Friday July 28 2017
Mediaweek’s James Manning and Kruti Joshi are on location in Melbourne at The Block site in Elsternwick with Nine program director’s Hamish Turner (pictured). Discussion includes Fox Sports News’ new schedule, Eddie McGuire‘s return to the Footy Show, Karl Stefanovic‘s new show, Nine’s The Block launch and much more.
Julian Cress, the co-creator of Nine’s longest running reality show The Block, talks about its origination and the $10m phone call to director of television Michael Healy.
This TV podcast sees Andrew Mercado and James Manning discussing the ratings for the season final of Australian Ninja Warrior and talking about when we will likely see it next. Other shows under the microscope this week include The Block, Australian Survivor, MasterChef, The Bachelor, This Time Next Year, True Story, Kath & Kim, The Good Fight, Britain’s Got Talent, Home and Away, The AFL Footy Show and Game Of Thrones.
Joining James Manning and James Daggar-Nickson on the show:
• Matt Scriven, Director of Sales, Nine Melbourne
• Hamish Turner, Program Director, Nine
Sky News Business Channel
Channel 602: Foxtel
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||2.6%||GEM||1.6%||ELEVEN||2.8%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC||9.6%||7||20.8%||9||18.8%||10 NNSW||3.0%||SBS One||4.6%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||4.2%||GEM||2.7%||ONE||3.5%||Food Net||0.9%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2017. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
Home and Away finished its week on 714,000.
Daredevils Make You Laugh Out Loud was just short of half a million.
The Front Bar set a new ratings record with a three-market audience just over 300,000. The Melbourne audience was 220,000 after 177,000 the previous week. That is a modest rise given that there was no AFL Footy Show last night as it prepares for a relaunch in early August.
All Round To Mrs Brown’s did 409,000 with a start at 8.30pm in northern markets and then 9.30pm in southern capitals.
Nine was a winner in primary and combined channel share. It even managed a good lead in Melbourne without the AFL Footy Show, a show that hasn’t been missing on the Thursday schedule at this time of year for 24 years.
A Current Affair remained a timeslot winner and was the third most-watched show of the night on 817,000.
Sydney and Brisbane viewers then got live NRL with 349,000 watching when the match got underway – 217,000 in Sydney and 132,000 in Brisbane.
Other markets could watch RBT with 366,000 tuning in.
Instead of The Footy Show, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth viewers were offered the James Bond movie Skyfall, which pulled 253,000 with 147,000 in Melbourne. That compares to last week’s AFL Footy Show in Melbourne on 155,000.
The second episode of The Bachelor was the channel’s best with 739,000, which was down on the 846,000 watching the launch episode. The numbers were also lower than the 824,000 watching episode two last year. However, The Bachelor remained a timeslot champ and was the leader by a long way in the key demos for all programs on Thursday.
Elsewhere on the channel The Project did 516,000 where The Big Sick’s Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani were featured guests.
Common Sense just missed the top 20 with 354,000 which was a nice recovery after 229,000 a week ago in a later timeslot.
Pulse was the pick of the programs with a compelling episode drawing 478,000 medical drama junkies. That is down a little on last week’s 520,000.
The Checkout did 516,000 at 8pm.
Cleverman was on 118,000, down on last week’s 136,000.
The broadcaster steamed into the top 20 with Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys on 379,000 at 7.30pm.
The final of Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook: Melbourne did 177,000.
The second season of Versailles returned with some graphic torture on display and the promise of more nudity from the women and the men in the court of Louis VIX, with the two episodes averaging 106,000.
The AFR has an update on Oaktree Capital Management and its quest to buy Network Ten.
Street Talk reveals the US debt giant has hired Credit Suisse to hold its hand through due diligence, as it prepares an indicative offer in time for next month’s deadline.
Credit Suisse’s role at Ten comes only a fortnight after the Swiss bank’s equities desk sold Oaktree’s 7% stake in another free-to-air television broadcaster, Nine Entertainment Co.
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A cooling property market will drive up demand for real estate advertisements and help boost earnings at REA Group, News Corp, and Fairfax Media’s Domain, reports The Australian’s Darren Davidson.
The online classifieds platforms will benefit from weakened house price and auction clearance rates as vendors advertise for longer and buy more than one listing to achieve a sale.
