Former Pacific Magazines general manager of fashion, beauty and health, and the founding editor of marie claire Australia, Jackie Frank, stepped down from the publishing business earlier this year. But she certainly hasn’t been idle in the past couple of months.
By James Manning
“I have hardly placed two feet on the ground, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Frank told Mediaweek.
No sooner had she left the building and she was straight into a number of special projects.
Frank spoke to Mediaweek about her plans for her new brand consultancy Be Frank Group.
“My first week ‘outside’, I worked with the wonderful team at the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) on its inaugural Fashion Hub. The SCCI is the brainchild of Dr Gene Sherman and aims to provide an exchange of ideas on fashion and architecture within the broader context of contemporary culture. Dr Sherman is currently in the process of putting together an advisory board, which I am proud to be involved in.
“Two months out, I was whisked away to New York to consult with the Hearst global business for a month. Then-chief content officer Joanna Coles had invited me to bring a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to the publishing juggernaut and offer insights and strategic suggestions from my own observations and experience. With more than 25 years in magazines under my belt, I welcomed the opportunity to be a disruptor in an industry I know – and love – so well. I looked at ways Hearst could streamline its brands globally, work more collaboratively and overcome ‘road blocks’, as well as contributing to plans for publishing initiatives across its portfolio.”
Coles, who has since departed Hearst, spoke about her time with Frank: “I have known and worked with Jackie Frank for 12 years, first in my capacity as US editor-in-chief of marie claire and Cosmopolitan and then as global chief content officer of Hearst.
“Jackie’s a brilliant creative, clear communicator and strategic commercial thinker all in one. She not only understands brands, she has a proven track record of building and driving them to success.”
Meanwhile, back in Australia, a business was launching that Frank had been working with.
“Bumble – the only dating app where women make the first move – was launching Bumble Bizz in Australia. This was an inspiring movement to be part of, witnessing how strong the community of women had become through Bumble and seeing that strength harnessed to create a professional networking app.
“I worked with the Bumble Bizz team on some of its initiatives, which included hosting panels. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy participating in these active forums, and I’ve since done several one-off gigs, talking about the changing landscape in media for Boston Consulting Group and brand building for Business Chicks.”
Frank said she became so immersed in the intense world of magazines that she had overlooked the breadth of knowledge acquired after spending a lifetime in publishing. “It’s amazing and a real eye-opener. It’s also great to still be involved with Seven, doing morning TV appearances.”
The AFL’s rise in popularity can be attributed to the rise of its coverage by independently owned media outlets and writers.
By Kruti Joshi
“I couldn’t afford not to take it, really,” Connolly told Mediaweek.
In the time since, he has forged a reputation for himself as a leading independent journalist for the sporting code in Australia. Connolly works for 1116 SEN on a weekly basis, pens columns for The New Daily and Sporting News (previously known as Sportal), runs his own AFL dedicated website called Footyology, has a podcast series and does post-game reviews on Sundays via Facebook Live.
“I haven’t covered the game any differently than I did when I was at The Age,” Connolly said. “It always gave me scope to say and write what I wanted.”
There is more competition for eyeballs in sports coverage than there has ever been with the rise of independent dedicated sporting websites like Sporting News. “It isn’t as well-known in Victoria as it is in the rugby league states but, when it got me on board to write AFL stuff for it, I did some research into how big it is and it is massive. Its Facebook page has half a million page likes,” Connolly said.
“In some ways, I have been able to reach a wider audience through my work with them than I used to [at The Age].
“What has helped spread the range of voices talking about football too are things like podcasts… You are hearing more different views on the game.”
The material being produced by independent outlets or journalists, in Connolly’s opinion, is “often as good as, if not better than products from the major media outlets.”
The increase in diversity of voices talking about AFL can only do good for the game.
Apple has completed its acquisition of Shazam, one of the world’s most popular and highly rated music apps. When the deal was originally announced it was thought Apple was paying US$400m for Shazam.
