• Bauer Media’s Paul Gardiner reports advertisers returning to sector
By James Manning
“We have got quite a bit of good news,” said Paul Gardiner this week when talking to Mediaweek about the outlook at Bauer Media Australia.
Has the death of magazines been over-reported? How gloomy are things really?
Our interview with Gardiner comes after SMI reported magazine agency adspend dropped double digits again in February 2019.
But things aren’t that dismal at Bauer Media Australia according to its commercial director.
“We are in the best position we have been in for a long time.”
Gardiner is always one to tell it like it is. He wasn’t sugar-coating the past when he told us: “It wasn’t looking too flash 18 months ago.
“When I started [in Sydney] we were coming off 10 years of constant decline. 2017 was the worst year we ever had.
“Our teams have subsequently been working very hard and we are starting to hit our budgets and see some growth. Q1 2019 was the strongest quarter we have had in 10 years. We have managed to out perform the market and Bauer got a positive mention on the SMI Report.
“While the market was down 10% in February, we were up 10%. That is very positive considering where we have come from.”
In discussing reasons for the turn-around, Gardiner started talking about trust, engagement and attention, “spaces that magazine brands traditionally have owned”.
Bauer Media is able to report good news about readership. “Our audiences are holding. We have had two consecutive readership audits showing growth across our portfolio. Television meanwhile is reporting a double-digit decline.
“Our digital network is also going well. Now To Love has its biggest audience ever with just over 2m uniques. Our luxury cross platform audience has grown.
“We have got a good news story.”
Gardiner said Bauer Media Australia is seeing brands returning to magazines. “Marketers are going through a period where they are evaluating their spend as audiences shift. Advertisers that haven’t been in magazines are up, and others that have been out for a while, are returning.
“The challenge for us when we reset our commercial opportunities 15 months ago was we knew we would have to work really hard to get advertisers back. It is harder to get an advertiser back than it is to look after an advertiser that is currently using the medium. We have had to work really hard to give them a reason to take another look at Bauer.”
Gardiner also mentioned the success of Bauer’s content division Story 54.
“We have also done a lot of work around our purpose as a media owner. We were really clear about our purpose last year, which was around equality for everyone and a better future for Australian women. We worked hard on our 10 Million Words for a more equal female future initiative, and an amazing campaign to lobby to remove the tax on feminine hygiene products. We made a bit of a statement in the market as to what we are about.”
As to ongoing challenges, Gardiner said the mass titles are a constant work in progress. “Those titles would be the biggest issues for us as audiences find the content in other places. For us the strategy has been to go hard in the digital space with Now To Love. What we are finding is we are able to make up the potential downgrade in ad dollars from our weeklies across our digital network.
“We still have a job to do with the weeklies in educating the market about the role of weekly magazines. The role is around time out, escapism – entertainment. They still play an important role.”
Monday: Gardiner gets specific on Bauer Media strategy, titles that have been closed or sold, staff departures plus what is attracting the growing ad dollars.
GroupM introduced its addressable TV initiative, Finecast Australia, at the end of 2018 and so far it has run more than 60 addressable TV campaigns for more than 25 clients.
Finecast has partnered with broadcasters Seven, Nine, 10, SBS and Foxtel via MCN. To explain exactly what Addressable TV is how and it works, Finecast managing director Brett Poole was a guest on Mediaweek’s weekly Your Money segment and spoke with James Manning, Ingrid Willinge and James Daggar-Nickson.
Here are some highlights from the interview.
This is where advertisers can deliver different messages to different homes, unlike what you can do with broadcast TV where everybody sees the same ad at the same time.
It is a huge advance in TV advertising, which in the past has been used for reach. Now you can start segmenting audiences.
One of the changes in recent years has been the adoption of smart TVs, which enable broadcasters to get data. That allows information about who is watching that TV and broadcasters have invested a lot of money to develop catch-up apps, or OTT apps, which allows advertisers to have the data transfer when buying television. When a viewer is logged into their favourite app we know where that viewer and they can smartly deliver an ad.
The answer is yes with people watching live streaming. That has been more difficult for the broadcasters to enable, but most of the broadcasters can now do that. When people live stream sport you can get a huge audience watching at the same time. Which is the promise of TV – there is no other way better than TV to get such huge audiences.