That’s the bullish verdict of investment bank Citi, whose analysts upgraded all three stocks this morning.
“As the market cools, properties will take longer to sell, leading to rising listing volumes even if the turnover rate for the market remains low. In our view this will drive significant earnings growth for the portals,” said Citi in a note to clients.
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Facebook says profit rose 71% in the second quarter, as the social-media giant developed new products to offset concerns about slowing growth, reports Dow Jones.
Facebook reported earnings per share of US$1.32, up from 78 cents a year ago and compared with the US$1.12 per share projected by analysts polled by FactSet. Net profit was US$3.9b in the second quarter, up from US$2.3b a year ago.
Quarterly revenue rose 45% to US$9.3b from the prior year’s US$6.4b. Analysts polled by FactSet expected Facebook to record quarterly revenue of US$9.2b.
Facebook’s formidable ad business, along with Alphabet’s Google, soaked up 99% of the online ad industry’s growth last year, according to Pivotal Research.
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UK broadcaster Sky will boost its budget for dramas by a quarter this year in an effort to keep pace with heavy spending by Netflix and Amazon and capitalise on strong international appetite for box sets, reports the UK Telegraph.
The extra cash, taking the total to more than £100m, will mean the pay-TV operator will debut four original series on its channels every quarter.
Sky announced higher drama spending alongside its annual results, which showed the impact of an 83pc increase in its Premier League rights bill.
Operating profit was down 6pc to £1.5bn as Sky’s ruthless cost cutting was not able to fully match the £629m extra it paid for top flight football. A £51m investment to enter the mobile market added to the pressure on the bottom line as 21st Century Fox’s £11.7b takeover stumbled over regulatory hurdles.
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Madonna has accepted undisclosed damages from MailOnline publisher Associated Newspapers over a “serious invasion of privacy” involving her twin daughters, Stella and Estere, reports the UK Press Association.
The singer, who adopted the four-year-olds in February, brought the case at London’s High Court over a January 2017 article that caused her “considerable personal distress and anxiety”, solicitor Jenny Afia told Mrs Justice Nicola Davies on Thursday.
It revealed the girls’ names, race, age, the fact they lived in an orphanage in Malawi and were the subject of pending applications for adoption by Madonna.
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Aussie rapper and TV star Adam Briggs has revealed he’s part of the writing team on Disenchantment, the upcoming Netflix series from Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening, reports Fairfax Media’s Rob Moran.
Briggs, one half of the acclaimed hip-hop project A.B. Original, made the announcement on social media, sharing a picture of himself with Groening, Simpsons writer and producer Josh Weinsten, and other members of the show’s writing crew.
Brigg’s honed his comedy chops as a writer and cast member on ABC’s sketch show Black Comedy, and is also a regular on Charlie Pickering’s The Weekly.
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Before The AFR’s Bryce Corbett departs the Rear Window column for a new role at the Nine Network, he continues to report on the TV sector.
Today he mentions that Seven’s head of programming, Brad Lyons, has relocated from the network’s Pyrmont headquarters (home to the C suite) to its production hub at Redfern.
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Street Talk reports that spinner Sue Cato and the former publisher of The Australian Financial Review Brett Clegg are planning a new strategic communications firm, focused on mergers & acquisitions and company matters.
The discussions are said to be early-stage with the as-yet-unnamed firm unlikely to hang out its shingle until later in the year. Sources said the plan was to draft in other partners and senior staff members.
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In the newly created role, Rooke will lead the radio sales teams across SCA’s metro and regional radio assets. With 78 radio stations, 34 represented radio stations and the supporting digital assets, she will be leading the sales of the largest audio network in Australia.
Rooke was most recently Sydney sales director at Seven West Media. Prior to joining Seven in 2011, she held a number of roles at Southern Cross Austereo, most recently the Sydney agency sales director. Rooke started with SCA in 2000.
Welcoming her appointment, Brian Gallagher, chief sales officer SCA, said: “Nikki knows everything there is to know about radio sales. Her extensive media sales experience coupled with her passion for radio makes her an ideal leader for this role and a great mentor for the teams under her watch.