An early advisor to the Shazam founders, and now a former part-owner, is Seven West Media’s chief digital officer Clive Dickens. As the deal was finalised yesterday, Dickens congratulated the co-founders: “One incredible 18-year journey from a cramped London Soho office to exit to world’s largest company and most admired brand [as] Apple finally buys Shazam.”
“Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favourite app for music fans everywhere,” said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music.
“With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.”
Shazam lets users identify songs simply by listening to the music playing around them. Apple said the app will soon offer its experience ad-free for all users so everyone can enjoy the best of Shazam without interruption.
Shazam has been downloaded over one billion times around the world, and users identify songs using the Shazam app over 20 million times each day. With pioneering innovation in music identification, Shazam helps people discover, interact with and share video, audio or printed content across devices and mediums – and allows music fans to follow their favourite artists and share in the thrill of discovery.
One of the co-founders of the business was Dhiraj Mukherjee, who was one of a group of friends in London who searched for a solution to find the names of songs played on radio. The others were Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht and Avery Wang, with Wang reportedly the only member of that original team still working in the business.
Private equity firms that have backed Shazam over the years include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners, DN Capital and Acacia Capital Partners.
In his first podcast with Mediaweek when working with Southern Cross Austereo, Clive Dickens confirmed to Mediaweek he had a very small economic interest in Shazam. That was separate to his role at SCA and it remained a private investment held separately from his current role as chief digital officer at Seven West Media.
Dickens explained to Mediaweek his role was as an early advisor for a number of years to the four original founders of Shazam in the UK, which was first established in 2000. He continued to be distantly involved for the last 17 years, including brokering the launch of the Shazam Top 20 on the Today Network in 2015, which subsequently moved to Nova.
Speaking to Mediaweek when the sale was originally announced, Dickens said: “I am personally thrilled that I have played a (very small) role in the creation of a global internet verb that hundreds of millions of lifetime users love, a business that has now successfully exited to the world’s largest company Apple. I would obviously not be able to disclose my modest holding, but you can safely assume that I will still be turning up for work here at Seven tomorrow and next year.”
• Breakfast team Lewis and Lowe with Hayley Pearson
Cumulative audience: 10+ 308,000, Breakfast 167,000
While the station has a focus on under 40, everybody likes a good 10+ number.
Although there is not much in it, those 10+ numbers have been a little lower this year. After six of eight surveys in double figures last year, the station has been there just once this year. The station’s best share in the past 30 months was the 12.0% it ended 2017 with.
So far in 2018 its shares have been just under 10% except for a 10.5% in survey four.
But Nova remains a leader under 40 where it boasts a leading share of 22.8% and a leading cume of 239,000.
It similarly leads that demo in breakfast with a 24.6% under 40 share and a leading cume audience for the demo of 134,000.
Breakfast is home to the longtime on-air partners Dylan Lewis and Shane Lowe. Lewis hosted morning at Nova 100 in Melbourne before his Adelaide appointment. Lowe’s connection with Nova breakfast dates back to around 2012 when he joined then-hosts Maz Compton and Dan Debuf in the timeslot.
These days Lewis and Lowe share the timeslot with Hayley Pearson. The breakfast shares consistently sit around 10% with a high of 10.5% in survey four. In the past 30 months share has peaked at 11.0% and only slipped just below 9% twice.
The breakfast show is running highlights this week as it takes the survey break. The show recently launched Ed Sheeran’s Million Dollar Call, giving one person in Adelaide the chance to make a call to Ed Sheeran to win a $1m. The show’s hosts travelled with the Nova Red Room Global Tour to Dublin several years ago where they got to meet Sheeran and seem him perform exclusively for the Nova guests.
When the show returns next Monday it will be announcing the winners of the Teacher of the Year competition. Over the past eight weeks there has been a hunt for Adelaide’s best teachers with breakfast (and Nova’s workday announcers) heading out to schools to surprise deserving finalists.
Top Photo: Nova 919’s Dylan Lewis (left) with Hayley Pearson and Shane Lowe. Source: Pearson’s impressive Instagram feed. See also her website Adelady
Two-thirds of all the growth in global advertising expenditure between 2017 and 2020 will come from paid search and social media ads.
Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, released this week, shows total spending will increase from US$86bn to US$109bn on paid search, and from US$48bn to US$76bn on social media. Paid search will grow by US$22bn over this period, while social media will grow by US$28bn, making it the single biggest contributor to growth.
In Australia, search (including directories) spend will grow an average 4% per year over the next three years. With search accounting for +45% of the annual AU$8bn digital ad market, this growth is substantial versus the market average. However, once Amazon allows for advertising on its website in Australia, Zenith would look to increase this forecast.
Paid search has undergone constant development in recent years. Search platforms, agencies and brands are applying ever more sophisticated artificial intelligence techniques to improve targeting, messaging and conversion. Search is becoming more integrated with commerce, both online – as brands shift budgets to e-commerce platforms – and offline, as retailers use location and store inventory data to match active shoppers directly with the products they’re searching for.
All these developments are attracting higher performance budgets from brands, often new expenditure rather than being diverted from brand awareness activity. Overall Zenith expects them to drive an average of 8% annual growth in paid search ad spend between 2017 and 2020.
The next step in the evolution of search is voice search, but so far there has been little direct advertising through voice assistants. When users make a voice search on a smart speaker, they will normally only be presented with the first organic result. Voice searches on smartphones may present more results, but not as many as manual searches. The rise of voice search therefore makes it more important for brands to identify the keywords they absolutely need to own, and to build content that sends them to the top of organic results.
“Search’s nature as a ‘pull medium’ and the fact it already makes up almost 50% of digital investment, will see ad spend continue to grow as usage increases,” said Zenith head of investment for Sydney, Elizabeth Baker.
Much of the recent rapid growth in social media advertising has come as platforms have replaced static ads with more engaging video ads. So far these social video ads have acted more as complements to television ads than competitors, but the platforms are now competing with television more directly by hosting long-form content like sport, drama and comedy, and inserting mid-roll ads like those seen in television breaks. Overall Zenith forecasts social media global ad spend to grow by an average of 16% a year to 2020, twice the rate of paid search.
“In Australia, the growth of social we see as being driven by not only by the increasing number of platforms and consumer usage, but also the diversification of ad units within the platforms. From users consuming more video content, shopping straight from an image in Instagram and to the increasing use of bots, this drives incremental spend in the channel,” Baker said.
The fastest-growing traditional medium is cinema, which Zenith forecasts to grow by 16% a year thanks to rapidly rising admissions in China. It is a tiny medium, though, representing just 0.8% of total ad spend this year. Otherwise outdoor is the strongest performer, with 3% annual growth. Outdoor is benefiting from its wide reach and ability to create mass awareness, which allows it to complement highly targeted online advertising for premium brands.
Global ad spend forecast remains stable
Zenith has held its forecast for global ad spend growth this year at 4.5%. In Australia, it is anticipated that ad spend will increase by 3.3% in 2018, which is an upgrade from the previous forecast.
Growth of advertising expenditure and GDP 2017-2020 (%)
“All media in Australia, with the exception of print, is likely to be stable to up in 2018 with the outdoor and internet categories out-performing the total media spend trend. Video and mobile are driving internet growth. However, total internet growth is slowing,” Baker said.
Sectors contributing most to market growth in Australia include government (+26%), gambling (+24%) and domestic banks (+30%). The largest year-to-date decline has been reported by the Movies / Cinema / Theme Parks category.
“The banks’ advertising investments continue to climb in the wake of the Royal Commission into the banking and financial services industry. There have also been a number of elections and by-elections that have resulted in an increase in Government spend. Our forecast assumes that the next Federal Election will occur in 2019. Although technically it could be called this year, many believe this is unlikely due to the recent change in prime ministership,” Baker said.
“More recently, the media sector has ramped up spend due to increased investment by digital companies on brand-building campaigns.”
Top 10 ad markets
US$m, current prices. Currency conversion at 2016 average rates.
