Sky News anchor Natalie MacDonald and Mediaweek’s James Manning are this week joined by Publicis Media Exchange MD Sarah Keith.
Advertising spend data for February released this week indicates advertisers have been spending at a record amount with a total media agency spend of $1b for the first time ever in just the first two months of the year.
Digital, Outdoor and Radio media are all reporting record levels of ad spend.
Keith will answer our questions about how long the good times can last and what sort of impact a flee from Facebook could have on the sector. Keith heads a team responsible for investing around $1.3 billion of annual advertiser expenditure.
Tune in today at 2.30pm on Sky News Business (Foxtel 602)
By Kruti Joshi
“It’s a funny old business that we work in. As much as we like to plan for the future, you never quite know what’s around the corner,” Lehmann told Mediaweek. “You do have a moment when you lose your job where you think, ‘Oh God! What am I going to do now?’
“I have been very lucky this year. I have had lots of opportunities come my way, which I am grateful for.”
This year so far has gifted him with a gig on ABC Grandstand and Fox Footy’s new quiz show The Beep Test, which will premiere on April 4. “I am getting to do some really interesting work that I perhaps wouldn’t have been able to do if I was still in my old job,” Lehmann said.
Mediaweek caught up with Lehmann a day before the show was to go to air. He was due to film the first episode of the series later in the day.
• Eight of 10 largest product categories deliver double digit February growth
• Digital, outdoor and radio are all recording record levels of ad spend
Australia’s media agency market has kicked off 2018 in spectacular fashion, with significantly higher advertising demand from a swathe of large product categories delivering a record level of February ad spend and the best ever start to a calendar year, reports Standard Media Index (SMI).
SMI’s agency data shows demand lifted 7.6% in February to a record level of $544.8 million, which in turn pushed agency bookings for the first two months of CY2018 5% higher, ensuring ad spend for the two-month period broke through $1 billion for the first time. (SMI measures only media agency spending.)
In February the digital, outdoor and radio sectors all recorded record levels of agency ad spend for the month, with outdoor delivering by far the largest growth (+29.1% year-on-year without any lunar month issues). Television grew ad spend by 5.4% to its best February result since 2015.
The higher demand came from a broad range of advertisers, with eight of the market’s 10 largest product categories reporting double digit growth in February. The highest growth came from the domestic banks category, which grew ad spend by 56.6% year-on-year as they seek to mitigate the impact of the Financial Services Royal Commission.
Other large categories reporting double digit gains include retail (+11.8%), food/produce/dairy (+16.5%), insurance (+23.4%), government (+26.9% in a month that included SA and Tasmanian elections), toiletries/cosmetics (+27.7%) and restaurants (+21.1%).
SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said this was by far the best start to a calendar year since SMI bookings began in 2007.
“Breaking through the $1 billion ad spend level so early in the year augurs well for continuing demand, especially as we’re yet to see the extra ad spend related to the Commonwealth Games or other major sporting events due this year,’’ she said.
“It’s also pleasing to see such widespread support from many varied advertiser groups as even at the smaller end of the spectrum we’re seeing categories such as analgesics lifting spend by 73% and real estate agents growing ad spend by 85% from February 2017.”
Australia’s agency market is also reporting record ad bookings for the first eight months of this financial year, with the total up 3.1% to a record level of $4.8 billion.
More detail on the latest February ad spend trends is shown below.
Seven West Media has launched a new version of The West Australian website, available at thewest.com.au.
The update comes just 16 months after The West Australian took control of its direct-to-consumer digital products from Yahoo7, relaunching The West Australian website in December 2016 and launching The West Australian mobile app in April 2017, followed by the acquisition and relaunch of PerthNow in November 2017.
Backed by Seven West Media’s integrated newsroom, which harnesses the power of The West Australian, The Sunday Times, PerthNow and 7 News Perth, The West Australian is WA’s leading destination for online news.
The new website launched is fully responsive and delivers significant improvements to the user interface, with a cleaner design, better navigation, the ability to feature more video from 7 News Perth and a closer alignment with the look and feel of the newspaper.
