition and we haven’t chucked tons of money where there is no revenue. And that’s the key thing: We haven’t felt the pressure to be on social media and to do all the things that everyone else does.
Simon_Houpt  Tyler_Brûlé  Monocle  magazines  design  journalism  niches  elitism  social_media 
december 2016 by jerryking
Desmond Cole’s feature on carding lit a fuse under the city’s elite, but why did it take so long? - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 11, 2015

While Cole is elated with Tory’s change of heart, his feelings are tempered by the way it came about. “It’s very sad, and should concern people. Because not everyone will get a feature in Toronto Life to air their story,” he noted. After all, Cole had been there during a Police Services Board meeting, when John Tory sat and listened impassively to testimony from lower- and middle-income black people who were living in fear of random police stops.

“It’s not a good sign, when you can have that direct contact with leaders and they won’t listen to you. But they will listen to essentially their peers, who might not experience this issue in the same way at all, who might not know a lot about it.”
Desmond_Cole  Simon_Houpt  Toronto  Toronto_Life  writers  randomness  journalists  African_Canadians  John_Tory 
june 2015 by jerryking
It’s time to be honest: Netflix is parasitic - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 03 2014,

Most industrialized countries subsidize domestic television and film production, partly because of scale: It costs a lot of money to make shows look even half as glossy as the stuff coming out of Hollywood, and if there’s a limited audience (say, because you’ve set your miniseries in the shipyards of Gdansk because you think it’s important that your fellow Poles know about their history), you’re probably not going to make your money back. American film and TV studios have global marketing machines to get their shows in front of consumers.

As it happens, Canadians do watch plenty of homemade TV, and not just hockey: Last month’s season finale of The Amazing Race Canada on CTV was the most-watched show of that week, with more than three million viewers. (Necessary disclosure: CTV’s parent company BCE Inc. owns 15 per cent of The Globe and Mail. Unnecessary disclosure: I’ve never watched The Amazing Race Canada.) Scripted dramas and comedies are popular, too – though they certainly don’t pull in the numbers here that Big Bang Theory does. Millions still tune in to domestic news and current affairs shows. And just try telling Mike Holmes, Sarah Richardson, Debbie Travis and, frankly, Ben Mulroney that Canadians don’t watch Canadian-made TV.

If you’re fine with all that disappearing because hey, Netflix is awesome and a sexy disruptor, so be it: That’s your choice, and you’re free to make it. Plenty of people love their weekly pilgrimage to Walmart and Costco, too.

But please, at least be honest with yourself and recognize that Netflix, like the retail disruptor Walmart before it, is a parasitic enterprise. Netflix is currently pocketing an estimated $300-million a year from Canadian consumers. Its total investment in original Canadian programming so far? One season of Trailer Park Boys: 10 half-hour episodes of cheaply made TV.
Netflix  CRTC  Simon_Houpt  television  disruption  Wal-Mart  parasitic 
october 2014 by jerryking
The second coming of Dean Blundell - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 16 2014

Over the past few years, a number of American media figures, from journalists Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi to standup comic Louis C.K., have ventured from the safety of their homes in legacy media organizations to develop new online businesses based on their individual brands. Liberated from the lumbering mother ships that often typify mainstream media, they have built passionate communities of followers devoted to the notion of freer expression and deeper engagement in specific subjects. As Blundell joins the wave, he could be among the first Canadians to leverage a personal brand born of old media into an online-only venture.

The timing may be on his side. Commercial radio stations in Canada continue to be money spinners. In 2012, the last year for which full data are available, the industry’s profit margin before interest and taxation (PBIT) was 19.9 per cent; in Toronto, that reached 41.1 per cent. But in the U.S., conventional radio is beginning to lose listeners to streaming music services (which last year accounted for 7 per cent of radio listening there). There are hints that radio in Canada is also dropping off; certainly, it does not dominate the cultural agenda. And no one of Blundell’s stature in this country is currently producing a regular standalone podcast.
radio  entrepreneur  digital_media  personal_branding  online-only  Simon_Houpt  podcasting  mass_media  standalone 
may 2014 by jerryking
What does the future hold for the CBC? - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 11 2014,

you have to create an infrastructure of an organization that can adapt to whatever it is. And that’s a challenge around how do we think about ourselves, and our role, and how do we make ourselves as agile as we can?” In big-picture terms, she said, the CBC “is going to be smaller, it’s going to be faster, it’s going to be engaging.”...Under Ms. Conway, the CBC will strike more partnerships with private Canadian broadcasters and its foreign counterparts. It will also work more with marketers to create so-called branded entertainment (a.k.a. product placement) shows.
CBC_Radio  CBC_TV  Simon_Houpt  millennials  Vice_Media  the_big_picture  partnerships 
april 2014 by jerryking
How an endangered Walrus was saved - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT.

