The Fairfax Media-owned Allure Media stays under the radar to some extent, especially with mainstream media coverage.
By James Manning
However, savvy brands and their marketers seek out the mix of business, tech and women’s sites for its attractive audiences and the business solutions it offers.
To give Mediaweek an overview of the business we went to Allure Media national sales and operations director Aaron Macarthur.
Joining Allure from News Corp late last year where he was a group sales director, Macarthur has been with Allure for just over six months. Prior to News he was in sales at Southern Cross Austereo.
Macarthur told Mediaweek: “We have global brands with local voices that cater for an audience that wants to understand things beyond our borders.”
He sees the global links as important attractions for both audiences and advertisers. “50% of Aussies were born overseas or have a parent that was born overseas.”
Macarthur says the Allure brands all operate influential sites. “We are the place our audiences turn to when they want advice, a credible voice and specialist knowledge.
“We offer premium content and destination sites. We create content of consequence and value that has a much more powerful connection with the audience.”
Nine held an intimate briefing for trade media to announce the launch of its pop-up store for 9Powered, The Big Ideas Store.
The space is hidden behind a shopfront located on 17 Oxford Street, Paddington, stocked with different Nine-branded goods such as Love Island and Wide World of Sports drinks.
The aim of the exercise is to take clients behind 9Powered, Nine’s strategic solutions division. Over the next two weeks, The Big Ideas Store will host an estimated 400-500 visitors for a series of events, workshops, research studies and guest speaker sessions.
It’s been eight years since 9Powered launched, so why do something like The Big Ideas Store now?
“We wanted to reintroduce 9Powered as a brand proposition to our advertisers and agency clients,” Nine’s chief sales officer Michael Stephenson said. “What I am really pleased about is how far we have come in the last eight years in how we do things at Nine. We help brands tell their stories deeply in the content that we create, which helps create business outcomes.”
The Big Ideas Store is the brainchild of Melissa Mullins, Nine’s director of strategy, and Luke Robinson, head of trade marketing and communications.
“What has changed massively in the Nine business is that we have more content than ever before,” Mullins said. “We have our 7:30pm strip with our marquee shows such as Married At First Sight, The Block and Love Island – which in themselves have turned into cultural phenomenons. Then we have news layered onto that where we are attracting 12.2 million Australians every month across our platforms. In sports, we have secured four out of six top sporting properties. With lifestyle, we have the #1 women’s network in 9Honey.
“Our content gives brands huge opportunities to connect with their targeted audience. However, with more choice comes more challenge. Therefore, what we wanted to do is ensure that we have a robust process to ensure that anything we put forward to a client is strategically right and they know that it is backed by insights.”
At the launch event, Mullins gave an overview of the three tools that support 9Powered. These are:
1. 9Nation: This is Nine’s quantitative and qualitative survey panel. It is made up of over 6,000 Australians. Mullins said: “What this means for us is that we can test and question Australians at any point. We can speak to them and see what’s resonating and engaging to them.”
2. Brand Arc: Mullins explained: “Clients are increasingly asking, ‘What’s the right fit for me? Where does my brand belong in your world of content?’ With Brand Arc we ask consumers to rate brands based on all the traditional archetype values.”
3. 9Tribe: This is Nine’s digital segmentation, which is made up of 30 segments. “That is brought together using 750 million data points across Nine,” Mullins said.
There will be a number of research pieces unveiled by Nine at The Big Ideas Store over the next two weeks, including three new insight studies. These have been conducted in conjunction with The Lab.
• Women in the Driving Seat: This will look at how to engage women at every stage of the car-buying journey. It will explore women’s levels of confidence in purchasing a car, their decision-making process, and where and who they turn to for help and advice. This study will help automotive marketers understand how to engage this market from the TVC to the dealership interaction.
• The Great Australian Dream Reimagined: This study features a range of experts across design, architecture, the connected home and regional living. It delves into what the Australian dream of property ownership means today and what marketers need to do in this category to remain relevant with their customers.