It is not as big as broadcast TV, which is still the biggest and the best for reach buys. OzTAM though has measured as many as 12m different devices being connected in a month, which is also a big reach opportunity.
People say that TV is in decline, it is only the measurement that is in decline, TV has never been better than it is today. It is just not measured in the same way as people choose when they watch.
The base price for addressable TV will cost more because it is more targeted. But when you work out the efficiency of the buy it is always better than broad reach campaigns.
I have never met a marketer who didn’t spend more when something worked. Because it works it will get more spend diverted to it on media plans.
Because we have been planning TV the same for decades it is now a challenge because every part of the delivery has changed – from planning to how we activate an ad to how interesting we make the creative to how we measure it.
I love all broadcasters equally! They all have benefits and they all have a different strategy. They have all invested in the changing nature of TV and those experiences.
We are seeing way more programming being made available. Globally GroupM has forecast that up to half of all viewing could be addressable in some way.
Starcom will take over four Australian households and transform them into connected smart homes of the future, in a research project designed to uncover how smart technology will change consumer behaviour, and the commercial opportunity for brands.
On announcing The Future of Connected Living research project, Starcom CEO Toby Barbour said: “We’re experiencing a fundamental shift in connectivity, with consumers embracing voice technology at a rapid pace. When it comes to the use of voice technology in homes, we’re already seeing significant changes in human behaviour with the arrival of smart speakers and voice assistants in over one million Australian households.
“But so far businesses have largely focused on the technology, which only tells part of the story. To fully realise the opportunity, our thinking needs to be human centred.
“As the Human Experience Company, we believe the best way to understand people is to observe and engage with them in real-life situations. So we’ve created four fully-connected smart homes, and in conjunction with our brand partners, we’ll be studying technology through the experience of real people.”
The project is being led by Starcom’s national head of futures & product, Graeme Wood (Pictured) along with research agency partner, The Practice Insights.
Collaborating brand partners include Visa and Seven West Media, with Samsung also participating. The brands will guide the direction of the research and draw on their global knowledge and expertise to provide additional insight into the study.
Kurt Burnette, chief revenue officer Seven West Media said: “Seven West Media is excited to be partnering with Starcom in this groundbreaking research. Understanding the connected home is quite clearly an important factor in making informed decisions in the modern marketing mix. More importantly is understanding the behaviour of the people in that connected home. Like Starcom and its other collaborating partners, we are driven to better understand those behaviours to better communicate our content and our messages in the most effective way.”
The four households, based in the greater Sydney area have been chosen to reflect the complexity of Australian family life. As part of the initial stage of the 12-month project, these “natural labs” will be observed over a four-week period between March to April, with observations recorded via a mix of filmed video diaries by the households, filmed observation, and show-and-tell interviews.
Wood said: “We will bring to life what the future of family living will look like and provide an ongoing ethnographic study of human, lived experiences. Research outcomes will include gaining a deeper understanding of how and why consumer behaviour is changed by the experience of living in a smart home; and provide practical knowledge relevant to brand experience, product, service, content and commercial development.
“With forecasts that 43% of Australian homes will be smart-technology enabled by 2023, and UK/US voice commerce expected to grow from $2bn to $40bn by 2022, the opportunities for brands are enormous.”
John Broome, CEO, the Australian Association of National Advertisers added: “Marketers are always interested in how consumers react and change their behaviours in response to new technology. Emerging developments in connected home technology will be very interesting, and Starcom’s study will give us a perspective on what is to come.
“As new behaviours emerge, they will present new opportunities and challenges, particularly as existing behaviours potentially disappear. Savvy marketers will want to be in front of these changes before they happen.”
The initial findings from Starcom’s research project will be released in June.
Married At First Sight was a monster hit for Nine, but the avalanche of publicity about its nastiness cannot be ignored. One of the few positive stories had media professor Catherine Lumby comparing MAFS to Shakespeare and shows like Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, except the difference is these are all scripted, fictional dramas.
By Andrew Mercado
MAFS presents itself as “reality” and insists scripts are never written. And that must be true, because no hack would write anything as dull as the “raw and uncut “ eight minute conversation Ritchie and Alex had on 10’s Bachelor in Paradise. So, no scripted dialogue then, but let’s get real – too many situations are being set up for maximum drama.