“I’m delighted she has decided to rejoin us in such a crucial and senior role. I have been determined to find the person best suited to this important role and I believe we have with Nikki.”
Rooke will start her position in November and will report to Gallagher.
The ABC’s director of radio Michael Mason has been spending a bit of time in Adelaide lately, The Advertiser today explains why:
ABC Radio Adelaide has announced yet another major shake-up of its breakfast lineup, just weeks after the departure of veteran journalist and broadcaster Matthew Abraham.
Mornings presenter Ali Clarke will move to the breakfast slow, replacing David Bevan who will move to Clarke’s current mornings timeslot – 9am-11am.
The pair will co-host the last half-hour of the breakfast show from 8.30am.
The lineup change comes just weeks after Abraham’s shock decision to leave the station, where he had been co-hosting with Bevan since 2002.
Abraham and Bevan had been in the breakfast slot since 2011, consistently winning the ratings in their timeslot.
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The hayu app is already live for some Fetch subscribers, and will be rolling out to all boxes in coming weeks. To celebrate, Fetch is offering a two-month free trial of hayu to customers.
hayu brings viewers over 150 of the best, must-see reality shows on-demand. Fetch subscribers will now be able to enjoy the full range of The Real Housewives franchise, every episode of everything Kardashian, Top Chef, Made In Chelsea (an exclusive to hayu in Australia), along with great throwback favourites like The Hills and Laguna Beach.
Reality fans can also catch the much-anticipated new series Life of Kylie immediately after its US launch on August 7 2017.
Hendrik McDermott, SVP, Branded On-Demand Entertainment, NBCUniversal International, commented: “Fetch is the ideal platform to extend and grow hayu’s presence across Australia. We are pleased to bring hayu’s extensive reality TV programming lineup to Fetch’s impressive network of ISP partners and steadily growing subscriber base. We’re excited to now offer those subscribers access to hayu and our vast library of top-quality reality content.”
Scott Lorson, CEO Fetch TV, said, “Some of our most-watched shows are reality TV, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer Fetch subscribers access to the hayu on-demand reality service. hayu delivers a huge range of great content including The Real Housewives franchise, which we know will be very popular with our base. Fetch continues to expand our content offering, as we live up to our brand promise of ‘All your entertainment in one place’.”
The Handmaid’s Tale and Game Of Thrones have a lock of their respective charts this week in Australia and New Zealand.
The new Netflix series Friends From College has landed on the Digital Originals chart in both markets.
On the Overall TV Shows charts, Love Island has been the big mover ranking #5 in Australia and #2 in New Zealand. Then controversial UK series is available on 9Now in Australia and on TVNZ in New Zealand.
The AFL had the top three spots on the Nielsen Social Content ratings last week. The NRL filled out the rest of the top five.
Meanwhile the Sunday night Grand Finale of MasterChef Australia managed to take top spot amongst the non-sport TV shows. It generated more social engagement from two episodes of Australian Ninja Warrior screened earlier that week.
Ninja Warrior could be favourite to top the next chart, although there will be plenty of competition from programs like The Bachelor and Survivor which boast big social followings.
Crocmedia has announced it is expanding its Crocmedia Podcast Series. The growing media company run by Craig Hutchison and Chris Giannopoulos has around 30 podcasts, mainly podcasts of radio and TV shows it broadcasts.
At present it has one original podcast that features unique content – The Sounding Board. Crocmedia CEO Hutchison has announced they will be launching a second unique podcast next week.
The new audio project is Don’t Shoot The Messenger which will feature a weekly discussion between journalists Caroline Wilson and Corrie Perkin. The two are former colleagues at The Age and longtime friends. Corrie Perkin, who’s father was the legendary Age editor Graham Perkin, left The Age many years ago and worked as a reporter for Harper’s Bazaar Australia among other things and also opened bookshops in Melbourne.
OzPod is returning for its second year on Friday September 8 and the ABC Ultimo Centre in Sydney will again play host to the best, the brightest and the most innovative minds in podcasting at OzPod 2017: Australian Podcast Conference.
The 2017 keynote speaker will be Jenn White (USA), the host and co-creator of the Making Oprah podcast from Chicago-based broadcaster WBEZ. White is a TV and radio broadcaster and producer who has also worked as the host of All Things Considered, and as an outreach manager at NPR station Michigan Radio.