OVO Mobile has entered into an digital broadcast partnership to bring the Chinese Super League football to Australia.
OVO’s three-year deal with the 16-team Ping An Chinese Super League (CSL) covers all digital and mobile channels and will see all matches aired live on OVOPlay and other OVO channels each season.
All content, which will also include a weekly 30-minute magazine show and highlight clips, will be broadcast with commentary available in English and Mandarin. To mark the launch of CSL in Australia, OVO will provide free-to-stream access to the 2018 season.
Currently broadcast in close to 100 countries, the Chinese Super League is China’s premier professional football competition and attracts an average of close to 24,000 people to live matches.
OVO is building on its audience in Australia and overseas for sport content, which includes drag racing, rugby, badminton, water polo, gymnastics and esports.
“We’ve had more than two million views of content on OVO channels in the past twelve months,” said founder and CEO Matt Jones. “Our audience growth is exponential, and major sporting organisations are starting to take notice.
“As the Chinese Super League has grown and spread internationally, especially over the past few years, the audience of fans in Australia has grown with it. We have every confidence that audience will boom in numbers now that the competition is finally available online in this country.
“With this deal, we’re able to make one of the world’s most popular sporting competitions available in real time on mobile, which we also know is fast becoming the first screen for sport fans.
“This is a massive opportunity for OVOPlay and for Chinese Super League to attract a whole new community of fans to the competition, and our platform. The fact that fans of the sport will be able to stream online data-free if they’re an OVO Mobile subscriber is also a huge bonus.”
With the 2018 Chinese Super League season close to conclusion, OVO will stream a selection of remaining matches live from the coming weekend, and make replays and highlights available on the platform. A full program of live matches, highlights and analysis will be available on OVOPlay from the start of the 2019 season.
The OVO app can be downloaded for iOS and Android, and OVO’s sport content can also be watched online at play.ovo.com.au.
Bauer Media’s The Australian Women’s Weekly has launched a dedicated digital food destination, womensweeklyfood.com.au. It will be the home of the famous Triple Tested recipes.
Womensweeklyfood.com.au launches ahead of the festive food season and following research into The Weekly’s audience.
It found that 73% of its audience associate its famous Triple Tested recipes with reliability, 61% trust them and a further 78% believe The Weekly is influential in shaping their opinions about food.
First introduced in 1968, the Triple Test has been a feature of The Weekly for five decades. Every recipe that bears the Triple Tested logo has been prepared and tested a minimum of three times in The Weekly’s Park St, Sydney test kitchen.
Nicole Byers, editor-in-chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly, said “As the country’s most trusted magazine brand, The Australian Women’s Weekly has inspired generations of cooks. We’re delighted to bring the trust and heritage of our extensive culinary content and test kitchen talent to our loyal readers who want access to our recipes on a premium website.”
Bauer Media’s new digital food destination will also include instructions, product reviews, foodie facts and curated recipe collections such as Quick & Easy, Baking, Healthy, Midweek Dinners and Workday Lunches.
The site features enhanced video capabilities with stop motion videos for social media, premium and original visual content from the test kitchen, as well as GIFs for step-by-step articles and feature recipes.
Sarah-Belle Murphy, general manager of digital at Bauer Media, said: “The Weekly has been synonymous with sharing great ideas and recipes for decades. Now we’re bringing it all together in an immersive website so our audiences can experience the triple tested dishes The Weekly is known for. It will be the ‘go to’ destination for all things food, family, cooking and entertaining.”
A marketing campaign, including trade activity, television and social media, utilising Bauer’s foodfluencer family, has commenced this week.
It is a big week for new releases as Johnny English: Strikes Again and Ladies in Black debuted at one and two respectively this weekend, with all films in the top five this weekend cracking the one million dollar mark.
By Trent Thomas
While Crazy Rich Asians had another good weekend, it has slipped down from top spot to number four, as The Predator slipped from two to five.
The Nun dropped out of the top five in its third week in theatres, but it was not alone – it was joined by Christopher Robin, which dropped to seventh in its second week.