As Ritchie likes to say, at the end of the day, reality TV has to decide if it should aspire to being better than a “cesspit”, as ABC Breakfast’s Michael Rowland described it. MAFS’ finale reunion, where warring females suddenly switched gears to support each other in the sisterhood, was too little, too late for some.
The chance for soul-searching is now, given commercial TV is already having a holiday. The Easter non-ratings period means Indiana Jones movie repeats on Nine and Chemist Warehouse advertorial House Of Wellness in prime time on Seven. Seven also has a new US network drama, The Passage, yet another variation of the zombie genre, but with some vampiric dream travelling and a plague thrown in. It stars Saved By The Bell’s Mark-Paul Gosselar, who now appears to be the TV-lite version of Chris Pratt, and Henry Ian Cusick from Lost, in the hope you will think this is the next Lost. FYI – it’s not.
Once upon a time, Easter was a time for religious reflection. 10 would even refrain from airing saucy material on Good Friday, like Number 96 and The Box. FYI – there is no respect today, unless you count The Ten Commandments on GEM. The ABC has the mega violent but wickedly funny second season of Killing Eve (also available now on iView) and Netflix drops Chris Lilley’s new series, Lunatics.
Will this be a return to form, given its all-new characters, or another lightning rod for controversy, after a trailer showed more blackface and jokes about disabilities? Whether it turns out to be a good or a bad Friday for Chis Lilley could be irrelevant, because the only talking point next week will be Game of Thrones on Foxtel. Fingers crossed their website doesn’t crash this year, or that’s what everyone will be talking about instead.
“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die” – Cersei Lannister
To commemorate the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones launching globally on April 15, a world-first experience for fans called Grave of Thrones has been unveiled by Foxtel, the home of GoT in Australia.
This final resting place, situated inside Centennial Park in Sydney from April 12-14 and spanning over 2,000 square metres, pays tribute to the bloodshed and more than a hundred thousand individual deaths in Game of Thrones over the past seven seasons.
Foxtel’s Grave of Thrones features an extraordinary collection of gravestones, including two grand family mausoleums housing the deceased members of House Stark and House Baratheon and the headstones of some of Game of Thrones’ most infamous characters, including Joffrey Lannister, Ramsay Bolton, Khal Drogo, Tywin Lannister, Littlefinger and Olenna Tyrell.
Every single grave has been created in staggering detail, closely referencing the lives and deaths of the characters featured, including Hodor’s headstone which honours one of the show’s most loved characters and depicts his tragic death at the exit of a cave.
Created for Foxtel by DDB Sydney, Revolver/Will O’Rourke and The Glue Society, Grave of Thrones is designed as a place for GoT fans to reflect on the deaths of the show’s most iconic faces, as the greatest show on earth gets set to reach its epic conclusion.
The graveyard was created by a huge team of Australia’s top sculptors, designers, painters and builders, who worked hundreds of hours to build graves richly layered in GoT stories and references.
Game of Thrones fans are invited to pay their respects at the graveyard, which is open to the public from Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14, from 7am – 6pm.
Visitors are also encouraged to bring tributes to lay on the tombs of their most beloved characters. Those at the Grave of Thrones will be able to download a map at graveofthrones.com, where they can also find an audio tour of the cemetery, illustrating the meticulous detail featured on each grave.
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premieres worldwide on Monday, April 15 at 11.00am AEST. Consisting of six episodes, viewers will be able stream new episodes every Monday exclusively in Australia on Foxtel Now or watch on Foxtel.
Visit Grave of Thrones
Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14 7am – 6pm
Fearnley Grounds, Centennial Park
• Melbourne Demons and Seven a network winning Thursday combo
• Nine records a victory in Sydney & Brisbane as West Tigers win
• Bachelor In Paradise & Gogglebox deliver best 10 share in 4 weeks
By James Manning
• Seven News 966,000/860,000 (No Adelaide at 6.30pm)
• Nine News 827,000/860,000
• A Current Affair 732,000
• ABC News 587,000
• 7.30 446,000
• The Project 232,000/383,000
• 10 News First 345,000
• SBS World News 123,000
• Sunrise 279,000
• Today 178,000
Home And Away dropped to 382,000 with no episodes screened in Melbourne and Adelaide with an early start to the AFL.
