Features

‘Netflix for everything other than sports’ – The media habits of Bonsey Jaden’s Daniel Posavac

While we hear a lot about a 'mobile first' these days, Bonsey Jaden CEO Daniel Posavac still prefers to watch long-form content on television or laptop – and he offers a few solid recommendations with his media habits

What are your must-read news sources you can’t live without on a daily basis, and why are those particular media titles so important to you?

“My most frequented sources are Quartz, The Economist and NYT for global news, Mumbrella and Ad Age for industry news and ESPN and Eurosport for my sporting fix.

“They are important to me because they feed me with the highest quality information, news, opinion and thought leadership for all my interests.”

In terms of news consumption – do you prefer, print, television, radio, websites, newsletters, social networks, blogs, apps or something else entirely?

“I get most of my news from Twitter, which typically lead me to the various sources of the stories. I subscribe to a few key newsletters and blogs such as NYT, Medium, The Information and industry channels such as Mumbrella, Campaign Asia and Ad Age.”

Do you prefer long-form or short-form content?

“Long-form content. When a story piques my interest I like to go as deep as possible.”

Can you name your favourite journalist and set out what makes them great?

“I cannot name single journalists however there are a number of bloggers, thought leaders, media personalities and industry insiders who I follow and read from on a daily basis.

“These include Seth Godin, John Oliver, Mitch Joel, Tim Ferris, James Altucher, Jonathan Wilson (The Blizzard), Bob Leftsetz, Fred Wilson, Marc Andreessen, Peter Levitan, MediaREDEF, The Tomkins Times, Eight by Eight, Byron Crawford, Joe Rogan. Jason Silva, Simon Kuper and Gary Vaynerchuk.”

What piece of journalism has changed the game in recent times, in your view?

“I honestly couldn’t pick out a single piece.”

Are there any titles you have paid subscriptions to?

“The New York Times, Medium, The Information, The Blizzard, Campaign Asia, Ad Age, The Economist.”

In terms of films and shows, is your preference for terrestrial television or streaming platforms like Netflix?

“Netflix for everything except for sports.”

Are recommendation engines a good thing or do they cancel out the joy of serendipity in terms of discovering fresh content not aligned with your previous preferences?

“I use recommendation engines as a value add but not as a primary discovery mechanism.

In recent times the strike rate of the engines has been improving, however the depth of the discovery is fairly shallow (Netflix) or leads down rabbit holes which quickly lose meaning (YouTube).”

What was the best film you saw of late – and can you describe why it made an impression on you?

“I can’t get off the fence so I will list some films that stood out in for me in 2018:

“Bohemian Rhapsody: Really brought to life the impact Queen and Freddie Mercury had on music and culture – and reminded me of just how many brilliant songs they had.”

“Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson is a master storyteller and this film had almost everything I love; stop motion animation, science fiction, comedy, drama and Japan.

“Honorable mention – Deadpool 2: Just because I am a fan of the franchise.”

And what shows do you consider to be event TV, those programmes you just have to watch and can’t contemplate missing?

“If we exclude sport there are a number of programmes which I can’t miss: Billions, Black Mirror, Narcos and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight.”

In terms of devices, how do you access content most often – on mobile, desktop, tablet, laptop or television?

“My content consumption is fairly evenly split across TV (via Apple TV) and laptop (when on the road). I rarely consume content on the mobile, and if I do it is only short form content.”

How damaging is piracy and illegal downloads when it comes to the media and entertainment space?

“In the initial stages it was quite damaging but it did force the industry to find new revenue and growth models. Today I feel the damage is minimal – both the film and music industry are back to doing record numbers, and Netflix and Spotify are revolutionising the consumption of music and films.”

And moving on, what’s been your favourite book in recent times?

“Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs and Maverick Scientists are Revolutionising the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal.

“Very honourable mention: Billion Dollar Whale.”

So Kindle or hard copy?

“Audible.”

And now to music. How do you buy and consume music?

“I have a paid subscription to both Spotify and Apple Music.”

Which musical artists appeal to your tastes right now?

Anderson.Paak

“I have a rather eclectic taste which at the moment is revolving around Anderson.Paak, John Mayer, Queen, Kendrick Lamar and the ever-present Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder.”

Social networks: Hero or villain when it comes to giving you access to content?

“Hero. When I am in control of my consumption patterns, and with my highly curated feeds, I still very much believe in social networks.”

And are social networks like Facebook and Twitter actually media companies these days in your view, even though that is something they deny – perhaps to avoid further “regulation?

“Absolutely. They are extremely profitable businesses who make money predominantly from advertising around content. The fact that the content is produced by us and not them (for the most part), is irrelevant to their status. They are (and have been for a while) the new media.”

In the digital world, algorithms rather than humans are the media gatekeepers. Do you miss the old days when the likes of journalists, critics and broadcasters played that qualitative role, or have we simply evolved to a better quantitative system?

“I have always been one for progression, and I believe that today’s technology should not take away the opportunity for humans to be at the centre of content creation, curation and media ownership.

“I feel that the digital ecosystem has given an even louder voice to amazing journalists, writers, thought leaders and thinkers who have adapted to the mediums.

“We are now able to read the kind of articles (Medium) and view the kind of content (YouTube, TED etc), which were not possible in the ‘good old days’ under the qualitative system.”

Finally, what does the future hold for the media space in your view – will artificial intelligence and virtual personal assistants take over to the point where we just trust the machines to tell us what we want to consume, in terms of news and entertainment?

“I hope not. I watch a lot of Black Mirror but my gut is nowhere near as dystopian as that. AI will certainly revolutionise the way content is discovered, distributed and eventually created – however quality human journalism, storytelling and option will be always be more powerful and resonant with other humans than artificial intelligence.

“Humans will forever trust other humans more than technology. That’s my optimistic view of the future, however if you ask my co-founder @NicRobertson I think you might get a different answer – especially if you ask him about Neuralink.”

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