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Every month, we at Hook sit down and create our Hook Up – a monthly newsletter composed of the most interesting things in the media landscape (combined with some of our own thoughts as well)!

Not yet convinced? Take a look at this one – it’s a newsletter we sent out in September 2019. Don’t forget to sign up afterwards to get this media newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each month for free!

Hi there

Having feverishly mined Google for a theme for this media newsletter and come up with nothing more than an old poem (Ode to Autumn), and a dead dramatist (August Strindberg), the Hook Up realised that the answer was staring it in the face: we’ve changed management and gone all Generation X in the writing team.

Don’t worry though – we’ll still have our finger on the pulse of modern media – it just might be contained within slightly different packaging: an old man sensibility about the modern world, a desire to talk about long form media, and an unhealthy fascination with sport (in particular ballgames). So with that in mind…

Does the internet change our brains?

A recent global study in International Psychiatry has found that prolonged internet use causes “acute and sustained alterations in specific areas of cognition.”

In effect, the brain works out the internet is there and uses it as an outsourced memory repository. For those who grew up in the age of the internet (in common parlance, Millennials and up) this is especially the case.

There are potentially two big consequences: first, we subconsciously outsource a key part of our thinking to an online world which is not always as reliable as it might be; second, by relying on the internet to do our brain’s legwork, the internet (and being online) takes up even bigger chunks of our waking hours.

This has implications for how we understand news and how we understand leisure (particularly amongst younger audiences). The Hook Up, for one, is fully in favour of going back to quill pens and parchment but feels it may be swimming against the tide…

Where have all the young viewers gone?

Perhaps this new world order inspired by the web is responsible for only 56% of 16-34 year olds watching BBC content every week.

The BBC is combatting this by changing schedules (BBC News at Ten being reduced to allow younger skewing content); investing in new content (Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, anyone?); and developing an advertising campaign aimed at enticing younger consumers.

The aforementioned £100 million advertising campaign will target young audiences, and is likely to result in more, targeted advertising across social media in an attempt to reflect ‘new digital behaviours’

The Hook Up, although the wrong demographic, would like to promise the BBC that it still believes, and doesn’t need an advertising push to get it to tune-in…

We just want to listen to the right people

While it may not scream out summertime fun, radio is still an accurate barometer of peoples’ moods and need-states throughout the course of the day.

According to the Guardian, Greg James has saved breakfast. By pushing away from the Heat aesthetic of Nick Grimshaw into an audience-first product he has recast the breakfast show on BBC to mix lots of fun, big stunts (Pass the Pastie) and modern issues. This is clearly something younger audiences are looking for, as evidenced by the show’s growing audience (now 5.69 million).

By the same token, Eddie Mair’s move to LBC has allowed him to become more pointy and opinionated, fitting the needs of a specific type of politics consumer.

What both presenters demonstrate is the need to know and reflect one’s audience, and once this has been achieved listener numbers will grow (I didn’t realise this was turning into a sales pitch, but if you do need a good audience insight agency, I may have one in mind…)

Football – you’re back, we’ve missed you

‘Football matters, as poetry does to some people and alcohol does to others … Football is inherent in the people … There is more eccentricity in deliberately disregarding it than in devoting a life to it’

At least that’s what this newsletter says to its better half when it goes to watch a championship game on Saturday afternoon instead of spending time with its children.

Anyway, the football cavalcade has got even better since the new season started as teams have started using their strips to colonise the cultural history of the areas they represent.

Manchester City’s new home kit embodies the ethos of the industrial north with a ‘woven  Jacquard wave pattern [which] is a visual representation of the looms which were integral to the industrial revolution in Manchester”. Not to be outdone Liverpool’s away and third strips pay tribute to ‘iconic street signs around Anfield’ and a graphic that reflects Liverpool’s street shapes.

Signalling connection to the community and a connection with history is clearly more important in these fractured times and football teams are taking a lead in showcasing origin stories of the city they come from.

At the Hook Up, we’re looking forward to seeing how Delia Smith can get incorporated into Norwich’s kit (her face watermarked in the home strip a la Patrick Bateman’s business cards in American Psycho, perhaps?)

Some shorts

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Each month, Hook's experts create a roundup of hot takes and insights into the Kids and Media industries... for free!

This information will never be shared with third parties.

Each month, Hook's experts create a roundup of hot takes and insights into the Kids and Media industries... for free!

This information will never be shared with third parties.