This month, News Corp Australia unveiled the News Health Network, bringing all the health brands and verticals under the Network banner.
The move has been complemented by audience targeting capabilities and custom-produced health, well-being and beauty content so that clients are able to access a 5.7 million monthly audience of health intenders at scale and drive meaningful outcomes.
Mediaweek caught up with News Corp Australia’s editorial director of premium food, travel and health Kerrie McCallum.
“Aside from the fact that we’ve done this successfully with food, travel, sport, and other categories, the health and well-being category is booming,” McCallum said when asked why the team are launching the Health Network.
“There is definitely a big consumer need for access to experts, and I think that’s a really critical thing for us – we are trusted experts, and the health category has a lot of confusing clutter to cut through. Audiences are really turning to us for that information.
“We have the leading health brand, Body+Soul, and then when you layer in verticals like Taste Eat Real, Kidspot, and the lifestyle pillars on news.com.au and the metro mastheads, we really reach a lot of health intenders. It made total sense from both a consumer and a client perspective.”
Whilst the announcement of the Health Network marks the official launch of the platform, McCallum said that there has been a lot of work and research that has gone on behind the scenes in the lead-up to launch.
“The launch of the Health Network has actually been 12 months in the making. It was informed by a very big landmark consumer research study called Emotional Connections we did with The Lab, and that helped distil research into consumer behaviours.”
McCallum said that one of the major lessons from the Emotional Connections study was that “health has changed, and so have we.”
“When you think about what the world went through during the pandemic, we’re really only discovering the impacts now. It really has changed our attitude to health and well-being, and the research said that there has been a 41% growth in consumers interested in health and well-being content compared with pre-pandemic figures.
“The other really key thing that came out of it, which fascinated us all, was that people wanted to be happy – that was the number one concern, 67% of people wanted to be happy. Things like weight loss have bumped out of the top five, and people are a lot more focused on compassion and self-care. They’re being a little bit easier on themselves, it’s about progress over perfection. The happiness factor was a massive game changer for us and how we shape our content.”
People can access the Health Network content across print, digital, podcasts and social channels, as well as video content that provides people with “news they can use.”
Traditionally, news environments have focused on text-first page formats, with video often thought of as a secondary experience. News Corp Australia’s digital network offers a content ecosystem that focuses on video as the core page type, bringing audiences snackable content from social media platforms including Snapchat and TikTok – and the Health Network will be no different.
With the platform out there in the world, McCallum said that News Corp’s work in affiliate content and e-commerce means that the Health Network is good news for brands as well as consumers.
“Affiliate content and e-commerce is a critical category for health and wellness at News Corp, particularly when you look at the fact that consumer health expenditures going to grow from $277 billion now to $376 billion by 2027. There’s a lot of opportunity for publishers and marketers to partner through affiliate content and e-commerce.”
Top Image: Kerrie McCallum