The football clash saw a return to form for Melbourne, which overcame Sydney after a sloppy start to win their first game of the year. The network audience was 572,000 after 675,000 a week prior. The Melbourne audience of 322,000 was down from 387,000. With Sydney playing, the audience watching on 7mate climbed from 23,000 last week to 55,000.
Nine’s night was boosted in Sydney and Brisbane by the NRL clash that saw West Tigers defeat the Broncos. The audience was 413,000 with 198,000 and 187,000. The metro audience was down a little from 443,000 a week ago.
Nine’s winning Sydney share was 23.1% while in Brisbane it was 28.5%.
A third evening of Bachelor In Paradise saw the audience close again to half a million, although now just under that figures after audiences above 500,000 earlier in the week.
The final episode of season nine of Gogglebox Australia then did 537,000 after 578,000 a week prior. The episode with all the Goggleboxers being super impressed with Ricky Gervais and After Life.
The two shows helped 10 to its best share in four weeks and its second best numbers in eight weeks. The primary channel had the top two shows under 50 and in key demos.
Escape From The City visited the southern tablelands with 357,000 after 321,000 a week ago.
The final of Informer then did 149,000.
Part 1 of Victoria And Albert: The Wedding drew the biggest Thursday crowd – 208,000.
The two hours of the drama Project Blue Book then did 138,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.3%||GO!||2.8%||10 Bold||4.0%||VICELAND||1.2%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||4.4%||GEM||1.8%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.9%||7TWO||4.7%||GO!||3.6%||WIN Bold||4.1%||VICELAND||1.9%|
|ABC ME||1.6%||7mate||3.9%||GEM||3.2%||WIN Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.3%|
|ABC NEWS||2.2%||7flix||2.9%||9Life||2.1%||Sky News on WIN||1.1%||NITV||0.3%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Walt Disney rose to the top of Hollywood on its ability to pack movie theatres and theme parks. Now it is betting that to stay on top, it needs to come to you, by streaming entertainment directly to TVs and phones, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Disney is preparing to launch a service called Disney+ that will, for a monthly fee, stream new and old shows built around its most popular franchises. That means breaking off a lucrative relationship with Netflix and instead competing against the streaming powerhouse.
Disney franchises such as Star Wars and High School Musical will anchor the monthly subscription service, which will launch in November.
In November 2015, Disney launched in Britain its first effort at a stand-alone streaming service, called DisneyLife. It offers access to about 400 movies, 6000 songs, 4000 TV episodes and 250 books, initially for about £10 a month.
The service failed to catch on with subscribers, even after its monthly fee was cut in half.
The company that owns the National Enquirer said it is exploring a sale of the scandal-plagued supermarket tabloid, which has been at the centre of hush payments to women who alleged they had affairs with President Donald Trump, reports The Wall Street Journal.
American Media said it had decided to explore strategic options for the Enquirer and its sister tabloids – the Globe and National Examiner – “which will likely result in their sale in the near future.”
Sales of the Enquirer have been in steep decline for years. The tabloid had weekly average sales of 218,000 in the six months that ended in December, down 41% from 2015, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. The Globe also saw weekly sales fall 34% to 117,000 in the same period.
While the Enquirer is American Media’s most notable publication, the company also owns a number of other gossip titles, such as Ok!, Star and Us Weekly, which it acquired for $US100 million in 2017.
Last year, American Media acquired the gossip titles In Touch, Life & Style and Closer from Bauer Media USA for about $US80 million.
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has been awarded $850,000 in initial damages after winning his defamation case against Nationwide News over two articles published by The Daily Telegraph in 2017, reports ABC News’ Jamie McKinnell.
In a damning judgement in the Federal Court, Justice Michael Wigney said Nationwide News and journalist Jonathan Moran failed to prove the imputations published in two articles in late 2017 were true.
Justice Wigney said in publishing unsubstantiated stories alleging Rush behaved inappropriately towards a female co-star during a 2015-16 production of King Lear, the newspaper produced “recklessly irresponsible pieces of sensationalist journalism of the very worst kind”.
He said he would determine an amount of damages related to lost income for Rush – on top of the $850,000 awarded on Thursday – at a later date.”
News Corp released this short statement following the findings:
The Daily Telegraph editor Ben English said:
“We are disappointed with Justice Wigney’s findings, in particular his dismissal of Eryn Jean Norvill’s evidence. We disagree with his criticisms of her and she has our full support.