OzPod 2017 will focus on the rapidly evolving development of podcasting in Australia, including discussions on diversity, ethics, technologies, storytelling, monetisation and how to grow the audience.
In 2017 OzPod has introduced a registration fee of $99 to assist in covering some of the production and running costs. The conference remains entirely not-for-profit.
Comedian and TV host Wil Anderson and actor-writer Charlie Clausen have joined forces with Australia’s largest global podcasting network, Planet Broadcasting, with their prolific podcast TOFOP.
Wil and Charlie have created and produced TOFOP independently for seven years, averaging 300,000 downloads a month. Planet Broadcasting’s digital network of video and audio content garners seven million views and listens a month and has delivered TOFOP its first sponsor.
Planet Broadcasting was created by husband and wife Melbourne based duo James Clement and Claire Tonti. The ex-primary school teachers started creating content five years ago and now Planet Broadcasting is their full-time job, with clients including Fortune 500 company Netflix, Audible, Squarespace, MVMT, Loot Crate, Casper, Harry’s Shavers and 360fly.
TV critic Andrew Mercado’s rundown on what to watch on the box next week:
Scott Cam is in his element moving five run-down federation houses to a huge block of land in Elsternwick. What a surprise as the obsession with being in Melbourne continues amidst gloomy and soggy work sites. The five new couples for this series can be broken down like this – there are the hotties (tradie and model), the reno experts (smartarses), the beginners (former rugby league footballer and wife), the larrikins (complete with wacky nicknames) and the oldies (married couple who have begun but never finished one job in their own home). Plot spoiler – the cliffhanger for the first night is when somebody… runs out of paint.
Ten must have a lot of faith in this second series premiere given it is programming a Modern Family repeat at 7pm while The Block starts on Nine. Meanwhile, Seven’s anticipated ITV documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy (which they are dishonestly branding as an episode of Sunday Night) will also get a half-hour jump on Australian Survivor, whose athletic new promos (“The World’s Greatest Game”) are obviously trying to cash in on the success of Australian Ninja Warrior. Executive Producer Stephen Tate says Ten has “assembled the best reality cast I have ever seen”, which suggests his Samoan hotel isn’t yet getting Yummy Mummies.
Nine might have to name itself the feel-good network if this takes off. It won’t reach the lofty heights of Australian Ninja Warrior, but it still looks aspirational and powerful, which was part of the appeal of ANW. Karl Stefanovic has been on the campaign trail talking about his own past year so he can clear the decks ahead of this premiere. This certainly seems a better bet than his last foray into primetime with The Verdict, so good luck Karlos.
• Fox Sports and Sky News multiple winners at ASTRA Industry Awards
Fox League has been voted Channel Brand of the Year by ASTRA, the peak body for subscription television in Australia.
The announcement came at the ASTRA Industry Awards, held last night on the edge Sydney Harbour at an event attended by both the sector’s leaders and their foot soldiers.
Launched in early 2017 as a destination channel to champion rugby league, Fox League has enjoyed significant ratings success, with 23 games in subscription television’s list of top 50 programs for the year-to-date.
“No channel better represents the success of subscription television in attracting passionate audiences in large numbers to watch quality content,” ASTRA CEO Andrew Maiden said after the announcement of the winner.
“Since launch, Fox League has become one of Foxtel’s most-watched channels, attracting large audiences for its live, ad-free coverage of every game, while its suite of magazine programs set the conversation around the sport on screen and online,” he said.
Fox League was chosen by industry professionals ahead of the other nominees in the category – Nick Jr, Sky News, Lifestyle, Crime + Investigation Network and UKTV.
Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh announced the winner of the main category. Acceptance speeches were expected to be no longer than 30 seconds. After calling Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany to the stage, he noted: “Good luck with 30 seconds.”
Delany praised the team responsible for the new channel.
“Just when we think our jobs can’t get any better we win an award for a labour of love. Building Fox Sports from the ground up was as much fun as you can have at work, so to be named ASTRA Channel Brand of the Year in its first year is ridiculously rewarding,” Delany said.
“As always, we thank the players who perform brilliantly and we thank our audiences for their loyalty and passion. The reception the channel and brand has been given is a massive reward for our team,” he added.