The update follows record online traffic for The West Australian, with a digital reach of 1.12m unique audience (UA) – up 76% year on year. SWM WA’s total digital reach (including The West Australian and PerthNow) was a record 1.65m UA – up 44% year on year. SWM’s total audience (excluding Yahoo7) was a record 4.23m UA – up 51% year on year (Nielsen DRM, February 2018).
SWM WA has also achieved record video growth since its departure from Yahoo7, with monthly video streams of 2.8m – up 56% year on year (SWM internal analytics, February 2018).
Seven West Media head of digital Dan Stinton said: “We’ve grown our digital audience and revenue substantially in the last few years by making our content available wherever our audience wants it – be it via the website, mobile app, social channels, podcasts or smart speakers – and there is a lot more to come. This website update is the outcome of continued investment in Seven West Media’s digital strategy.”
Dan Stinton has been named the new MD of Guardian Australia. He succeeds Ian McClelland, who was recently promoted to be Guardian Media Group’s MD of corporate development based in London.
As managing director, Stinton will lead Guardian Australia’s commercial strategy, with responsibility for revenues and operations across advertising and other areas. He will report to Evelyn Webster, chief executive of Guardian US and Guardian Australia, and will work closely with Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor.
Currently, Stinton is the head of digital at Seven West Media, responsible for digital products and technology across Seven West Media’s Western Australian business including The West Australian, Perth Now and 7 Perth. The West Australia today relaunched its digital home.
On the new appointment, Webster said: “Guardian Australia has grown its readership and revenues significantly since being founded in 2013, and is now a vital and distinctive news source for millions of Australians. Dan is an accomplished leader of digital media businesses, and will help Guardian Australia in the next phase of its growth.”
Stinton said: “I’ve loved the Guardian since I started out in media over two decades ago, and I’ve admired the achievements of Guardian Australia since its launch. I’m looking forward to joining Lenore and the team to continue to grow Guardian Australia and ensure its distinctive journalism plays a dominant role in Australia’s media landscape.”
Guardian Australia was founded in 2013 under the leadership of editor Katharine Viner, who is now the editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media.
• Broadcaster promises more world-class comedy content to come in 2018
The ABC has celebrated humour at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, promising an unrivalled commitment to comedy content across television, online, radio and podcasting.
This multiplatform approach will deliver content across TV, iview, ABC listen and the ABC’s social media.
David Anderson, ABC director entertainment & specialist, said: “The ABC has a long history of investing in world class Australian comedy for our audiences. Our audiences’ behaviours continue to change, and as content makers our job is to deliver them experiences when and where they want them.
“The ABC Comedy launch was a great opportunity for the ABC to reinvent the way we traditionally think about our ABC audiences. This rebrand saw our iview numbers jump 70%, in no small part due to our ABC iview summer comedy binge, with over two million plays for that content alone. So we know that there is an appetite for on-demand comedy viewing.
“The ABC is a place where content makers and comedians can take more risks. We continue to look for exciting ways to work with our existing, highly talented comedians, continuing the ABC’s long tradition of fostering new talent. Programs like Tonightly with Tom Ballard are a great example of this. We sometimes take significant risks, but we reach more people by creating shareable social media content and influencing conversations.
“The ABC will continue our push into these areas of growth, by experimenting with short-form video content like Fresh Blood, rolling out further offerings across our audio platforms and continuing to invest in ABC fans’ favourites, such as Rosehaven.”
ABC’s head of comedy, Rick Kalowski, discussed highlights from the upcoming year:
“It’s an exciting time for the ABC as we continue to lead the way with world class comedy programming. From new series of ABC favourites to kick-starting the careers of up-and-coming talent, our commitment to comedy in all its forms is stronger than ever.”
From Wednesday May 2 three series return one after the other – Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery, Gruen and The Weekly with Charlie Pickering get together from 8pm.