Smallfoot also had a strong weekend with $983,325 to debut in sixth spot.
The second sequel of the 2003 British spy comedy starring Rowan Atkinson had a strong opening weekend with its fan base failing to erode in the seven years since Johnny English Reborn (2011). This enthusiastic reception produced an average of $7,395 across 365 screens as it was the most available film in the country this weekend.
The Australian comedy-drama directed by Bruce Beresford about a group of department store employees in 1959 Sydney has been received well by its local audience averaging $5,686 across 328 screens.
Retaining third spot after another solid week in theatres, the mystery thriller by Paul Feig and starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively produced an average of $6,152 across 245 screens.
After four weeks in cinemas it was still in the top five, working its way to a robust total of $19.20m after once again cracking the million dollar mark through an average of $4,963 per screen.
Staying in the top five despite losing 56% of its revenue from the previous weekend, the Shane Black-directed action flick produced an average of $4,501 across 235 screens.
• Arrests, budget blues and cash bonanza keep Nine’s The Block #1
• Gone! Dead Man Walking eliminated: Commando exits Survivor
• Take Me Out still a bad date, ABC’s intriguing Keli Lane investigation
By James Manning
Breakfast TV averages metro
Sunrise 264,000 (Sydney 74,000, Melbourne 63,000)
Today 230,000 (Sydney 68,000, Melbourne 56,000)
Sunrise 269,000 (Sydney 80,000, Melbourne 80,000)
Today 223,000 (Sydney 64,000, Melbourne 66,000)
Sunrise 267,000 (Sydney 73,000, Melbourne 65,000)
Today 231,000 (Sydney 73,000, Melbourne 55,000)
Sunrise 285,000 (Sydney 77,000, Melbourne 82,000)
Today 232,000 (Sydney 66,000, Melbourne 52,000)
The three-market start to the week of 523,000 for Home And Away on Monday became 406,000 last night.
Take Me Out is another dating format that continues to fail to find a big audience – just 426,000 last night after 503,000 last week.
800 Words then lifted the audience to 506,000 after 459,000 a week ago.
A Current Affair was on 817,000 after Monday night’s 832,000. The stories ranged from a self-styled Islamic leader to how to grab a TV bargain in time for the football grand finals. Tech specialist Charlie Brown highlighted more affordable 4K TVs.
The budget board came out on The Block with Scott Cam and Sarah Armstrong taking the Blockheads through how much cash they had to finish the nearly complete apartments. There was subsequently a challenge later in the episode where the cash-deprived managed to win most of the money. And for those who stayed with the show there was an arrest too of a couple of tradies! The Tuesday episode did 978,000 after 984,000 a week ago.
True Story With Hamish & Andy had a good lead-in but a late timeslot, with 610,000 watching after 703,000 a week ago. A season one episode then did 429,000.
A grand final preview edition of Footy Classified with Eddie McGuire as the guest did 179,000 in three metro markets with 123,000 in Melbourne.
The Project’s guests included Merrick Watts and then there were fascinating interviews with the authors of a new book about Michael Hutchence – his sister Tina Hutchence and rock music writer and former music industry executive (and former Mediaweek contributor) Jen Jewel Brown. The book is called Michael: My Brother, Lost Boy of INXS and Lisa Wilkinson interviewed Tina Hutchence. The episode did 511,000 after 7pm.
It was goodbye to Survivor’s Steve Willis as Commando failed to make the final six after 42 days on the island. Brian Lake is now the only male left in the game as he avoided any votes again at Tribal Council – winning immunity will do that for you! The episode did 696,000 ahead of the start of the penultimate week of the reality format.
Two episodes of Bull followed with audiences of 307,000 and 213,000.
Foreign Correspondent was on 498,000 after 8pm.
The well-promoted Exposed: The Case Of Keli Lane was free of tabloid exploitation as Caro Meldrum-Hanna carefully interviewed Lane’s parents and tried to find friends of Lane to speak with. The intriguing first part of the three-part doco series did 560,000.
How does the next generation plan to make a go of life on the land? was the question posed on Insight with 196,000 watching.