Collecting one of the awards for Fox Sports was Brendon Moo, accepting on behalf of Fox Sports director of publicity and marketing Carly Loder.
Other awards announced last night:
Foxtel Arts received the ASTRA Channel Achievement Award for its exceptional showcase of the arts, artists and their creative achievements.
Jesse Hicks of Sky News was named ASTRA Television Professional of the Year.
Foxtel’s Brigitte Slattery was crowned ASTRA Creative Professional of the Year.
Thomas O’Brien of Sky News was voted ASTRA Rising Star.
“The industry’s success depends on the professionalism and creativity of our people, and this year’s winners are outstanding role models to the 8,000 people who work in the sector,” Maiden said.
The following creative campaigns were also recognised:
• Most Outstanding Advertising Campaign, MTV Fit Sessions, MTV Australia
• Most Outstanding Campaign Under $50k, Dan Ricciardo Ultimate Track, Fox Sports
• Most Outstanding Innovation, The Wentworth BOT, showcase
• Most Outstanding Off-Air Promotion, Lifestyle Rebrand, Lifestyle (Joint)
• Most Outstanding Off-Air Promotion, Fox League, Fox Sports (Joint)
• Most Outstanding On-Air Promotion, Phone Mouth, The Comedy Channel
• Most Outstanding Public Relations Campaign, Dan Ricciardo Ultimate Track, FOX SPORTS
• Most Outstanding Social Media Campaign, Are Millennials F*cked?, MTV Australia
Top: Fox Sports team celebrate: Trevor Farrugia, Jessica Patterson, Stephanie Lukin, Patrick Delany, Tara Rushton, Chris Pocock, Jayde Kirby, Brendon Moo
Lower: Individual award winners Jesse Hicks and Thomas O’Brien from Sky News with Brigitte Slattery from Lifestyle channels
Mediacorp in Singapore will shut down its 13-year-old indie radio station Lush 99.5FM on September 1 this year, as part of a rationalisation of its network of radio stations. Lush built a niche following since its launch in 2004 but recently the station’s listenership has been steadily declining to its most recent figure of 50,000 listeners. Mediacorp said despite efforts to improve listenership, Lush continues to consistently garner the lowest audience among its radio stations.
Singapore-based Grvty Media, which published a range of portals targeting millennials, has raised S$1 million (A$927,000) from Spout Entertainment Group, a company that nurtures eSports in Southeast Asia. Grvty is as three-month-old startup that claims it was profitable from day one. It creates revenue via branded content and agency work and publishes six online publications in Singapore and Malaysia. The titles are Vulcan Post, covering tech and digital lifestyle news for consumers, Discover SG, Discover KL, The Playbook, Millennials of Singapore, and Millennials of Kuala Lumpur.
Singapore Press Holdings and US-based Business Insider have signed a licensing partnership to operate Singapore and Malaysia editions of Business Insider. The Singapore and Malaysia news sites will provide local news, business, and lifestyle coverage in addition to editorial from Business Insider’s newsrooms around the globe, including Australia, Germany, UK, and its New York headquarters. Business Insider’s Singapore and Malaysia portals were previously operated by Rev Asia, which launched the sites in February 2014.
Viacom International Media Networks and HyppTV, a Malaysian IPTV service, will collaborate to launch Paramount Channel in Malaysia. Two more Viacom channels, MTV Asia and Nickelodeon, will also join the HyppTV service from August 1 2017, as part of the same agreement. This will extend Viacom’s channels on the platform to five, and they will all be also available on HyppTV’s mobile app, HyppTV Everywhere. In Malaysia Viacom and Solar Entertainment Corporation, a Philippine TV network and content provider, will collaborate to launch a new MTV channel, MTVph in the Philippines on August 1. The 24-hour youth entertainment network is currently available in the Philippines through an MTV Asia feed.
Kinetic Thailand, a leading out-of-home media planner under WPP Group, says OOH prospects remain promising because Thai people stay outdoors for 10-12 hours a day. Kinetic also predicts that the OOH market will increase 5%-10% this year. Nielsen Thailand reports that OOH and in-store advertising market value for 11 months of last year rose 23% YOY to 10.5 billion baht. Billboards ad spend was up 34%, transit increased 17% , and in-store was up 17%.