New to the channel is Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise which will see comedian Corey White try to solve the biggest problems facing everyday Australians. Premiering at 9.40pm also on May 2, the series will set White on a collision course with conventional wisdom as he takes on not one but two urgent issues in each of the series’ 10 episodes.
Further announcements included the Santo, Sam and Ed’s Total Football podcast is returning as Santo Cilauro, Sam Pang and Ed Kavalee tackle the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia – plus on iview, filmed episodes of the podcast will also be available.
Alice Fraser, Cal Wilson and Sami Shah debate online trolling during the Troll Play podcast.
Nazeem Hussain returns with season three of the hit anti-travel podcast, Burn Your Passport.
Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola are back in production on series three of one of the ABC’s Rosehaven.
Aaron Fa’Aoso, Nakkiah Lui and Wayne Blair are back with more of Black Comedy plus the long-awaited reboot sees Wayne Hope reprise his role as trumped-up businessman Don Angell in Back In Very Small Business (from Hope and Robyn Butler, makers of Upper Middle Bogan).
• Seven share over 40% as viewers pick Opening Ceremony
• Seven starts 12 days of Comm Games gold with 2.0m metro
By James Manning
Biggest opening ceremony in over a decade, outperforming Olympics (Summer and Winter) and Commonwealth Games in that period.
FTA Shares over 50% for all demographics during 1800-2400.
Opening Ceremony live streaming more than double Winter Olympics.
6.6 million viewers reached with Seven’s Commonwealth Games coverage yesterday.
The channel should be secure in top spot for the 12 nights of Commonwealth Games coverage and started with a massive metro share of 43.8% and a combined channel share of 52.7%.
Interest peaked in Brisbane where the primary channel was sitting on 65.0%.
While the audience of just over 2m is outstanding in the current climate, it is down on the 3.56m watching the Comm Games opening ceremony in Melbourne on Nine in 2006.
A Current Affair was on 646,000 just before the opening ceremony started on Seven.
An hour of RBT then did 370,000 followed by the 2014 Tom Cruise movie Edge Of Tomorrow on 246,000.
TEN News had the channel’s biggest audience with 428,000.
The Project did 395,000 with Russell Crowe including the program in his media blitz as he promotes a forthcoming auction of his collectibles.
An hour of Bondi Rescue saw both repeats close to 350,000.
A Graham Norton highlights program did 268,000.
This Is Us then did 114,000 after 9.30pm.
Hard Quiz had the biggest audience up against the Comm Games Opening Ceremony with 501,000 tuned into Tom Gleeson.
Mad As Hell then did 472,000 followed by Sando on 283,000.
The channel programmed a two-hour 9/11 doco against the Comm Games with 197,000 watching.
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.1%||GEM||1.8%||ELEVEN||1.9%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||1.0%||7mate||3.6%||GEM||2.6%||ELEVEN||1.8%||Food Net||0.8%|
|WEDNESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
Nine and Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) have announced that SCA will take on representation of Nine’s local television sales in the Northern New South Wales licence area.
The arrangement commences on July 1, 2018 (with a transition period from May 1, 2018) and builds on the broader affiliate agreement between the two parties.
With SCA already representing Nine for national sales in Northern NSW, this agreement will mean all TV sales for Nine’s NBN operations in Northern NSW will be undertaken by SCA.
Managing director of QTQ and NBN Kylie Blucher said: “This is a natural step in the close relationship we have with our regional partner SCA and there are obvious synergies in having them represent us across the Northern NSW licence area.
“For local advertisers they will continue to be serviced by a strong local team who knows the area and their needs.”
Brian Gallagher, chief sales officer for SCA, said, “With this extension into Northern NSW, SCA will be bringing its expertise to sell the Nine TV product to local and national clients across the vast majority of regional Australia.”
As the largest regional market, the Northern NSW licence area serves a population of more than 2.1 million people, with centres in the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Central Coast, Tamworth, Taree, Lismore, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
Nine and SCA are working with impacted employees for their transition to SCA. Mediaweek believes there could be a small number of redundancies from the merging of the sales teams.
