11 Nov 2019

Bezos decks Powerpoint but collaboration is the main message on show

By Matt Stone

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has banned Powerpoint presentations in meetings.

Not only that, but meetings start with each attendee sitting and silently reading a six-page memo for the first 30 minutes. People take notes then discuss the memo. This group reading process is necessary because “executives will bluff their way through the meeting as if they’ve read the memo because we’re busy and so you’ve got to actually carve out the time for the memo to get read,” Bezos said.

It must have been odd at first to have a silent meeting for 30 minutes. It could be perceived as the penalty a flabby workforce pays for not preparing for meetings properly or it could be a signpost to a more transparent, collaborative way of working in large organisations.

It’s the process of drawing up the memo which is the most enlightening feature here:
“The memo is from the whole team. The great memos are written and re-written, shared with colleagues who are asked to improve the work, set aside for a couple of days, and then edited again with a fresh mind. They simply can’t be done in a day or two. [It] is harder for the author, but it forces the author to clarify their own thinking,” Bezos explained.

This is surely the key rather than the Powerpoint ban. The memos prioritise collaboration, focus and careful thinking about what decisions need to be taken at meetings, rather than calling for them for the sake of it.

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This plays into our process at Mediacells. Swanky decks have been superseded by live examples for clients to discuss in real-time. Our Collaborative Consulting is akin to the Amazon memo process and means that we are always focused on working with our clients throughout projects.

We start by asking them what success looks like, establish the measurement requirements together and their internal and external communication needs. We always ensure the work is never ‘black boxed’ – it’s always an open two-way process for the client, who has ownership, is involved in all steps and can get at the ‘nuts and bolts’ whenever he needs to.

All knowledge is always transferable to the appropriate people, gradually or as immediately as they require. Throughout the process there will be learnings together and the leaders in the business will get involved when it’s the right time for them.

Powerpoint may have been surpassed by the live experience, but Bezos is right – nothing beats collaboration.

28 Oct 2019

Mediacells appointed by Southampton FC to drive digital transformation

We’re very excited to announce that Mediacells has been appointed by Southampton FC to support the continuing transformation of their digital output.

The new agreement will see Mediacells develop a single source social media analytics platform to deliver compelling content that acquires and retains fans.

Performance Analytics will deliver Saints a 360-degree, near-live view of fan, commercial and partner content so that output can be optimised, with innovation and relevance front and centre.
Southampton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Mediacells will support innovation through the implementation of Intelligent Feeds which convert Southampton FC’s data into dashboard visualisations that the team can act on.

The dashboards will optimise content performance and empower Saints’ media and research teams to take decisions based on consistent data from a single source.

Jack Walkling, Head of CRM, Data & Analytics at Southampton Football Club, said:
“As a club, we take great pride in our digital output, and it’s important to us that what we produce, the stories we tell and how we tell them resonates with our fans.
Access to actionable data quickly is key to allowing us to make informed decisions about our content and distribution strategy.
Mediacells has cutting edge experience with the biggest football tournaments and Federations in the world. We’re excited to be collaborating with them and look forward to gaining a far deeper insight into how our supporters are engaging with our digital output.”

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Brad Rees, Chief Executive Officer at Mediacells, commented:
“Southampton are in the top flight of football and they are sophisticated digital leaders. Mediacells will use its expertise in performance analytics to empower the team and push the boundaries of relevant, targeted authentic content that resonates with fans, partners and sponsors in an increasingly competitive content space.”

For more information on how Mediacells can support your organisation with its transformation please contact us.

Southampton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League

18 Oct 2019

iPlayer revamp cuts to the heart of audience and sports rights transformation

by Matt Stone

The BBC has announced an update of the iPlayer, the 4th since its launch 12 years ago. Where the iPlayer had a 40% share of streaming audience 5 years ago, it’s now down to 15% due to the Netflix effect – even before the launch of Disney Plus and Apple TV in the next 6 months. The look and feel will change, while BBC channels and live events will be integrated alongside box sets with a longer shelf life of up to 1 year. Director General Tony Hall described the changes as a ‘new front door for British creativity’ and a ‘broader shop window’ on BBC platforms.


