Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Reuters Media Summit, Day Two

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The heads of two of America’s most popular sports — NASCAR chief Brian France and National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman – are coming to the Reuters Media Summit on Tuesday.

Also expected to show up is Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Activision. The second-largest U.S. video game publisher already is in the news on Tuesday after it raised its earnings and revenue outlook for the third quarter on better-than-expected consumer response to its holiday slate globally. (Reuters)

And look out for appearances from top executives from Blockbuster and Corbis.

The Media Summit’s first day, meanwhile, featured appearances from the chairman of XM Satellite Radio, the head of News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media and the chairman of video game maker Take-Two Interactive.

- Fox Interactive Media’s Peter Levinsohn said the MySpace online social network will launch Facebook-style news feeds in the next month to 45 days. These are the alerts that people use to let their friends and colleagues know what they are up to. (“Robert is blogging,” for example). MySpace also plans to let users create more than one profile so users can have one visage, say, for work and one for friends. 

Reuters Media Summit kicks off Monday

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Is experimentation at risk? Will the economic downturn neuter the anticipated lift the presidential elections and Beijing Olympics were expected to contribute to the estimated $290 billion U.S. ad market in 2008? When will writers and studio chiefs get along?

These are just some of the big issues we aim discuss starting Monday at the annual Reuters Media Summit.Join us this week (Nov. 26 through the 29th) on Reuters.com and our MediaFile blog as we chat with leaders in the media industry to give the market a glimpse at what’s in and what’s out in 2008.

Italian Yellow Pages publisher protects privacy, but not from police

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majocchi.jpgItaly’s Seat Pagine Gialle doesn’t publish all the images it gathers from webcams, in the interests of protecting privacy — but it does pass them on to the police, Seat’s CEO told Reuters journalists in Paris. Asked whether images gathered by Seat, a yellow-pages publisher that is active on the Internet, didn’t provide opportunities for criminals, Luca Majocchi said: “I agree with you. Actually, we show on the image much less than what we have to, to protect privacy. Second, we try not to use webcams on the street.” Asked what information Seat provided to the police, Majocchi said: “The works we do for the government, say for the police, they are not sent online. We don’t make this accessible on the net. They use our system.” 

Skyblog

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bellanger2.jpgThe unprecedented outpouring of teenage angst on the web isn’t just a way for teenagers to make hundreds of new friends but provides a unique opportunity for advertisers to exploit them, Pierre Bellanger, CEO of French free blogging service Skyblog, told Reuters journalists in Paris. ”Never, so many diaries, so many articles, so many printed words, were online from a generation expressing itself. So you have to know that scientists, sociologists are exploring that mass of data because it has a sociological content of extraordinary value. And it has also an extraordinary value for advertisers. Because what we have spoken of is very profitable,” said Belanger, who runs Europe’s biggest blog. He said Skyblog’s extraordinary growth had happened despite being French-language. “When you look at the data you have very few sites with our growth, with one of the worst languages to speak on the internet, which is French… it’s like being — before Lonely Planet — with Hungarian tourist guides. So it’s strange.” Bellanger said he didn’t believe bloggers would mind if Skyblog linked up with a partner, as it wants to do — even a company like Microsoft. “I don’t think anyone cares, truly, about corporate ownership — I would say 99.9 percent of the audience. Like with MySpace for example. People were saying ‘Oh la la’ — in French — ‘it is the end of the world as we know it!’ But no, nothing happened. What I would say is important is that the brands of the 90s are no longer the brands of the new generation.”

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