Roundup: Squid Game reality TV show, Spotify’s new royalty model, Online disinformation

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Streaming rules, Linda Yaccarino, Nine’s confidential sources, ABC, The Block, Josh Money to join 7News Adelaide

Business of Media

D-Day looms for Netflix, Disney as government firms new streaming rules

The federal government is a step closer to imposing Australian content quotas on streaming platforms with two possible models for the landmark regulation this week being presented to Netflix, Stan, Amazon, Disney, and other streamers, reports Nine Publishing’s Karl Quinn.

Content quotas, which require streamers to spend a certain amount on local productions, have been widely backed by the Australian film and TV industry as a way of ensuring the survival of Australian stories as viewing shifts from free-to-air (which has long been regulated) to streaming (which is not currently regulated).

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85% of people worry about online disinformation, global survey finds

More than 85% of people are worried about the impact of online disinformation and 87% believe it has already harmed their country’s politics, according to a global survey, as the United Nations announced a plan to tackle the phenomenon, reports The Guardian’s Jon Henley.

Audrey Azoulay, director general of the UN’s culture body, Unesco, told reporters on Monday that false information and hate speech online – accelerated and amplified by social media platforms – posed “major risks to social cohesion, peace and stability”.

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What Spotify’s new royalty model really means

As news about Spotify’s new payment model has torturously dribbled out — details have been leaked through sources, with little official comment from the company — it’s not surprising that controversy has accompanied it, reports Variety Australia’s Jem Aswad.

Streaming royalty models are deeply complicated and Spotify, the world’s largest paid streaming service by a long measure, has borne the brunt of the world’s frustration with the low royalties that most artists and especially songwriters receive from digital service providers.

Several articles and headlines have seized on a major point of the new model, which rolls out next year, revealed last week in an article by Kristin Graziani, president of music distributor Stem: That tracks earning less than 1,000 streams within 12 months will not receive a royalty payment.

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A media giant tried to diversify its staff – white workers sued

After more than 20 years of working for his hometown newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York, Steve Bradley was laid off amid pandemic-induced cost-cutting in May 2020. He was crushed, but he eventually took a communications job for a local school district, reports Washington Post’s Taylor Telford.

Then, two years later, he received a startling message.

Sitting in the bleachers at the school softball field in July 2022, Bradley took a phone call from an unknown number. He listened as J. Nelson Thomas, an employment lawyer he had never met, presented a jarring claim: Bradley was laid off because he is white.

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X’s Elon Musk hired a CEO with TV roots. She’s showing them.

When X Corp. chief executive Linda Yaccarino gathered advertisers in September at the company’s New York office, hoping to woo them back to the social-media platform, she invited a National Football League executive as a headline speaker, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Suzanne Vranica and Alexa Corse

Having heard plenty about the risks of the platform formerly known as Twitter, from hate speech to misinformation, Yaccarino and her team have been pitching advertisers on TV-style content such as NFL game highlights—safe zones within X that can give jittery marketers a place to spend their money.

Five months after joining Elon Musk’s X, the former NBCUniversal ad-sales boss is leaning on her three decades in the media industry in her turnaround effort.

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News Brands

Munjed Al Muderis tries to unveil Nine’s confidential sources in defamation case

Famed surgeon Munjed Al Muderis is attempting to unmask the numerous doctors and prosthetists who he claims are confidential sources for Nine journalists in a series of articles over which he has taken them to court, reports The Australian’s Joanna Panagopoulos.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr Al Muderis is suing the Nine Network in the Federal Court over a 60 Minutes episode and articles in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age late last year, which he says defamed him by painting him as a negligent surgeon who used high-pressure sales tactics to the detriment of his clients.

Dr Al Muderis invented a version of osseointegration, a surgical procedure which places a prosthetic implant into the bone of amputees.

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Activist calls for ABC to resist after fine

A climate activist involved in an attempted protest outside the home of Woodside Energy’s chief executive says the light penalty for his failure to give police access to his phone and laptop should ­inspire the ABC to ­resist handing over footage from the incident, reports The Australian’s Paul Garvey.

Jesse Noakes was on Tuesday fined $250 for each of four charges relating to his failure to comply with a data access order.

Noakes was among a group of activists from the Disrupt Burrup Hub group charged over the ­attempted protest at the City Beach home of Woodside chief Meg O’Neill in August. The activists, who were apprehended by a group of more than a dozen police who were lying in wait at the home, were accompanied by a crew from the ABC’s Four Corners program.

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Making Squid Game reality TV show posed problem of how to ‘shoot’ players

Filming the new Squid Game reality TV show threw up “a lot of problems” including concerns over how to “shoot” contestants, its producer has said, reports The Guardian’s Nadia Khomami.

Squid Game: The Challenge will see 456 contestants from around the world competing for a huge cash prize, just like in the hit South Korean fictional drama.

It was commissioned by Netflix after the remarkable success of the original Squid Game, in which the poor are lured to play lethal versions of children’s games, risking death for wealth.

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The Block winners defend their ‘controversial’ tactics

The Block winners Steph and Gian Ottavio say they did nothing wrong after their tactics on the show were labelled “controversial”, reports News Corp’s Joshua Haigh.

It recently emerged that the couple had chatted with their agent Tom Panos early-on in the game in a bid to help them get an edge on their competition.

Their game plan was seen as controversial among fans but the couple avidly “disagree” that they did anything wrong.

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The Block 2023: Adrian Portelli to strip Steph and Gian’s Hampton East house

The Block buyer Adrian Portelli has vowed to remove some of the contents of the three homes he’s purchased in Hampton East, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

It comes after controversy erupted when he took out around $100,000 worth of items from the fully furnished Gisborne property he gave away after the last series of the show.

He bought that house for $4.25m and then offered it for free through his online shopping discounts and giveaway business LMCT+.

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Sports Media

Nine weekend sports presenter Josh Money to join 7News Adelaide sports team

Nine’s weekend sports presenter Josh Money has quit the station to take up the vacant position in Seven Adelaide’s sports team, reports News Corp’s Antimo Iannella.

Money will replace Theo Doropoulos, who is heading to Victoria to join 7News Melbourne, helping to fill the shoes of outgoing chief AFL reporter Tom Browne.

7News director Chris Salter said Money, 31, who’s been with Nine since March 2021, was the perfect addition to their sports line-up.

“We’re thrilled Josh is joining our newsroom,” he said.

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