• Love is a (New) Battlefield: This study comes off the back of the success of reality dating TV such as Married and Love Island. It uncovers the changing mindset of Australian singles, how technology has changed the dynamics of a relationship, and why married Australians believe their “happily ever after” is never guaranteed.
“Reality TV relationships are more real than what we see on social media with hashtags like #relationshipgoals,” Mullins remarked.
The Big Ideas Store is running June 18-29. Click here to see the sessions.
Top photo: Nine’s Michael Stephenson and Melissa Mullins
In late April Network Ten director of corporate communications Neil Shoebridge announced he was leaving the broadcaster to set up a communications consultancy.
Shoebridge this week announced Andrew Knowles has joined him as name partner, with the new firm revealed to be Shoebridge Knowles Media Group (SKMG).
To coincide with the announcement of Knowles as partner, SKMG has also revealed a suite of new clients – fashion label DearFriend & Co, leading music and entertainment business Paxx Group, internationally touring musician Yahtzel and record label and event brand Conspiracy. They join SKMG’s foundation clients APN Outdoor and Network Ten.
Shoebridge continues to work closely with Ten until it hires a replacement to run its corporate PR.
Knowles joins SKMG with close to a decade’s experience in the entertainment industry across both music and television, having managed and publicised the identities of brands from gold album-selling musical super-duo Carmada to Network Ten.
Shoebridge said: “I’m very pleased to have Andrew join me at SKMG. Our dual experience represents an uncommon diversity that covers an entire spectrum of knowledge in conventional and disruptive media outlets.
“Andrew and I bring very complementary and distinct skills and experiences to SKMG, in terms of the advice and services we can provide clients and the range of solutions we can provide for their communication opportunities and challenges,” Shoebridge told Mediaweek.
“Our initial clients are diverse – APN Outdoor, Network Ten, the fast-growing fashion brand DearFriend & Co, music and entertainment group Paxx Group, musician Yahtzel and record label/event brand Conspiracy – but they all “get” the need for smart, fast and market-leading communication. That will take different forms according to the different client.
“We have established a network of service ‘partners’ in myriad parts of the communication business to work with when necessary (i.e. to provide best-in-class services that we don’t have in-house). It’s only been three weeks since I left Ten and not even one day since we announced SKMG. The response from our clients and from media in general has been very encouraging and even humbling. We are talking to more prospective clients.”
Knowles added: “Together, Neil and I are in a privileged position to offer our services to clients whose identities range from blue-chip corporations to trend-leading brands.
“Our aim is to enable our clients to access non-traditional avenues of communication between conventional and emerging media landscapes. Of course, we also ensure the traditional media requirements of our clients are not only met but exceeded. I couldn’t be more excited to get to work.”
Until May this year, Shoebridge was the director of corporate and public communications at Network Ten. In 2015 he was named one of the 50 most influential corporate affairs executives in Australia by the recruitment firm Salt & Shein. He is a former editor and managing editor of BRW magazine, a former marketing and media editor of The Australian Financial Review.
Top photo: Neil Shoebridge and Andrew Knowles
Mediaweek editor James Manning looks at the weekend box office for June 14-17, 2018.
Revenues for the top 20 movies on the weekend surged 32% on the previous Thursday to Sunday period.
The weekend gross of $18.74m was the second-best weekend since January. The only better weekend was in early May when the opening weekend of Avengers: Infinity War took off with $28.83m and the movie alone accounted for $21.23m of that total.
The animated sequel has become the third-biggest opening of the year, trailing only Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 on $12.61m. Incredibles 2 opened on 570 screens with a screen average of $18,623. That is the fourth-best screen average this year after the other two movies we mentioned plus Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. The Incredibles sequel is now the second-biggest animated opening of all time, trailing only Shrek 2 back in 2004.
Total to-date has passed $10m after a second weekend saw the takings dip 52%. The movie shed 138 screens to 487, with a screen average of $7,587.