Following the release of the February SMI data (see separate business item) NewsMediaWorks has reminded the market the data does not reflect the true size of the news media sector.
Peter Miller, CEO of NewsMediaWorks, said:
“SMI data represents less than half the total advertising revenue for news media. The data does not capture the large proportion of direct advertisers that news media attracts, which represent more than 56% of ad revenue for publishers and grew by 13.5% in the December 2017 quarter alone.
“The News Media Index, with data collated by SMI, provides a more accurate picture of news media ad revenue because it represents print and digital ad revenue and also includes revenue from direct advertisers.
“In 2017, total ad revenue for the news media sector was $2.02 billion. News media brands deliver targeting at scale in the most trusted environment for both readers and advertisers.”
According to the latest News Media Index data, with data collated by SMI, the sector’s advertising revenue hit a year high in the fourth quarter of 2017 at $519.8 million, buoyed by advertising related to the Queensland election and the Marriage Equality debate.
The result was underpinned by digital news media revenue that grew 8.5% to $134 million. Digital spend from direct advertisers jumped by 31.8% to $85 million in the quarter.
Programmatic ad revenue also continued to grow strongly, rising by 26.5% to $9.9 million, while digital classifieds rose by 21.6% to $61 million in the quarter.
Bill Morrow, CEO of NBN, has informed the board and government of his intention to step down from his position by year end 2018 by which time he will have led the organisation for four years and nine months.
The 2018-21 NBN corporate plan confirms that by the end of this year 80% of the population will be able to connect to the national broadband network.
Morrow said: “I believe that as the company prepares to confront the new challenges ahead, this is the right time to hand over the reins for the next phase of this incredible project and for me to plan for the next step in my career.”
NBN chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said: “The country has been fortunate to have Bill lead this extraordinary project. While we will be sorry to see him leave, Bill has built a resilient, performance-driven organisation which will build on his legacy.”
Ayuda Media Systems, an out-of-home ad tech company, announced today at the 2018 Digital Signage Expo that Val Morgan Outdoor (VMO) has selected Ayuda’s software as the backbone for all ad operations including sales, digital ad serving, and customer-facing enablement tools.
As part of the HOYTS Group of companies the VMO network includes more than 10,000 digital advertising screens across 100 locations in Australia and New Zealand, engaging high-value audiences where they work, shop and commute and live, VMO has already migrated more than half of its extensive national advertising network to Ayuda’s digital CMS and player since officially signing the partnership in late 2017.
Anthony Deeble, HOYTS group chief commercial officer and VMO founder, commented: “We chose Ayuda due our shared culture of innovation and drive to connect advertisers with the right audiences at the right time. VMO has led the industry with innovation since its inception and in particular the launch of DART (Digital outdoor Audience in Real Time) and similarly Ayuda has repeatedly demonstrated that it is a company of firsts.”
The board of advertising giant WPP is looking into whether longtime chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell misused company assets, according to sources, reports The Wall Street Journal.
In addition, the board was also looking into allegations of improper personal behaviour by Sir Martin, one of the sources said.
A WPP spokesman yesterday confirmed that it had appointed an independent counsel to probe “an allegation of personal misconduct” against Sir Martin. He said the amounts involved were not material to the company.
Viacom has rejected CBS Corp.’s initial merger proposal that had been submitted March 30 to kick off negotiations between the two entertainment companies controlled by the Redstone family as they consider recombining 12 years after their separation, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The all-stock proposal from CBS used a ratio of the two stocks and valued Viacom below its market price. It also called for CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves and COO Joe Ianniello to run the combined company without any known plans for any role for Viacom CEO Bob Bakish.
British-based global publishing company Future has paid US$13.8m for New York and London-based information and events business New Bay Media.
There is a further potential deferred consideration of up to US$5.60m in January 2019, depending on the future performance of the acquired business. New Bay generated EBITDA of US$4.2m in the year ending December 31, 2017.