What’s the future for the iPlayer and the BBC in a wider context? The Spotify effect, where Millennials skip from track to track with little connection to the artists, is playing out on the BBC. The audience is attached to shows rather than channels. Our most successful clients recognise this. They work hard to ensure their content matches the audience needs and is present on the platforms they use. Our Performance Analytics dashboards help them monitor audience behaviour changes in real-time.

Without this brand weight, what’s the future for the licence fee going forwards? Without a hefty cash injection either from the licence fee payer or subscribers, the BBC will not be able to maintain its current level of competition in the sports rights market.

What’s the effect of all this on sport? The streaming platforms have been relatively slow in picking up the major football properties such as the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the English Premier League. A combination of long-term deals, the set-up expense and the rights price has put off disruptors.

Changes are coming though. All Boxing Day Premier League fixtures will be streamed live by Amazon in a first for the UK market, but all games being available everywhere – for a price – is clearly the future. It may take a while but we will look back on this fragmented market where the audience needs to go through several different gate-keepers as bizarre.

Where does the venerable Beeb fit into this landscape? Attitudes have changed from ten years ago when sports rights would routinely go to the highest bidder with little apparent thought on the effect on the health of the sport which confined the live rights to a niche partner. Cricket’s experience after the Ashes win in 2005, where the sport in its live form disappeared from terrestrial, is a case in point. A key part of the creation of the new ‘Hundred’ format was getting some live games back on terrestrial (but not many – only 10 men’s and 8 women’s games will be shown, and even these will be simulcast with Sky). But this only works if the terrestrial audience is a huge multiple of the newer platforms. With streaming, it’s not clear this will be the case in the medium term. What is clear is there is little appetite in charging a higher licence fee to pay for live sport. Somehow the BBC must square the circle.

19 Sep 2019


By Matt Stone The UEFA Champions League Group Stage returned this week – the biggest annual football tournament in the world with elite stars playing each other in the most popular sport. So how should the industry measure their digital footprint and engagement? What constitutes success? The classic ‘big number’ on the press release? Or […]

16 Apr 2019

Spurs’ stadium paves the way for global football

By Matt Stone Can a fan ever be happy to be called a customer? Do they actually care about anything outside the pitch itself? Can the football business ever build something truly authentic for the devoted hardcore? Tottenham Hotspur have taken a £1bn gamble that the answer to these questions is a resounding ‘Yes.’ On the […]

20 Mar 2019
1 Mar 2019

Timely Rolex Faceook post wins at Oscars 2019

What a week. There’s now 3.6bn mobile internet users worldwide, according to eggheads at the annual gathering of mobile digital in Catalonia #MWC. I traded Barcelona for Hollywood this year to cover a data story on the Oscars 2019 which my brilliant Mediacells colleagues have transcended into a stunning visual narrative. Cadillac lit the touchpaper […]

15 Jan 2019

What on Oeuf is going on!

There are lots of predictions at this time of year, particularly in digital circles. Google is predicting that users will spend more time watching online video in 2019 than in front of the television. Is this a surprise to anybody? Mediacells anticipates pioneering media experiences, like Netflix Original’s format-subverting Bandersnatch, will transform traditional viewing habits […]

1 Jan 2019

Will football always be the #1 global sport?

By BRAD REES Is football breakable? That’s the question writer Janan Ganesh eloquently answered in a recent thinkpiece for the Financial Times. On the surface football is in rude health. Mr Ganesh gives the example of how obtainable a European ‘soccer’ game now is in the USA, ‘even Atlanta, down in gridiron country, has become […]

25 Sep 2018

Are you enlightened?

Rockstar Digital Analysts Required You will perform, what we call, Enlightened Analytics, using the science of analysis with the tradition of storytelling to inform clients of how successful they are in connecting to target customers. Your goal is to transform, curate, model, visualise the performance of our Global and European sports clients and support a compelling […]