The only other new release to open wide this weekend was the Jeremy Renner comedy buddy movie. The screen average from 270 screens was $4,140.
After five weekends the movie has had its first weekend under $2m as its total passed $34.5m. The movie has overtaken what The Greatest Showman earned, and next in its sights is Black Panther on just over $40m.
The movie should drop out of the top five after this chart, where it has earned $16m after five weekends.
Top photo: The Incredibles 2 © 2018 Disney•Pixar
• One of closest nights of 2018: Seven #1, Nine & TEN close behind
• House Rules into top gear, wins at 7.30pm, biggest Monday audience
• All-star Have You Been Paying Attention? sets new 12-month high
• World Cup gift from Optus boosts SBS Monday share
By James Manning
After a weekly average of 695,000 last week, Home And Away did 723,000 last night.
House Rules continues to grow and has posted its second successive Monday audience close to 900,000. Last night was also its best Monday this season with 890,000. The episode didn’t quite catch MasterChef 25-54, but it was equal with it for women in that demo.
The series return of First Dates followed with 383,000. Seven continues to work harder than anyone to find an audience for new commissions at around 9pm, and the audiences seem to range from 400,000 to 500,000.
7mate’s Talking Footy did 91,000 with 50,000 in Melbourne.
A Current Affair began a new week on 870,000 after a week 24 average of 718,000. Last night the program remembered Eurydice Dixon with Laura Turner reporting from the vigil at Princes Park in Melbourne.
Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation then had a second successive week just under 600,000.
Two episodes of The Big Bang Theory followed with 508,000 and 390,000.
The sports panel shows followed with Footy Classified pulling a three-market audience of 143,000 with 95,000 in Melbourne.
100% Footy did 75,000 with 49,000 in Melbourne.
The Project featured a very long interview with a retired judge as the episode did 591,000 after a week 24 average of 529,000.
MasterChef was out-rated by House Rules all people, yet it kept a lead of around 40,000 25-54. A mother’s club elimination episode saw Lisa head home after one hell of a brief from Alla Wolf-Tasker.
The lineup on Have You Been Paying Attention? couldn’t have been much better – Gold Logie nominee Amanda Keller, Mick Molloy and Kitty Flanagan joined regulars Ed and Sam. The audience loved the gags with 865,000 watching as the episode won its timeslot all people and in the demos. It was also the #1 show for the night 25-54. It was the show’s best audience since May 2017.
A Graham Norton encore followed with 318,000.
Back Roads visited the Murray River, which did 635,000.
On Four Corners Sarah Ferguson presented the final of the three-part series Moscow Rules. The episode did 565,000 after 515,000 last week.
Media Watch then did 530,000 followed by Q&A on 401,000.
The audiences were boosted by the addition of the Sweden v Republic of Korea match at 10pm. SBS put together its own pre-show for the coverage too. The match had an audience of 348,000 while the pre-match did 270,000.
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||3.2%||ELEVEN||1.8%||Food Net||0.5%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||4.1%||GEM||4.4%||ELEVEN||1.8%||Food Net||0.5%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
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
The Walt Disney Company has agreed to buy most of 21st Century Fox’s assets in a deal worth US$52.4 billion, but things got complicated last week when Comcast made a rival offer that valued the business at $65 billion, reports The New York Times.
The Fox board already had a meeting scheduled for Wednesday. Now, Comcast will be the main topic of discussion.
Rupert Murdoch is said to have favoured Disney’s offer last year, partly because an all-stock transaction would not require an immediate tax payment. Comcast’s bid is all cash and would be taxable right away.
Insiders, however, say the Murdoch family – the elder son, Lachlan, is Fox’s executive chairman, and his brother, James, is chief executive – will advocate for the best offer, regardless of the tax implications. The board, after all, has a duty to its shareholders to maximise their returns. Even a Disney stock deal would ultimately incur a tax hit once an investor cashed in those shares.
