Screen Digest

Screen Digest Ltd is a company providing business intelligence, research and analysis on the global media markets based in London, United Kingdom, that has grown out of a monthly journal of that name that was founded in 1971.

Company history

"Screen Digest" was founded in 1971 by journalist and documentary film-maker John Chittock, then film and video correspondent of the Financial Times, as a newsletter containing brief news abstracts across the range of media, including film and cinema, television and in particular the nascent video sector.

From the first issue [Screen Digest, October 1971. London: Screen Digest, 1971, 12pp] , it has been characterised by the use of icons to identify the broad media subject area of each news story and the inclusion of contact information for companies and organisations mentioned in news items. Other features from the start were the inclusion in the subscription of a free binder and detailed annual index, based on the concept of acting as a journal of record.

In February 1972 a four-page centre section on yellow paper was introduced, initially to carry a page of reference material and articles from members of the industry. Among early contributors were Robert W Sarnoff, then chairman of RCA, film director and teacher Thorold Dickinson and the BBC director-general Charles Curran. This has since developed into a data-related eight-page section based on the company's recent research. Also in that month David Fisherdn joined as news editor. He became editor in July 1974 and still holds that position.

In the mid 1970s, Chittock and Fisher produced a daily half-hour closed-circuit radio programme for delegates at the 1976 British Industrial Film Festival in Brighton and repeated the exercise the following year's 18th International Industrial Film Festival [ [ BFI | Film & TV Database | International Industrial Film Festival ] ] at the National Film Theatre in London.

In 1976 Screen Digest formed an alliance with Nord Media, a London-based research business owned by Ebav, an audio-visual company jointly owned by the Scandinavian enterprises Esselte and Bonnier. The partnership ended in May 1980.

Chittock sold the company in July 1996 to a management team comprising David Fisher, Allan Hardy, Ben Keen and Mark Smith. At that time the company had one full-time employee. Since then Screen Digest has expanded its consultancy and report publishing activities, as well as developing an extensive set of continuously updated online information and data services on Broadband Media, Cinema, Games, Mobile Media, Television and Video. Screen Digest now counts over 50 full-time employees, with bases in New York and California in the USA and Melbourne, Australia, as well as London.

In 2007, Screen Digest acquired the US video market research company Adams Media Research (AMR) [ [ Adams Media Research, Inc.: Private Company Information - BusinessWeek ] ] , [ [ Adams Media Research :: Press Releases ] ] and established Screen Digest Inc. The Global Media Intelligence (GMI) division was formed in 2007 to supply reports on media companies for corporate investors [ [ Merrill Lynch Agrees to Exclusive Distribution Agreement With Global Media Intelligence, a Producer of Independent Research in the Media Sector ] ] .

Conferences on cutting-edge media

In its association with Nord Media, Screen Digest staged two landmark video conferences: Video Disc 77 [David Fisher (compiler): "Video Disc 77". London: Nord Media, November 1977, 40pp.] and Video Disc and Videogram 79 [David Fisher (compiler): Video Disc and Videogram 79. London: Nord Media, February 1979, 40pp.] .

In May 1981 Screen Digest was involved in conference organisation for the International Video Week [ [ BFI | Film & TV Database | ] ] , co-ordinated by The Economist and held on the South Bank, London. The event was staged again the following year. Several industry lunches were also held in London around this time at which guest speakers included Buckminster Fuller and Rosita Sarnoff, granddaughter of David Sarnoff.

In 1996 Screen Digest became responsible for arranging the conference programme for the annual European Video Perspective (PEVE) home entertainment conferences and in 2007 acquired the sole ownership of the event [ [ PEVE digital entertainment conference 2008 ] ] .


In the opening scene of the 1952 film "Singin' in the Rain" the camera closes in on a film fan at a premiere screening, who is holding a copy of a magazine called "Screen Digest" [ [ Singin' In The Rain (1952) ] ] . There is no connection and it is believed that the film version was created by the MGM props department as no trace has ever been found of a historical film magazine of that name.

External links

Company website:


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