With many more people staying in Britain this summer, Bauer Media has picked a timely moment to revamp Aloud.com, its online ticket shop for brands including Q, Mojo, Kerrang!, Kiss and Magic Big City Network. The relaunched website has partnered with See Tickets and Seatwave, and now has more tickets to offer to a wider selection of gigs and events, including comedy, theatre and sports, all over the UK. There's also a handy and secure fan-to-fan ticket exchange on the site.
Economist Group results
It was good to see that the Economist Group has remained profitable, even if, in common with most media groups, it has been forced to make cutbacks. Ad revenues might be down, but the group's annual results showed that operating profit rose by 26 per cent, an encouraging performance in these bleak times. Circulation revenues are holding up, a sure sign that the core product, The Economist, continues to be valued by readers.
Sky's Lions coverage
While the British and Irish Lions' first Test against South Africa ended with a disappointing result for UK rugby fans, Sky's live coverage was top-notch. Following on from its exhaustive coverage of the build-up games, Saturday's offering, hosted by the excellent Simon Lazenby with expert analysis from past Lions greats including Will Greenwood, was compelling despite a disappointing first half for the touring side. Let's hope the team's performance can improve in the remaining two Tests as the Saturday lunchtime timing provides an ideal opportunity for celebrating in the sun after the action.
Monocle's 'most liveable cities index'
We enjoyed Monocle magazine's July/August edition cover feature, which provides a really detailed and extensively researched survey of the top 25 cities in the world for quality of life. London isn't anywhere to be seen, Zurich is number one in the rankings and the report is awash with fascinating stats about world cities such as a "chain test", which compares the number of Zara stores in a city with the number of Starbucks. Essential reading for the international man, or woman, of modern business.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
While Setanta's offer to viewers has had its problems, it was good for the ad market that it sold its programming and advertising separately from the likes of Sky. The sales house IDS did a good job on selling Premier League football as an alternative to Sky, but now ESPN has won the football rights package, it will apply a different model to Setanta and allow pay-TV providers such as Sky to sell its programming to their own customers - potentially leading to less competition in the advertising sales market.