AT&T should be able to reduce the number of commercials on its newly acquired Time Warner US networks by using wireless and TV customer data to target personalised advertisements, John Stankey, the longtime AT&T executive who will run the networks, said in an interview on Monday, reports Reuters.
The wireless phone giant plans to start selling targeted ads for Turner networks such as TNT and CNN “in short order”, said Stankey, chief executive of the new WarnerMedia. An industry-wide, automated marketplace, which would sell ads across other companies’ channels, is “easily a year off”, he said.
Some Turner networks already have cut the number of commercials. Comedy network TruTV, for example, has reduced ad time by roughly 50%.
The ABC is an indulgence we can no longer afford, writes the president of the NSW Young Liberals, in The SMH:
The truth is that the ABC was designed for a bygone era, founded in the context of an underdeveloped media market, before TV, before radio matured and before the internet.
Today, a publicly funded national broadcaster crowds out its private competitors and is an indulgence we can no longer afford. If any market failure still exists in the Australian media market it is in remote parts of rural Australia. This can be addressed without the full $1.04 billion budget of the ABC.
Privatising the ABC would not mean that it would be shut down, no more than privatising the Commonwealth Bank, Qantas or Telstra did. It would mean an ABC that was forced to economise and focus on delivering what consumers wanted.
ANZ, in partnership with PHD and Adshel, had a total takeover of the entire Adshel Live network.
For one hour this morning (Tuesday June 19) – between 8am and 9am – ANZ was inviting commuters to download the new ANZ app by showing six different ways the app could help them manage their money on the go. For the full hour, ANZ was the only advertiser to be displayed across every screen.
Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire biotech executive who on Monday officially took ownership of The Los Angeles Times, named Norman Pearlstine as the newspaper’s new executive editor as he seeks to restore the newspaper’s morale, reports The New York Times.
In turning to Pearlstine, 75, a veteran of Time Inc., Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, Soon-Shiong was sending a message to the newspaper’s beleaguered staff, which has endured steep cuts and diminished ambitions in recent years, slipping from the top echelon of American news outlets.
“He’s the perfect person to guide us into this new era,” Soon-Shiong said in an interview Monday morning, as he sat in traffic on his way to The Los Angeles Times office to make the announcement.
The LA Times reports Pearlstine becomes The Times’ fourth top editor in less than a year and its 18th since the paper began publishing in 1881. He succeeds Jim Kirk, a Chicago newsman whose seven-month tenure came during a period of corporate upheaval that culminated with the sale of The Times. Rather than accept a smaller role, Kirk decided to leave the paper.
Norman Pearlstine started in journalism in 1967 as a copy boy at The New York Times, a few months after earning his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He moved to The Wall Street Journal in 1968, where he worked for the next decade, including a stint in Los Angeles. He became executive editor of Forbes magazine in 1978, a job he held for two years. But, in 1980, he returned to the Journal, where he launched the paper’s Asian edition, served as managing editor from 1983 to 1991 and then as executive editor for a year.
After leaving the Journal in 1992, he worked to launch the magazine Smart Money for Dow Jones & Co. and Hearst Corp. He became editor in chief at Time Inc. in 1995, overseeing such publications as Time, People, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and Entertainment Weekly. That job brought him frequently to LA. When he left in 2005, Time Inc. boasted more than 150 magazine titles.
Parade Media has inked its latest production deal with Foxtel Lifestyle Channel and UKTV’s Good Food with a brand new adventure show, Jack Stein: Inside the Box.
Jack Stein will embark on a unique adventure, one that focuses on his favourite classic British dishes and endeavours to “flip the norm” by creating his own “Cooking Box” to tour these dishes around the world and try them out on unsuspecting locals.
Parade Media has worked with Australian-based indie new media house Projucer and Stein to develop and craft a 10×30’ program which will see Stein visiting 10 global cities, sharing the history and flavours of quintessential English dishes with local chefs and everyday eaters – some of whom may have never encountered these dishes before.
