The Oxford Media Convention

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Melanie Gray and Graham Goode, from the Advances in Media Management research cluster, recently attended the Oxford Media Convention. The convention was organised by IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) and was well attended by leading figures in the media industry, including speakers from the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, industry bodies such as the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT), Commercial Broadcaster Association (COBA) and European Broadcasting Union (EBU), policy makers from Ofcom, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, BT, Virgin Media and many academics.

Industry bodies discussed the impact of Brexit on the creative industries, concluding that there were many opportunities for the strongly placed UK industry in global markets but consideration had to be given to possible risks such as access to talent, licencing issues and loss of funding revenues from the EU. There was discussion on the impact of the BBC’s new charter and the introduction of regulation by Ofcom in April, the first time that the BBC has been externally regulated. The principles and frameworks that will inform this regulation were presented by Ofcom’s Chief Executive leading to a lively debate about “distinctiveness” of the BBC as one criteria for assessment. With a focus on measuring by channel and outlet, this could lead to greater emphasis on branding and brand management to ensure careful positioning of BBC channels and programmes in audiences’ minds.