At the 2018 annual general meeting for HT&E, chief executive Ciaran Davis outlined company plans to build a unique media business for today and tomorrow.
Below are some of the highlights from his shareholder presentation.
Media business of the future… today
We are excited by a new business we will launch later this year, bringing together brands we already own to create a unique media business of the future.
Brands like The Roar, Techly, Lost At E Minor, The Edge, Unbound and others – all focused on the millennial market – will distribute content seamlessly across multiple channels like mobile, radio, virtual and augmented reality, social video, and events, to name just a few.
Generation E Media will become a one-stop media powerhouse, with our digital assets under one roof.
Remember, we already own these businesses that generate over $8m in revenues, but what we are doing is ensuring that we are delivering more and better aligned consumer experiences, helping us to further grow the reach of our brands, while introducing more opportunities for our advertising and commercial partners.
Leading esports player in Australia
The first is in esports. For those of you who don’t know, this is people watching other people play video games. It is predicted to be in the top five most watched sports in the world in the next 10 years. It will be a code in the Asian Games in 2022 and potentially, the Olympic Games.
Some stats for you:
• Already, the global audience for esports is over 380 million people worldwide
• Global esports revenues will reach over $900m in 2018
• Twitch – owned by Amazon, and the digital broadcast channel of choice for esports – recently paid US$90m to stream the Overwatch series
• Entry into esports leagues in the US is going for over US20m
• In the first three months of 2018, $2 billion has already been invested
Last year, we announced our intention to launch an esports business in Australia, investing up to $10m over the next three years, with the intention of become the premier esports operator in the country.
To date, we have made good progress and are delivering on our plans:
• Signed an exclusive Hoyts partnership to build a dedicated, state of the art esports arena in Sydney – the first of its kind in this country – with future expansion opportunities
• Dell has come on board as Presenting Partner
• Logitech is the sponsor of our professional series and there are further sponsorships to be announced
• Twitch has signed up as the exclusive digital broadcaster and Channel 10 will run a live broadcast over seven weekends
• We announced six city-based clubs that will partake in our league – realising our ambition to make Gfinity Australia the first city-based franchise league for esports in the country
• We are building a highly engaged digital audience across social media and have already run a successful tournament with FIFA, the world body for soccer, in advance of the World Cup in Russia.
Revenue streams come from broadcasting rights, franchise owners, with in-stream advertising in demand as esports engages a younger, predominantly male audience – a demographic that advertisers and sporting bodies all over the world are desperate to attract.
And the best part: already, we have over $10m in commitments before the competition starts.
Davis also covered radio strategy including the plans to improve performance in Melbourne.
Our audiences are growing, with Survey 8 ratings results in 2017 being the highest network share figures ever achieved, and that momentum is continuing in 2018. KIIS is the No. 1 brand in the country.
And the good news is that we believe there is still more growth to come.
We made a number of on-air changes at the beginning of the year, in line with our strategy of recruiting and retaining the best talent.
In particular, we were looking to strengthen the performance of our Melbourne stations – a market that is valued the same as Sydney, but where our audience and revenue shares lag behind our success in Sydney.
Jase & PJ on breakfast at KIIS 101.1 deliver a clear point of difference in a competitive market and we are very pleased with how they have started, working hard to realise their potential.
Across the KIIS drive network, we dictated the changes and took the opportunity to invest in Will & Woody – providing security of tenure for at least three years. The drive slot is attractive to advertisers and we are seeing increased briefing activity over last year from the content integration ideas Will & Woody bring.
Christian O’Connell starts on Gold on June 4 and is a great recruitment for us, presenting a real opportunity to drive market leadership in Melbourne. Christian is best known for his work in the UK, where he has the No. 1 breakfast show in London, and we believe his unique broadcasting ability will resonate well.