The Walrus is no longer just a magazine published 10 times a year; it is a multiplatform brand that finds expression in a tablet edition, a blog, podcasts, e-books, a series of short non-fiction films, speaking events and sometimes even a cruise through the Northwest Passage.

Each feeds the other, sometimes in spirit and promotional force (a podcast may offer a reporter’s reminiscences of grappling with a particular interview subject), and sometimes even financially: The events business, which will present about 30 live events this year, is now one of the primary sources of revenue.

(While other publications, such as The New Yorker, produce live events, those are usually brand-building exercises rather than major sources of revenue.)

The Walrus Foundation, the education-oriented charitable non-profit that publishes the magazine, procures corporate sponsorship, such as the one from RBC for an evening dedicated to conversation about philanthropy.
brands  conferences  content  conversations  endangered  events  Ideacity  magazines  multiplatforms  nonprofit  Simon_Houpt  sponsorships  TED  Walrus 
september 2013 by jerryking
An invitation to eat, think and be wary -
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT
The Grano Speakers Series brought the world to Toronto. Launched in the fall of 2004 with a season of discussions about The American Empire – William Kristol was its opening speaker – it quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town....The idea was hatched in the summer of 2004. Rudyard Griffiths, then the executive director of the Dominion Institute, and Patrick Luciani, a former executive director of the Donner Canadian Foundation, were chatting with Roberto Martella, the proprietor of the North Toronto trattoria Grano, when they began commiserating over a shared frustration of modern life.

Rudyard Griffiths: All of us were tired of the hotel ballroom speech: the Cornish hen and the not-so-great wine, and 500 or 800 people packed into these horrible tables of 10. The idea the three of us came up with was, let’s really blow up that model and try to do something different that gets back to the insight of the salon in the 19th century, which was: good conversation, intimate group, intimate setting.
Simon_Houpt  restaurants  Toronto  Rudyard_Griffiths  speeches  salons  ideacity  TED  conversations  19th_century 
september 2013 by jerryking
New breed of pirates challenges television’s old guard
Apr. 11 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT.

For Jean-Philippe Vergne, this is just another turn of capitalism’s screw. An assistant professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business, he recently co-authored a provocative book arguing that, far from being dangerous to business and society, piracy should be recognized as a major element in the evolution of capitalism.

In The Pirate Organization, which he adapted for a talk last Friday at Western University's own TEDx conference, Mr. Vergne and Rodolphe Durand note that, throughout history, the development of an industry has tended to follow a predictable pattern: “It is not all about competition. It occurs in waves, it expands into new territories using monopolistic controls – then free trade kicks in,” he said. “One big important actor that contributes to shaping the rules of the game in those new territories (is) pirates.”... “Everybody’s scared, because we lack the tools – the conceptual tools, the legal tools – to understand what (piracy) means and what’s going on.”

But as the incumbent companies wait for the development of suitable definitions, pirate firms are blithely pushing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour: This week, the CEO of Aereo, Chet Kanojia, was in Washington, pressing his case with U.S. lawmakers.

For the moment, Canadian broadcasters are safe from the threat posed by Aereo and the dozens of others disrupting the U.S. TV landscape. But a little fear would do them well. At an industry conference last month, the chair of the CRTC asked TV executives and producers whether they had a “healthy discontent with the way things are.” He was telling them, really, to think like pirates, to disrupt their own businesses – for their own good, and the good of the country. Because he knows that, if they don’t, the real pirates are going to wreak hell when they get here. It’s just a matter of time.
Simon_Houpt  piracy  disruption  CATV  television  Ivey  TED  Aereo 
july 2013 by jerryking
Vice Media’s Shane Smith: A taste for sweet wine and salty content - The Globe and Mail

NEW YORK — The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jun. 14 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

Shane Smith has built Vice, which started as a free magazine distributed on the streets of Montreal, into a globe-straddling media brand with operations in 34 countries.

Last updated Friday, Jun. 14 2013,
digital_media  Simon_Houpt  New_York_City  Montreal  Vice_Media 
june 2013 by jerryking
Greener Pastures
March 2013 | Report on Business Magazine | Simon Houpt.

"Canadians in general are looking for safe day jobs."
Silicon_Valley  C100  Vancouver  start_ups  Groupon  Simon_Houpt  lessons_learned  entrepreneur  Canadian 
february 2013 by jerryking
He wants to put mandatory Canadian movies on TV. Do we want them? - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 24 2013 | The Globe and Mail | STEVE LADURANTAYE AND SIMON HOUPT

Canadians rarely venture to the theatres to see Canadian films. Data for 2012 compiled by the Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada show that while the country’s box office pulled in $1.1-billion in 2012, Canadian movies accounted for less than 3 per cent of that, or $25-million. And the country’s broadcasters have largely ignored the movies as well, opting to fill their Canadian-content requirements with dramatic series that are easier to market....
Simon_Houpt  Steve_Ladurantaye  films  Canadian  filmmakers  entrepreneur  CRTC 
january 2013 by jerryking
In two killings, a tale of the new information order -
Jun. 06 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Simon Houpt.