New Bay has a B2B publishing portfolio across a number of verticals with one of the best known titles the UK publication Music Week. New Bay has a consumer division in the music vertical in the US where it publishes Guitar World and Bass Player.
Future said the acquisition pushes its global reach to over 120m people across 100+ brands in print, events and online.
Pacific’s BEAUTYcrew and Revlon have released a first-to-market new interactive video format to coincide with the launch of Revlon’s #defineyoureyes campaign.
The four-in-one interactive video is an Australian beauty media first, whereby users are invited to select their eye shape onscreen to unveil a customised step-by-step makeup tutorial personalised for the consumer’s eye shape.
Carli Alman, editor, BEAUTYcrew, said: “Our audience loves highly personalised beauty advice. Interactive and responsive video functionality now allows BEAUTYcrew to take personalisation to the next level, with a tailored guide to this season’s most in-demand high impact eye makeup. We are delighted to collaborate with Revlon, which from the outset has shared our ambition to bring to market innovative, personalised new content formats that are simple and fun to use.”
Launched in 2016, BEAUTYcrew claims to be the #1 online beauty destination that combines the expertise and reach from its own content team plus the combined power, influence and reach from the portfolio of Pacific brands marie claire, InStyle, WHO, Girlfriend, Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s Health, New Idea and Men’s Health.
When the ARN programming gurus decided to bring Jase Hawkins back to Australia and put him into KIIS 101.1 breakfast in Melbourne with PJ, they might have had an inkling Jase might catch up on air one day with his old housemate.
Although that housemate, Kyle Sandilands, and Jase are great broadcasters in their own right, there is something special when they are together on the airwaves with their respective colleagues Jackie and PJ.
Audiences listening to both KIIS 106.5 and KIIS 101.1 got to hear that chemistry between the four at work this morning.
The Kyle and Jackie O Show put through a call, via Intern Pete in the control room, to the KIIS Melbourne breakfast show. Discussion on the Sydney breakfast show mentioned people stealing someone’s partner and Jackie recalled the time Kyle wooed Tamara away from Jase, better known as Labrat during his days working with Kyle and Jackie O, with Kyle eventually marrying the onetime pop star.
After sitting on hold for a while at the Melbourne station, Jase and PJ nervously took the call. Kyle admitted what a lousy friend he had been to Jase over the years, recalling the time he stole his girlfriend and then when Jase eventually found love, failed to turn up to his wedding in Italy where Sandilands had promised to be the reception MC.
It all made for excellent radio and will make listeners to both shows hope that there are random calls between the two programs in the future.
News Corp Australia and Xero have joined forces to launch an original six-part podcast series unearthing and discussing the biggest pain points faced today by Australia’s 2.1 million small-to-medium businesses (SMEs), in the hope it will help them on the path to success.
This is the first time podcast content is being driven by the News Corp Australia umbrella brand, supported by all metro mastheads, The Australian, news.com.au and News Xtend.
Hosted by Lauren Moloney of News Corp’s SME digital marketing solutions division News Xtend, the Mentor Next Door podcast series addresses the key challenges when running a small business.
Moloney says small businesses face common challenges: struggling to find the time to work on, not in the business, managing cash flow and how to attract and retain customers.
“We decided to partner with Xero to deliver content that would address key pressure points from experienced business owners,” said Moloney.
“I’ve been working one-on-one with small business owners for years helping them build their brands and reach their goals with creative digital marketing solutions and I know how important it is for small businesses to continue learning and evolving.
“Together with Xero, we saw a gap in the market to provide valuable business tips by utilising mentor and mentee talent through the medium of podcasts.”
In her role at News Xtend, Moloney is well-known within the small business sector, having strong product, digital marketing and sales knowledge, and finding creative solutions to build brands and grow businesses.
“At News Corp, we are committed to providing an agile, innovative and market-leading product suite for SMEs to achieve their business goals through News Xtend digital marketing solutions.”
Jessica Rowe and Denise Drysdale have launched their new weekly podcast One Fat Lady and One Thin Lady. The podcast ranked #1 over the Easter weekend on the iTunes Australia podcast chart.