Earlier in the night an episode of Great Continental Railway Journeys did 315,000, which was up on last week’s 290,000.
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.5%||GEM||3.3%||ELEVEN||2.4%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||5.9%||GEM||5.4%||ELEVEN||1.9%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix||0.7%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||1.0%||NITV||0.1%|
|TUESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
The Block Nine 481,000
Australian Survivor Ten 372,000
Nine News 6:30 Nine 331,000
True Story With Hamish & Andy Nine 326,000
Nine News Nine 294,000
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
Michelle Guthrie told ABC chairman Justin Milne in a face-to-face confrontation she feared she would “look like an idiot” if she was forced to resign early, saying she had succeeded where all her predecessors had failed in busting through the broadcaster’s notorious bureaucracy, reports The Australian’s Stephen Brook.
According to sources familiar with negotiations, Guthrie dug in, telling the pair words to the effect: “I don’t want to resign, I don’t think I have done anything wrong. I’ve brought all these people along for the transformation (of the ABC), we’ve gone through all the pain.”
The last ABC managing director to be forced out, Jonathan Shier, last night criticised senior ABC leaders as not “having the spine” for reform.
“It is a great concern to me that the current chairman when arriving at the ABC said there is no bias at the ABC,” he told Andrew Bolt on Sky News.
It was back in August, more than a month ago, when chairman Milne and his boardmate Donny Walford, an executive coach, met Guthrie
– again in the ABC’s headquarters in Sydney’s inner-city Ultimo – to tell Aunty’s boss of 2½ years that things were not working out, report The Australian’s Will Glasgow and Christine Lacy.
Louise Higgins, the ABC finance and strategy chief, has been in an unusual position at the ABC, an executive favoured by former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie and by the man who sacked her, chairman Justin Milne, reports The Australian’s Stephen Brook.
Yet even that is not enough to make her the favourite internal candidate to take over after Guthrie’s spectacular departure on Monday. That is interim managing director David Anderson, who came a “distant second” to Guthrie when she won the top job in 2016, according to one source from the board who appointed her.
Both Higgins and Anderson have big hits and big misses on their resumes.
I almost feel sorry for Michelle Guthrie. She walked into one of the most difficult and complex jobs in Australia staggeringly unqualified for the role, comments former ABC news executive Marco Bass in Fairfax Media.
On top of that she came at one of the more difficult times in the ABC’s recent history, under fierce attack from a hostile government and struggling to cope with massive changes to the way Australians experience media content.
It’s ironic that the ABC, which has been hyperventilating about the plight of Liberal women, and demanding to know why Malcolm Turnbull was ousted, has just shafted its most senior woman, without explaining why, and given her a good kicking on the way out, reports News Corp columnist Miranda Devine.
If anyone should have been shafted it was ABC Chairman, Justin Milne, Turnbull pal and smug cultural leftie, who suddenly finds himself philosophically out of step with the new management in Canberra.
The Australian’s media editor Darren Davidson has been named editor-in-chief of News Corp’s Storyful, the social media newswire and intelligence agency acquired by the company in 2013, reports his newspaper.
Based in New York, Davidson will join the executive team and report to Storyful’s chief executive Sharb Farjami, who assumed leadership of the business in 2017.
In his new role, Davidson is responsible for driving the long-term vision and day-to-day operations of a global, 70-plus person editorial team in New York, Los Angeles, London, Dublin, Hong Kong and Sydney.
In a note to his staff today, Farjami wrote: “Darren joins Storyful with a wealth of expertise in all of the areas we wanted in our quest to find a new editorial leader. He spent more than a decade as a reporter and editor breaking news that impacts the market he covers and has a strong reputation as a manager.
“He’s led media coverage for The Australian for seven years, meaning his understanding of digital and platforms is second to none. Darren honed his skills working for a fellow News Corp company and is familiar with our global editorial network.”