The news about two murders - the shooting last Saturday evening at Toronto’s Eaton Centre and the case of the so-called Canadian cannibal - offers a penetrating snapshot of how we now consume information. Both stories emerged first in social media and were then picked up by establishment outlets, which were forced to keep pace with the adrenalin rush of Twitter and other online channels while also pushing the stories forward.

And the news accounts that emerged of the two killings carry lessons about the challenges of doing the heavy lifting of actual reporting while simultaneously trying to conduct a conversation.
Simon_Houpt  social_media  killings  Toronto 
june 2012 by jerryking
McKinsey's data whiz mines the social media motherlode
May. 25, 2012 | ROB Magazine - The Globe and Mail | Simon Houpt.

What is "Big Data"?...Let me give it a try. It’s the use of massive sets of data—typically transaction data, motivation data, environmental data, social data—to make better business decisions.
McKinsey  massive_data_sets  Simon_Houpt  Amazon  privacy  social_data  social_media 
may 2012 by jerryking
Big Data is watching you
Jan. 06, 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Simon Houpt.

Companies have amassed trillions of digital bread crumbs: from credit card transactions, from people’s online wanderings on social media and search sites, from GPS devices embedded within smart phones...

Live Nation acquired Big Champagne, a consumer data analytics firm that had gained notice for developing the Ultimate Chart, a ranking of the most popular songs and artists according to chatter on social networks and other online sites.

Big Champagne will help Live Nation crunch the information it has on the 200 million ticket buyers in its database, and also help design the company’s dynamic pricing model...An ever more connected world offers richer opportunities for marketers to collect specific consumer data.

The Christmas season may still be a recent memory, but many marketers are already casting a hopeful eye upon 2012 as the year they finally turn into mercantile versions of Santa Claus: omniscient beings who know everything about their customers, and not just whether they’ve been bad or good. (And yes, the marketers believe they’re doing it for goodness’ sake.)

In the past few years, companies have amassed trillions of digital bread crumbs: from credit card transactions, from people’s online wanderings on social media and search sites, from GPS devices embedded within smart phones. Last June, the market intelligence firm IDC said the amount of data produced by our ever-digitizing mass of humanity is more than doubling every two years. Companies are drowning in data. But they’re also recognizing an extraordinary opportunity, and after a series of studies of so-called big data published by research firms over the past year, many are predicting it will become a major focus of marketing executives in 2012.

Already this year, Big Data has received a big endorsement. On Wednesday, after being appointed president of Yahoo, the ex-PayPal executive Scott Thompson was pledging that data would be the key to his new company’s future just as it powered his last company.

“I am certain that the battle of the next generation of Internet businesses will be made up of who has more data and who knows how to use it better than anyone else,” he told a reporter for the trade publication “I’m not talking about your classic segmentation stuff,” he said, referring to the demographic categorization that companies use to group individuals into broad target markets. Companies such as Yahoo will increasingly focus on individuals. “It’s the segmentation of one and what the data of one tells you,” he said.

In the middle of December, the live entertainment colossus Live Nation acquired Big Champagne, a consumer data analytics firm that had gained notice for developing the Ultimate Chart, a ranking of the most popular songs and artists according to chatter on social networks and other online sites.

Big Champagne will help Live Nation crunch the information it has on the 200 million ticket buyers in its database, and also help design the company’s dynamic pricing model: the practice of altering ticket prices depending on real-time supply and demand. Old industries are also getting into that act. Over the past year, Broadway producers have capitalized on dynamic pricing to charge much higher ticket prices for especially hot shows, and nimbly offer discounts when demand fell away.

Even very young industries are being remodelled by the use of more specific data. Last year, after trying to slug it out with Groupon and Living Social, the two-year-old San Francisco-based local offers provider Bloomspot took a different tack. The company realized it could confront the main reason for merchants’ disenchantment with the sites – a belief that too many people merely take advantage of discounts and never patronize the merchants again – by sifting data in order to find the most valuable customers.

With the permission of both the participating merchants and the customers, “we are able to effectively get access to the stream of consumer credit card purchases belonging to a particular merchant by going through the credit card processors,” said Jasper Malcolmson, the Canadian-born president of Bloomspot, which received $40-million (U.S.) in funding last summer.