“We will now review the judgment.”
Just weeks after revealing a partnership with Chugg Entertainment, Frontier Touring’s Michael Gudinski says a new joint venture with concert promoter and venue manager AEG Presents will bring enormous benefits to live music fans and artists across Australia and New Zealand, reports The Age’s Martin Boulton.
Frontier’s partnership with AEG, one of the world’s leading music and sports entertainment companies, formalises a relationship that’s existed for over a decade and brought some of the world’s biggest touring artists to Australian stages, including Ed Sheeran and the Rolling Stones.
“The name of the company isn’t changing,” Gudinski said, referring to Frontier Touring, which has been touring artists and promoting concerts for close to four decades.
AEG Presents, which has its headquarters in Los Angeles, also owns and runs Coachella, which is being headlined this weekend and next weekend by Australian band Tame Impala. The company also runs the hugely successful summer concerts in London’s Hyde Park.
Comedian Chris Lilley has got social media users in a spin again, five years after his controversial series Jonah from Tonga aired, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.
On Thursday, Netflix dropped the trailer for Lunatics, a 10-part mockumentary created by, written by and starring Lilley. The show marks the Australian’s return to the small screen and will introduce six new characters to viewers.
One of the characters, Jana – described by Netflix as a South African “lesbian pet psychic to the stars” – has attracted plenty of attention online, with some social media users claiming the character looks to be wearing blackface and is sporting an afro in the trailer.
Lunatics is set to debut on Netflix on April 19 and, as with previous projects Summer Heights High, Angry Boys and Ja’mie: Private School Girl, will feature a mixture of mock interviews and fly-on-the-wall footage.
For Stephanie Bendixsen, the desire of television audiences to escape into a world of fantasy is a rational response to the challenges of modern life, reports The Australian’s Justin Burke.
“Growing up, I was an awkward, acne-faced goth kid who played a text-based role-playing game to escape the pressures of high school and popularity,” said the co-host of Foxtel’s new live Game of Thrones aftershow Thrones 360.
Amid white-hot anticipation for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, which premieres on Monday, Foxtel has installed a death-themed fan experience in Sydney’s Centennial Park titled Grave of Thrones. It features more than 2000 square metres of gravestones and mausoleums for the dead characters of the series. Fans are encouraged to bring tributes to lay on the tombs; downloadable maps and an audio tour of the “cemetery” are also available.
They might be starring on Australian TV’s most successful show but that doesn’t mean the stars of Married At First Sight are raking in millions, reports news.com.au’s Hannah Paine.
According to one of last year’s contestants MAFS stars Jessika Power and Ines Basic would be making a rather modest pay packet despite their attention-grabbing antics.
Telv Williams, who was “married” to Sarah Roza last year, revealed in an Instagram question and answer session the “s**t” pay contestants make.
“You get paid $150 dollars a day, tax free. It’s s**t, it’s rubbish. Everything is off your own f***ing back,” Telv revealed.
But if a tax free daily rate to attend dinner parties may sound like a sweet deal to you, Telv added that Nine didn’t cover any of their personal costs they incurred for appearing on TV.
“You gotta do all your own hair and makeup,” he said. “You gotta do your own dress, buy your own clothes.”
The Perth daily newspaper has a third day of coverage of Eddie McGuire’s pending visit to the city for Fox Footy:
WA football fans hoping to not see Eddie McGuire’s face on their television tomorrow night have had their prayers answered by Channel 7, reports The West Australian’s Mitchell Woodcock.
Seven will broadcast its own localised pregame, postgame and half-time shows during the western derby, and McGuire will be heard only during the play.
The decision comes after The West Australian reported on Wednesday the Collingwood Football Club president would be part of Fox Footy’s western derby commentary team for the first time, despite WA football fans voting him the most annoying commentator in last year’s Seven West Media poll of more than 10,000 people.
McGuire responded by suggesting on radio that he should be in WA as part of the lead-up to the big game and the State Government was not maximising Optus Stadium’s potential as an interstate tourist attraction. “One of the things I have been working closely with the West Coast Eagles and speaking to Fremantle and particularly the WA Government, is bringing people from Victoria every week to that magnificent new stadium,” he said.