Jack Stein: Inside the Box has been ordered by Foxtel with pre-investment from UKTV. The deal was brokered by UKTV’s acquisitions manager, Charlie Charalambous, and Parade Media’s CEO, Matthew Ashcroft. Parade is responsible for its distribution.
Foxtel Lifestyle group general manager Hannah Barnes said: “We are thrilled to be working with Jack Stein on this brand-new project. Jack has enormous talent and comes with real pedigree in the food world. It will be exciting for Australians to see Jack give us a global view on traditional UK dishes.”
Jack Stein said: “When I first thought of taking British food abroad and sharing it with people across the world I never thought anyone would have the vision or patience to take it seriously. Fortunately, the team at Parade and Projucer did and now we have truly unique show. I cannot wait!”
Parade CEO Matthew Ashcroft said: “In a world of globalisation, networks and audiences everywhere demand local relevance with global appeal. Working with best-in-class talent like Jack Stein and collaborating with leading independent producers ensures we meet these demands, and deliver cut-through original content. This culinary adventure promises to transcend culture and cross borders as a global hit TV series.”
Jack Stein: Inside the Box is in currently in production with shooting commencing in June and expected to air early 2019.
MTV Australia has announced that it will be producing original episodes of its Grammy and Emmy award-winning MTV Unplugged franchise for the first time ever in Australia this July in Melbourne.
The first artist to be featured on MTV Unplugged Melbourne will be the critically acclaimed indie-rock band Gang of Youths.
MTV Unplugged Melbourne presented by Vodka O will be the first in a series of special televised events showcasing the best local talent on a world stage. MTV Unplugged Melbourne is hosted by Visit Victoria.
This episode of MTV Unplugged Melbourne will be filmed in front of a live audience on July 25 at Melbourne’s Cobblestone Pavilion at Meat Market.
Ash London, from the Hit Network’s Ash London Live, will host this special live event.
Simon Bates, Vice President and Head of MTV APAC, said, “MTV Unplugged is one of the most famous music shows ever created and we are excited to bring it to Australia for the first time. MTV is distributed in 790 million+ homes so it’s an exciting opportunity for Australian artists to potentially reach a new global audience.
“We couldn’t be more excited to kick things off with Gang of Youths, undoubtedly one of the best bands in Australia right now.”
The first MTV Unplugged Melbourne will broadcast later this year only on MTV on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Fetch, followed by a full audiovisual release for MTV Unplugged: Gang of Youths that will be available for download and streaming.
SBS’s new four-part crime drama, Dead Lucky, will premiere on the channel on July 25 at 9:30pm.
The series features award-winning Australia actor Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding, Six Feet Under, Brothers & Sisters, Hilary and Jackie) in the lead role as Detective Grace Gibbs.
Chinese-born New Zealand actor Yoson An, who was recently cast as the romantic lead in Disney’s live-action Mulan, co-stars as Charlie Fung, a new trainee detective who blames his supervising officer Grace for the death of his best friend.
2017 Heath Ledger Scholarship recipient Mojean Aria (Danger Close, The Bronx Bull) plays Mani, an off-the-books worker at an inner-city convenience store, run by greedy owners.
Other actors in the series are Matt Nable (Jasper Jones, Barracuda), Justine Clarke (Hoges, Red Dog: True Blue), Simon Burke (Devil’s Playground), Brooke Satchwell (Jack Irish, Wonderland), Ian Meadows (The Wrong Girl, The Moodys) and Rhys Muldoon (Fighting Season, House Husbands), Lincoln Younes (Grand Hotel, Down Under), Anna Samson (Wake In Fright – the TV miniseries), Aldo Mignone (A Place To Call Home), Sara West (Don’t Tell, Peter Allen: The Boy Next Door), Xana Tang (Mulan, The Letdown), Annie Maynard (Upper Middle Bogan, Paper Giants), Sarah Thamin (Hyde & Seek) and Tessa de Josselin (Holding The Man).