Mr. Malcolmson said that analysis of that data enables Bloomspot, which operates in 10 U.S. cities, to determine which customers who have bought, say, a 60-minute massage at New York’s Broadway Chiropractic for $39 (a “$270 value”) end up “acting like penny-pinchers and don’t spend well and don’t return,” and which ones instead treat the discount as an incentive and end up spending more money at the merchant: the goal of making the discount offer in the first place.

“The customers who are good receive follow-up offers, effectively in recognition of their spending behaviours,” he explained.

But Big Data isn’t just being used for newfangled loyalty marketing; many companies are using it to provide better service to customers in new ways. Kenna, a data analytics firm based in Mississauga, designed a mobile app to be used by customers of its client BASF Canada, the farming chemical company. BASF cross-references its customer purchase data with information on weather patterns to generate real-time information for farmers on when to apply the chemicals for greatest crop yield.
Simon_Houpt  massive_data_sets  data_mining  real-time  data  data_driven  personalization  agriculture  Kenna  Live_Nation  loyalty_management  dynamic_pricing  Broadway  Bloomspot  purchase_data 
january 2012 by jerryking
Gathering reams of data? Priceless for MasterCard
simon houpt
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 03, 2011

the Priceless promotion, whose first leg runs until the end of the year, is the company’s initial step on a long road of gathering individualized information.

“That is a first for us, because we do have strict privacy laws in Canada. We’re asking for permission to have an ongoing dialogue directly with them,” Ms. Tomovich said.

“When they go on our website, they’ll identify what experiences and offers they’re interested in – culinary, sports, etc. – and then we’ll serve them up, on a monthly basis, offers that are relevant to their preferences. Then, as we see the utilization of these offers – how many take them up and how many of them continue to spend in those categories – we’ll continue to provide targeted, relevant offers to them in those segments.”

All of which is relatively crude compared with the information that American Express has been compiling on its cardholders, and the levers that company can pull. For the moment, Amex says it is entirely unconcerned with the threat of competition, particularly for its high-end customers whose spending gives the company its highest margins.
MasterCard  credit_cards  data  data_driven  Amex  competingonanalytics  Simon_Houpt  high_net_worth 
november 2011 by jerryking
Butcher cuts a dashing figure
October 6, 2011
Cumbrae's firmly believes elegant online design is worth paying for

Simon Houpt

Hype can be fatally distracting. In the last couple of years, small business owners have flitted from one new-media promotional darling to another: Twitter and Facebook and Groupon, oh my! But too many entrepreneurs have overlooked the importance of that old pillar of new media: an elegantly designed website. Earlier this year, Cumbrae's, a local Toronto butcher with three retail locations and a wholesale operation that caters to chefs, unveiled a refreshed site that does what the best physical storefronts do: offers up an engaging image that prompts passersby to step through the door and sample the charms inside.


Advice for the DIY crowd

Forget e-commerce, tell a story
Find the right partner
Good design is an investment, not a frill
Simon_Houpt  websites  webdesign  small_business  marketing  e-commerce  butchers 
october 2011 by jerryking
A serving of controversy with a side of disdain - The Globe and Mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 22, 2011
Simon_Houpt  Dambisa_Moyo 
april 2011 by jerryking Marketers target U.S. under MDC ownership
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
MDC to acquire Toronto-based Capital C Communications and direct-marketer Kenna

Simon_Houpt  MDC  Miles_Nadal  advertising_agencies 
april 2011 by jerryking
Live by the celebrity CEO, die by the celebrity CEO? - The Globe and Mail
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
personal_branding  celebrities  CEOs  Simon_Houpt  branding 
january 2011 by jerryking
Muhammad gets a makeover
Jun. 11, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Simon Houpt Marketing Reporter.
islam  religion  branding  Simon_Houpt 
june 2010 by jerryking
Bridging exploration and exploitation
November 24, 2009 | Report on Business | SIMON HOUPT.
Interview and book review by Simon of Roger Martin's latest book, The
Design of Business. In his latest book, Roger Martin advocates the
importance of innovation for companies - or the risk of irrelevance.
Why do successful companies wither and die? Martin suggests that too
many companies are too comfortable with merely exploiting their
innovations rather than engaging in the necessary work of innovation and
exploration. There are two solitudes: exploration and exploitation.
Exploration being highly creative people in various kinds of creative
organizations that have a heck of a time turning their ideas into
something that allows them to continue their creative activities
sustainably. Exploitation being people in the business world who are
honing and refining, running their algorithms, wondering why they slowly
innovation  design  Roger_Martin  creativity  book_reviews  Simon_Houpt  experimentation  explorers  exploitation  obsolescence  complacency  bridging  creative_types  irrelevance  exploration 
november 2009 by jerryking

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