Photo: Darren Davidson (centre) with Nova Entertainment’s Rohan Brown (left) and Tony Thomas (right)
Sirius XM is so eager to reach listeners outside the car that it’s willing to take on some of the world’s largest technology companies, reports Bloomberg.
Sirius, controlled by cable TV billionaire John Malone, announced an all-stock deal to buy Pandora Media Inc. on Monday, uniting the largest satellite radio service in the US with the largest online radio company. Sirius was already a minority shareholder in Pandora, which it tried to acquire at least twice before.
Pandora, for all its struggles, has more than 70 million customers. The combined sales of the two should surpass US$7 billion this year, eclipsing even Spotify Technology, the world’s largest paid online music service.
[Pandora exited Australia in mid-2017.]
But the deal also pits Sirius against technology’s fiercest competitors: Apple, Spotify, Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube. They’re all racing to grab a bigger piece of the resurgent music market, which is growing again after years of declines as more consumers pay for music services they can access on their phones and via internet-connected speakers.
The ABC studios where groundbreaking programs such as Countdown and Sea Change were filmed is for sale, despite a recent heritage assessment determining that the property had “cultural heritage values at national, state and local levels”, reports Fairfax Media’s Simone Fox Koob.
Savills Australia announced on Tuesday night that the property at 8 Gordon Street in Elsternwick in Melbourne’s south-east has been released to the market, with expressions of interest open until October 19.
The announcement of the sale comes over a year after supermarket giant Woolworths paid up to $50 million to buy the ABC’s former production facility on nearby Selwyn Street.
The Gordon Street site – also known as The Dream Factory – plays an important role in the history of Australian television.
It was the site of the first ABC broadcast in Victoria. It is also located next to the National Trust-listed Rippon Lea mansions and gardens.
It’s understood the ABC expects the site to sell for $40 million.
ABC chairman Justin Milne told former managing director Michelle Guthrie to sack high-profile presenter Emma Alberici following a complaint from then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, report Fairfax Media’s Michael Koziol and Jennifer Duke.
In an extraordinary intervention that underlines the political pressure on Guthrie before she was axed on Monday, Milne appeared to acquiesce to government complaints about “bias” by calling for the chief economics correspondent to be fired because she was damaging the public broadcaster’s standing with Coalition MPs.
Milne’s comments were contained in an email sent to Guthrie on May 8 and were later circulated to board members in the week before the former Google executive was fired. The chairman was replying to an email from Guthrie that outlined a complaint from Turnbull about Alberici’s political coverage.
“They [the government] hate her,” Milne said in the email, which was conveyed to Fairfax Media by a source close to the board.
“We are tarred with her brush. I think it’s simple. Get rid of her. We need to save the ABC – not Emma. There is no guarantee they [the Coalition] will lose the next election.”
The British newspaper industry’s trade body has said the government should force social media sites such as Facebook and Google to pay an annual financial levy to fund journalism, and set up a regulator that would force them to take legal responsibility for all the content on their platforms, reports The Guardian.
The News Media Association, the umbrella group that represents almost all national and local newspapers, including the Guardian, also said Facebook should share revenue with newspaper groups when their stories appear in newsfeeds – even if users only see the headlines and do not click.
It also called on the government to introduce a tax credit system, similar to that used to encourage investment in the British film industry, which would allow newspapers to claim a cash rebate for investment in areas such as investigative journalism.
AFTRS, Australia’s national screen and broadcast school, has appointed Nell Greenwood as director of curriculum and registrar.
Greenwood is a teacher, screenwriter and script consultant with more than 20 years of experience in screen education and international film and television production. For the past 11 years she has had a number of roles at AFTRS including lecturer (screenwriting, directing and producing), head of screenwriting, course leader Masters in Screen and head of programs.
Prior to her work at AFTRS, Greenwood was a screenwriter and development executive, working as head of development for the Irish Film Board as well as several European production companies, including Jude Law and Ewan McGregor’s production company Natural Nylon Entertainment and Element Films with Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe.
Working with her husband Ronan, she wrote the story for False Witness for UKTV (Foxtel), which won the AFI for best miniseries. Nell and Ronan’s first telefilm Pride & Joy was nominated for Best TV Film at the 46th Monte Carlo TV Film Festival.