Filipino billionaire Ramon Ang will buy a majority stake in one of the Philippine’s biggest media firms, the Inquirer group of companies. Ang is buying the Prieto family’s controlling stake in Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the country’s top three newspapers by circulation. Its coverage of the government’s war on drugs has brought the newspaper repeated aggravation from President Rodrigo Duterte over perceived bias. Duterte called the newspaper and a local TV network “sons of whores”. The value of the transaction has not been confirmed, as Ang is yet to undertake due diligence on the company, which also owns tabloid newspapers and a radio station. Two years ago, Ang’s attempted buy-in deal with a major local commercial broadcast television and radio conglomerate, GMA Network, failed.
Singapore Press Holdings’ third-quarter net profit for the three months ended May 31 fell 45.2% YOY to S$28.9 million (A$27m). The company said the profit slump was mainly due to impairment charges, or the writing off worthless goodwill, of $37.8m from its magazine sector business which “continued to deteriorate further amid unfavourable market conditions”. The company’s media business, which continued to be hurt by the disruption of the industry and a muted economic environment, also slumped again and had a 15.7% or $34.1m YOY fall in operating revenue, as ad revenue fell by $29.2m or 18.7%, and circulation revenue dropped $4.8m or 10.6%.
Hong Kong media mogul and Apple Daily publisher Jimmy Lai has sold his flagship, Next Magazine, and four other titles – Sudden Weekly, Face, Me! and Next+One – to former Metro Daily owner Kenny Wee for HK$500 million (A$80.8m). Next, launched even before Apple Daily, has been bleeding money since 2011. Next Media Group chief executive officer Cassian Cheung Ka-sing announced the sale and said, “Mr Lai was saddened. But what needs to be done has to be done.” Next Magazine editor-in-chief Louise Wong Lai-sheung said the move was “like putting the staff into a brothel”. Wee, married to actress Suki Chui Suk-Man, was educated in Australia and returned to Hong Kong to open restaurants after working at a Singapore music company. In 2013 he bought Metro Daily for HK$200m and a fortnight ago he sold it for HK$400m.
SPH Magazine titles in its custom content solutions unit won awards in the US for editorial and design excellence. SilverKris, Singapore Airlines’ inflight magazine, and The Johnnie Walker House Edit publication – won Grand Awards in the Magazines, Journals and Tabloids (Design & Layout) category at US Apex Awards for Publication Excellence 2017. SilverKris also won a Best Use of Illustration gong at the Content Marketing Awards 2017.
HBO Asia has promoted Beibei Fan to executive vice president for new business and managing director for China. She will oversee all aspects of HBO Asia’s business in China from revenue generation, production, and new business prospects in Asia. Beibei has over 15 years of experience in programming and distribution and has worked for Warner Brothers, The Walt Disney Company and China Central Television (CCTV). She spearheaded HBO Asia’s first Chinese co-production movie project with China Movie Channel, an anthology of Chinese language martial arts action movies.
• Malaysia-based telecommunications conglomerate Axiata Group has signed an MOU with iflix to expand and extend collaboration to Axiata’s customers at XL in Indonesia, Smart in Cambodia, Robi in Bangladesh and Ncell in Nepal. The two companies will also produce content especially for Axiata customers.
• Ad spend in Thailand continued its decline in the first half of 2017, according to Nielsen Thailand. Total as spend fell by 7.08%, with magazines falling by 37.5%, newspapers by 20.7%, and radio by 19.9%. Internet ad spend also fell by 10.1%.
• Malaysia’s Astro is now using the ThinkAnalytics Recommendations Engine on its new NJOI Now free video streaming service.
• ThinkAnalytics content recommendations are already used on Astro GO and its pay-TV DTH and data shows that over 70% of viewing on both platforms is driven by ThinkAnalytics.
• The majority-Australia-owned Phnom Penh Post celebrated its 25th anniversary last week and also joined Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media organisations in 19 Asian countries.
• Cambodian digital media company Sabay launched its SVOD service Soyo, claiming it’s the first to stream Khmer shows on-demand. Cambodia’s leading film distributor Westec Media also released its paid SVOD app JaiKon TV a day later.