Recorded live at Jessica Rowe’s dining table, the hosts share their personal and candid tales of work, family, relationships, and all the bits in between.
Australian audio-on-demand operator Whooshkaa has partnered with Rowe and Drysdale. “We’re excited to team up with Jessica and Denise,” said Whooshkaa’s content and marketing director, Corey Layton. “We’re looking forward to hearing insights into their unique friendship unfold with each episode.”
David Wilson, managing director of Watercooler Talent, said, “Jess and Denise formed a genuine friendship from working together on Studio 10. It’s a pure joy to listen to their hilarious tales in this podcast. Nothing is off limits for these two wonderful women.”
Offspring appears to be dead, with Asher Keddie revealing that she hasn’t talked with the producers of the hit show for nearly a year, reports News Corp’s Colin Vickery.
Instead, Keddie, who played Nina Proudman across seven high-rating seasons of the Channel 10 drama, is relishing new opportunities and eyeing overseas work.
Keddie had a feature role in Aussie comedy film Swinging Safari and has a major part in ABC drama The Cry alongside Jenna Coleman.
Keddie has finished filming the Australian-based scenes of The Cry, co-produced with the BBC, and is ready to jet off to the UK to finish the thriller.
The Hollywood Reporter has the back story of Ryan Murphy’s blockbuster Netflix deal:
When Ryan Murphy arrived at Netflix’s Hollywood headquarters on a stormy afternoon in January, the 53-year-old producer of such TV breakouts as Glee, The People v. O.J. Simpson and seven instalments of American Horror Story says he was expecting a tour of the streaming giant’s luxe new space and “maybe a croissant”.
But coming in out of the rain, he was whisked to a theatre on the top floor of the 14-story building, where content chief Ted Sarandos along with his heads of marketing, social media, scripted and young adults programming awaited. “We want you to know what you mean to us,” Sarandos told Murphy, whose catalog of hits streams on the platform.
“I left that meeting feeling that I had seen the future,” says Murphy. And in a very real way, he had.
A month later, on February 13, the man who once joked that he planned to be “buried” on the Fox lot announced he’d be leaving his longtime creative home for a five-year Netflix contract worth as much as US$300 million.
Australia’s commercial free-to-air broadcasters are concerned about Cricket Australia potentially wrapping up a subscription broadcast deal without the free-to-air television component being built in, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Concern from free-to-air broadcasters is growing that Foxtel will lock up a lot of the sport behind a paywall and they will be forced to negotiate with the pay TV provider rather than Cricket Australia.
Cricket Australia is said to want at least $150 million annually, or $900 million over six years for all rights.
Foxtel needs far better-rating summer sport than soccer and basketball are delivering. It also is offering a dedicated cricket channel, as it has done for NRL and AFL, a move both sports have benefited from.
Australian cricket fans, already reeling from revelations of premeditated cheating during the third Test in South Africa, may face a double whammy of having to pay to watch future Tests and ODIs on TV, reports Fairfax Media’s Roy Masters.
A combined Channel Seven/Foxtel bid for Tests, ODIs and Big Bash may result in top games being forced behind a paywall.
Cricket fans have not paid to watch any of cricket’s three offerings – Tests, one-day matches and Big Bash – for five years but may now be forced to subscribe to Fox to view premium games.
Fox Sports is reminding motorsport fans it will be the only place to watch the next five Supercars rounds and every remaining event on the Formula 1 calendar, with both categories resuming this weekend.
Fox Sports’ run of exclusive Supercars events begins from Friday (April 6) with the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint and continues throughout April, May and June with the WD-40 Phillip Island 500 (April 20-22), Perth SuperSprint (May 4-6), Winton SuperSprint (May 18-20), and CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown (June 15-17).
Fox Sports will broadcast every minute of the action with live, ad-break free and HD coverage of every practice, qualifying session and race.
Coverage of every Formula 1 round for the rest of the season begins with the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix from Friday.