Like the sporting icons celebrated in bronze nearby at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, music industry royalty Ian “Molly” Meldrum has been immortalised with a larger-than-life statue in his own neighbourhood of Richmond, reports Fairfax Media’s Martin Boulton.
Standing next to the Corner Hotel – itself a world-famous live music venue for 60 years – the 1.8-metre bronze statue is unmistakably one of Australia’s best-known identities. Complete with his trademark hat, Meldrum is sporting a big grin and holding his dog, Ziggy.
Longtime friend and Mushroom chief Michael Gudinski, television personality and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, all praised Meldrum’s enormous commitment to the entertainment industry over 50 years.
“We salute you today, my friend,” McGuire said.
Netflix is doubling down on its successful formula of commissioning original sci-fi and comedy series as the streaming giant looks to maintain its lead over subscription VOD competitors, a new study by Ampere Analysis has found, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The study, released Tuesday, shows that Netflix still leads the SVOD pack by a large margin, with more than 250 new commissions planned, a figure that will more than double the 229 originals currently in Netflix’s catalogue. Amazon, with 105 originals and a similar number of new commissions, is a distant second when it comes to original series creation for its streaming platform, Amazon Prime Video.
On a combined basis, the two giants will almost double their original programming catalogues, according to the study.
More recent entrants, including Facebook Watch, Apple and Google-owned YouTube, are ramping up investment in originals, even as Netflix faces new competition in the form of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Network’s platform DC Universe, which launched in the US earlier this month, and Disney’s direct-to-consumer service is scheduled to launch in 2019.
Bodyguard, the addictive, thrilling and obsession-inducing TV show finally has a date and a platform in Australia, reports News Corp’s Wenlei Ma.
It will drop on Netflix on October 24. Yes, that’s a Wednesday and not a Friday but it’s only six episodes so you can definitely polish that off in one night. But it does mean you’ll have to spend another month blocking out spoilers.
Starring Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and Spooks’ Keeley Hawes, Bodyguard is a political thriller that’s gripped millions of people in the UK – and in an excellent sign, the ratings for the show had actually gone up week-to-week. When’s the last time that incredibly rare thing happened?
A dramatic arrest rocked the contestants on last night’s episode of The Block, with two of the site’s tradies carted off in handcuffs by police, reports News Corp’s Nick Bond.
For contestants Norm and Jess, the arrests were a shock conclusion to a mystery that started way back in week two of the show.
Back then, the couple were hauled into a meeting with a representative from Suncorp bank about their haphazard finances for their apartment reno – including some very suspect spending on their Block-issued credit cards.
Billionaire Rich Lister Jack Cowin reckons his fast-food franchise Hungry Jack’s is a “good luck charm” for the West Coast Eagles, reports The AFR’s Julie-anne Sprague.
Hungry Jack’s has been an on-off sponsor of the Eagles since the AFL club’s inception in 1986. It has been there for its premiership wins but was not a sponsor in 2015, when the Eagles suffered a bruising grand final defeat to Hawthorn.
“When they won in 92, 94, 06, each year we have been a major sponsor. We are the good luck charm,” Cowin told The Australian Financial Review. Cowin will be at Saturday’s grand final, when the Eagles take on Collingwood.
Figures released by IBISWorld on Tuesday show on-field success certainly helps boost the bottom line.
West Coast is the most profitable club in the AFL and the third highest revenue generator behind Hawthorn and Collingwood.
Richmond, which won its first flag in 37 years last year, enjoyed a 37% surge in revenue in 2017 to clinch fifth spot on the revenue ladder with $65.1 million. Collingwood generated $77.7 million, Hawthorn $71.5 million and West Coast, which does not generate income from pokies, collected $71 million.
Despite Collingwood’s revenue dominance it is the poorest-performing team in terms of profitability, sinking to a $2.7 million loss in 2017 according to IBISWorld. It’s something president Eddie McGuire is keen to turn around.