• AsiaSat and French-headquartered Globecast have agreed on a deal to deliver RTR-Planeta Asia to viewers throughout Asia. Globecast will manage content and AsiaSat will deliver the channel via AsiaSat 5. RTR-Planeta is owned by the Russian state television and radio broadcaster VGTRK.
• BBC Worldwide has signed a deal to launch a BBC Earth branded block on South Korean cable channel KMH’s just-launched documentary channel, DocuOne. BBC Earth is available as a linear channel in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Six years ago two Australians – former REA employees and life partners Andrew Taylor and Simon Henry – founded a Chinese-language real estate portal in Shanghai to service the emerging Chinese players on the international property markets.
They created a giant. Back in 2014, The AFR reported that their site, Juwai, had 2.5 million unique users a month, with 4.5 million property listings in 60 countries and 80,000 real estate agents and brokers as partners.
The company’s name Juwai – an invented word – became a more searched term on Baidu than “international property” and is synonymous with international property among Mandarin and Cantonese speakers globally.
Such online success is attributable to the two founders, but from the early days on they had help from a PR guru Dave Platter, an American expat who married an Australian, lives in Sydney, and plies his trade exclusively for Juwai between Harbour Town, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Platter says, “Six years ago, Juwai.com, consisted of two guys and a cheap website. Today, it’s the global leader at connecting international property advertisers with Chinese buyers. Some of that success is due to the interest the media has shown in our business.
“In 2016, we generated 10,000 clips worldwide, which Meltwater values (and perhaps overvalues) at more than US$1 billion.
“One good story in The Australian Financial Review or Wall Street Journal will result in several pieces in China, so China accounts for greatest number of clips, and our name frequently appears in outlets like yicai, Caixin, 21 Century Business Herald, China Business Journal, Jiemian.com and Xinhua.”
Platter, the son of a US Defence Department official, spent half of his childhood in places like Korea, Germany and Thailand.
“Suburban American life was boring by comparison,” he says. “Nothing ever happened in the suburbs to compare with the annual floods in Bangkok that covered our street and yard in water.”
He attended university in Britain and Spain and then, aged almost 30, moved to New York, and his first job in PR.
“I owe my entire PR career to one person,” he says. “Her name is Florence Quinn and she still runs the Manhattan PR firm, Quinn PR, where I had my first PR job, although today it is much larger and even more successful.”
In 2006, Platter moved to Australia where, more or less, he’s been stationed ever since.
“I had met and married an Aussie girl in New York, and we moved to Sydney for the lifestyle it offered our young kids,” he says.
“My first job in Australia was as corporate public and investor relations manager for the REA Group under its visionary CEO Simon Baker.”
Platter met Andrew Taylor and Simon Henry at REA and when he heard of their plans to start Juwai he helped.
“I don’t think I even charged them in the beginning,” he says. “But what started out as helping a couple of friends in need turned into a more than full-time job. Juwai.com was growing so quickly that I converted into a full-time in-house PR person for them.”
Platter framed a global campaign around the rapid success of Juwai, which became No.1 in the Chinese international real estate investment category as soon as it had established itself.
“Our PR campaign built on that from the start by emphasising our leadership, expertise and authority,” he says.
“The new company sacrificed some other goals to invest in a big data platform very early. That enabled us to combine our insights with hard numbers about the market and the actions of Chinese consumers. That’s the straw we spun into gold.”
For the first few years the company had no PR professionals in China, but still generated lots of coverage there.
“When our stories appear in authoritative international outlets, Chinese outlets often translate and reproduce them,” Platter explains. “This is how we indirectly generated media coverage in China and began to build a bigger profile there.
“Later, an excellent PR person in Shanghai who reports to me joined the team. Not only does he generate coverage for Juwai in China, but we also offer China PR as a solution to a limited number of our advertisers for additional value-add.”
In January this year the founding Juwai duo of Taylor and Henry sold their 20% stake in the company, ahead of its stock market listing later this year.
Juwai is now being run by former Macquarie Bank Asia COO Charles Pittar, and Dave Platter continues to spin a positive global message.
Photos: Andrew Taylor and Simon Henry [Top], Dave Platter [Lower]