News Corp Australia revealed a raft of innovations at its annual D_Coded event at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter last Monday, followed by another session in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Now in its fifth year, the company presented new partnerships, new ways for people to buy, and a new total commerce offering to advertising, marketing, and media executives.
With these innovative offerings in mind, Mediaweek spoke to media agency leaders to get their thoughts on the presentation, what grabbed their attention and what the announcements mean for their businesses and clients.
Dan Collado, head of client service at The Pistol, attended the D_Coded session on Wednesday in Melbourne and called the News Corp’s offering “very exciting.”
“Across digital platforms, we’ve seen the power of a video-first approach for driving brand growth and revenue for many years. The expansion of these opportunities across the News Corp offering is very exciting – especially as they’re taking it further to enable in-video shopability.
“A challenge we’re continuously focused on optimising for our clients is minimising friction through the path to purchase. As presented on Wednesday, News Corp’s Shoppable Video Content seems to go a long way to enabling genuinely streamlined conversion.
Collado said: “We already have our eye on potential opportunities to leverage this within our client network. Watch this space!”
For Claire Fenner, CEO of Atomic 212°, the announcement that grabbed her attention was Total Commerce – a product that allows clients to transact directly across its digital network through video, text, and images.
“News Corp calls it ‘an integrated shopfront’ that allows clients to sell in its content,” she said.
“The company has offered shoppable video advertising for a while now, but Total Commerce looks like a big step up in functionality and – in theory – the results that can be achieved.
“If News Corp can deliver on the promise of giving consumers a way to click on video, text, or images and buy something, it will be on a winner, for both consumers looking for a seamless experience and marketers looking to get a clearer picture of their customer’s journey to purchase,” Fenner added.
Fenner also highlighted New Corp’s data partnership with Westpac, the launch of an omnichannel attribution suite, the new mobile-first “vertical video platform” and Intent Connect as “compelling and forward-looking” announcements.
But for her, those “weren’t as significant” as Total Commerce.
When looking at how unique News Corp’s offering was in the market, Fenner noted that while some of the initiatives discussed at D_Coded had been announced before there were several interesting key announcements.
“It’s exciting to hear that many of these new announcements offer increasingly measurable outcomes and greater accountability, which are critical for driving smarter strategies,” she said.
“News Corp’s managing director, national sales, Lou Barrett, spelt out its ambition: to use the company’s audience insights, content and technology to deliver solutions and results for clients across the total customer journey.”
Fenner noted that in addition to News Corp’s digital evolution, one of the key aims was clearly to demonstrate how the company is evolving into an audience-led business without the silos that have characterised the company for decades.
“On that front, this year’s D_Coded was a success, laying out several key new initiatives that cut across multiple News Corp divisions and are designed to use its massive audience reach to help clients grow their business,” Fenner praised.
Half Dome’s group business director, Michelle Tempest, praised News Corp for building on the success of last year’s D_Coded announcements, particularly the introduction of its new data partnership with Westpac, which will help round out its data offering.
But for Tempest, what stood out to her was News Corp’s shift from identifying passive audiences to active intent customers through its Intent Connect product.
“Identifying signals of intent from consumers and packaging this up for brands to target is incredibly powerful, particularly for retail clients where we are seeing a change in path to purchase and greater competition.
“While this isn’t new in the digital landscape, I expect it will see News Corp in a stronger position on any marketer’s consideration set, particularly in comparison to the likes of Google and Meta,” she added.
In addition to greater identification of the right audience, Tempest highlighted the contextual targeting updates using AI as another exciting offering.
“News Corp has always been a leader in content production, and using AI to match products with this content opens up new possibilities for brands to tap into the vast amount of content across the News Corp network and do so in a way that delivers greater relevance for the audience,” she said.
Tempest noted that the announcements mean little without measurement to back them up.
“Seeing News Corp provide measurement opportunities that tie back to business goals across the full marketing funnel makes the product offerings more enticing, as there is a clear way to identify their impact.
“This is something we are having more and more conversations about with our clients, and with marketing budgets feeling the squeeze, will continue to be of high importance when choosing who to partner in the future,” Tempest added.
Initiative’s head of partnerships, Justin Arlt, also highlighted Total Commerce proposition as a standout.
“The integration of commerce, content and advertising provides an attractive offering for retailers of all sizes. The ability for consumers to convert without moving offsite is a game-changer and the touted 30% increase in cart conversion rates is hard to ignore,” he said.
Arlt called News Corp’s offering uniquely positioned to launch and manage a product like Total Commerce based on audience data, content, and scalability.
“Not to say other media companies couldn’t launch a similar offering, but it’d be an uphill battle to effectively compete with the News offering,” he explained.
When asked if News Corp’s D_Coded announcements mean for Initiative’s business and clients, Arlt noted that there was plenty to take in and that it would take some time for them to figure out how it might fit into client plans.
“But if News is successful in achieving its aim of delivering top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel results in the same execution, there is tremendous upside for clients,” he said.
“Overall, News have done a good job of both launching new innovative products and evolving existing ones in line with changing consumer behaviour,” Arlt concluded.
Top image: Dan Collado, Claire Frenner, Justin Arlt and Michelle Tempest