Streaming is the future they say. You’ll be able to watch it on any screen at any time no matter where you are, reports EFTM’s Trevor Long.
Well, the reputation of streaming just isn’t living up to the hype and it’s going to cause long-term damage to the brand that is streaming.
Remember 11 months ago, July 2017, Game of Thrones is about to hit the Foxtel streaming platform, ready for fans to watch – legally, instead of their dodgy torrents.
Then the error struck.
Fast forward to today, and if you’ve paid your $15 to be an Optus Sport member, you expect to be able to stream every single game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Not to be.
Optus is apologising, offering free Fetch TV boxes and generally referring people to the SBS FIFA app, which appears to work just fine with those same Optus login credentials.
Whatever the case, it’s an awful indictment on streaming, and that’s the real loser here. Mums and dads and grandparents around the country won’t be inclined to sign up to another live sporting event or even trust the likes of Netflix and Stan.
That reputational damage will take years to fix.
It is now clear why Will Ferrell was a surprise guest at Eurovision in Portugal in May.
Netflix has announced the US comedy actor will star in a new comedy called Eurovision.
Jessica Elbaum will produce the film for Gary Sanchez Productions with Ferrell and Adam McKay as executive producers.
Gary Sanchez Productions is a film production company spearheaded by entrepreneur and financier Gary Sanchez along with partners Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy.
Ferrell will co-write the movie with longtime collaborator Andrew Steele.
After a week topping all four Australia and New Zealand On Demand TV charts – Digital Originals and Overall TV – the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why this week leads just the Digital Originals charts.
New to the Digital Originals chart in Australia this week is the Netflix animated series from DreamWorks, Voltron: Legendary Defender. Season six of the show was released onto the streaming platform just last week. A new entry on that chart in New Zealand is Marvel’s Runaways.
Topping the Overall TV Show charts this week are Brooklyn Nine-Nine in Australia and Westworld in New Zealand. In Australia, Nine’s Love Island has pushed higher on the chart to sit at #2.
On the Social Content Ratings charts from Nielsen, the FIFA World Cup Saturday night clash has ranked #1 with 171,000 interactions.
Three AFL matches and the Supercars in Darwin fill the remaining spots in the top five.
Nine fills the top three spots on the Non-Sport rankings with Nine News, Today and Today Extra leading TEN’s The Project and then Seven News.
The four new games were Sweden and Korea on Monday night at 10pm and Belgium and Panama at 1am Tuesday.
Two other matches are also part of the offer:
• Poland v Senegal (Wednesday 1am)
• Russia v Egypt (Wednesday 4am)
SBS altered its schedule quickly to accommodate the Monday night match and presented its own pre-game show instead of taking the Optus pre-game programming.
The Optus streaming problems have become a nightmare for Optus and have attracted the interest even of the Prime Minister with Malcolm Turnbull tweeting yesterday:
“I have spoken with the Optus CEO, Allen Lew. He assures me he is giving the World Cup streaming problems his personal attention and he believes it will be fixed this evening.”
Optus has also made Fetch mini set-top boxes available free of charge for customers so they could watch the World Cup via Fetch instead of streaming on the Optus app on a mobile device.
Cricket versus Tennis: How will Seven juggle its big sports? asks Fairfax Media’s Michael Lallo.
Some industry executives believe sport is capable of drawing large audiences to the multichannels. Indeed, 7Mate has beaten Ten’s main channel more than 20 times since 2015.
Nine will use the cash it saved on sporting rights to develop new entertainment shows for summer. (Insiders say some programs have already been commissioned and will be announced soon.) And Ten – backed by new US owner CBS – also has more money to create its “52-week entertainment schedule”.
“The truth is that no one knows how this will play out,” says one executive.
“Seven will have huge ratings over summer, and they’ll use that to flog the shit out of their upcoming shows. But maybe Nine and Ten will come up with genuinely compelling alternatives… all three networks will fight for every last viewer.”