Wednesday April 17, 2019

News.com.au’s Kate de Brito: 10m readers can’t be wrong

As editor-in-chief of news.com.au, Kate de Brito heads a team that attracts over 10m news readers every month. In a new Mediaweek Podcast she tells how people are now consuming their news, what some in the industry don’t understand about digital news and why it is so important to follow the readers.

By James Manning

Election campaign should equal big audiences

Hopefully, there’s going to be a bit of argy-bargy, we like a feisty election campaign.

We hope to see some good numbers over the next six weeks.

Our readers are hugely interested in politics. We saw big numbers for the New South Wales election. And we’ve done a lot of planning around what we’ll do.

People are interested in the politics. But they’re also obviously interested in the personalities. And we’ve seen huge spikes in readership around elections. So, definitely I think there’ll be a lot of readership around this one in particular.

Letting the readers guide you

We let the readers guide what we do a lot. And I think it’s a principle that unnerves some people. They seem to say, “Well, if you let the readers tell you [what’s important], then are you giving them what they need to know?”

We’ve never arrogantly assumed that we know best. We’re obviously journalists, we know when a story’s a story. But surprisingly, so do the readers. And there can be things that traditional media, or other parts of the media, might think are important stories that our readers just aren’t interested in. That’s a part of digital media that people still haven’t quite come to terms with. They want to compare digital media to print, they want to compare it to broadcast.

Probably the comparison they don’t make often enough is radio. In some ways, digital media runs much like radio. We come in, there’s stories of the day, we follow them up, we find new angles, and we roll things out throughout the day.

There’s obviously special features, things you’ve planned, stories that you’ve broken exclusively. But we operate very differently to other newsrooms. We have to be guided by what the readers want to read or what they’re interested in, because otherwise they just don’t read. It’s a fundamental principle of digital news.

Misconceptions about digital news

There’s so many misconceptions. So many misconceptions. Having worked in print for so many years, and I have a great affection for print. I started at The Daily Telegraph as a copy girl. I loved my years in print in this business. But I love digital news now. And I think it’s probably one of the biggest problems for our industry – how few people who are not in the industry understand it.

It’s a great moment sometimes when I meet other people who work at rivals, some of our biggest rivals, they might work at Nine or Seven or The Daily Mail. When you get in a room together, or you have a chat together, you’re surprised that you speak a language that people in other parts of the businesses don’t understand.

Stigma around digital news

I find that sort of a bit sad too. As I said, I’ve worked in journalism for a lot of years, and there have always been elements of what people consider a hierarchy. There’s been snobbery, there’s been all sorts of things in the media before. It’s not new. Digital media has really shaken people up in other parts of the industry. Obviously we know that different parts of the media have struggled. Print has obviously had its own share of struggles, although they’re doing really well at the moment to maintain their readers.

They do look down their nose [at digital news]. There’s a suggestion that digital media is a lesser type of journalism. It’s a shame that they look at it that way, especially when we know that this is what people are reading. So, again, it’s a kind of arrogant assumption by journalists that they know best. And I don’t always think that’s the case.

Listen to Kate de Brito’s Mediaweek podcast online at PodcastOne here.
• Or listen or download on iTunes here.

Subscribe to Mediaweek podcasts here and get alerts for new recordings.

Magazine brands build their audience and find their ‘voice’

Devices such as the Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo have created a new platform for magazine brands which has been heartily embraced. But with the technology in its infancy, the true impact of voice is yet to be seen. Magazine Networks’ Brooke Hemphill looks at the opportunity for magazine brand publishers.

With publishing giants such as The New York Times and The Guardian launching offerings in the space, voice is fast becoming the next frontier for publishers who are uniquely placed to capitalise on the technology.

News Corp Australia’s Gemma Battenbough, general manager of digital development, said: “There’s a real opportunity to be right at the centre of your users’ lives as they become increasingly connected. Voice is helping us to move beyond websites and smartphones to create a really personal relationship in people’s homes.”

For News Corp, that relationship is already blossoming with the publisher’s Taste.com.au one of the first Australian food media brands to embrace voice launching a Google Home “action” more than 12 months ago and unveiling an Alexa “skill” the day Amazon’s Echo device launched in the Australian market. The two offerings allows users to search Taste’s database of more than 50,000 recipes without lifting a finger.

Battenbough says: “Alexa and Google Home users can search then send a recipe to their device but importantly, they can cook along in a step-by-step fashion. It enables them to follow along while freeing up their hands.”

Recipes, it seems, are the natural entry point for publishers looking to embrace voice. Pacific’s New Idea Food optimised its recipe content to coincide with the Australian launch of Google Home Hub, while Bauer Media has also made a foray into voice through The Australian Women’s Weekly recipes and Gourmet Traveller.

Sarah Belle Murphy, Bauer Media’s general manager of digital operations, said: “It’s an easy one because the way the data is already structured. But that’s obviously just the starting point for us.”

Sarah Belle Murphy

Pacific’s Will Everitt, director of digital product and technology also says he’s just getting started. The publisher is gearing up for an innovation day with Amazon in the coming weeks which will serve to identify the opportunities for voice among the brands within its stable. “We are starting with recipes but looking to expand beyond that,” he said.

The opportunity for publishers is yet to be fully realised but Bauer Media’s Murphy cautions against treating voice as just another channel. She said: “I don’t see this as another distribution channel for editorial content. We need to look at it as creating service-based experiences that can provide real value.”

An example Murphy cites is review-based platforms such as Bauer Media’s Beautyheaven which are yet to utilise the technology.

Building an audience

Launching a skill or being on Google’s Home Hub is just the beginning. Once publishers are live on the platform, the trick is to build the audience.

News’ Battenbough says this has been a major focus for the Taste.com.au skill which has seen an uptick of 25% month-on-month for the Amazon platform.

The size of the potential audience is difficult to pinpoint. According to reports, as of January, more than 100 million devices with Alexa built into them had been sold worldwide although uptake in the local market is unknown.

Ditto Google Home products. One analyst says 52 million Google Home devices have been sold to date with 43 million of those believed to be in the USA.

There is also the possibility of the Facebook Portal to consider, a combination of a smart speaker and a tablet-esque device, which would allow publishers to work with images and text as well as voice.

The opportunity for advertisers

Voice technology is also creating opportunities for the advertising partners of publishers. Earlier this year, The New York Times’ in-house branded content studio announced it was producing voice skills for its advertising partners with Audi the first brand to take them up on the offer.

With Australia’s magazine publishers boasting their own in-house content studios – Pacific recently launched marketing and content arm Eve while Bauer Media has Story54 and News Corp Suddenly – there is scope to follow suit. Bauer Media’s Murphy said: “Voice is still really developing in terms of what the true potential of the commercialisation is.”

In terms of commercialisation, Murphy believes publishers and their advertising partners need to use a test and learn approach to find the right model that works for them as the technology continues to develop.

The impact of voice beyond voice devices

Beyond devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, Pacific’s Everitt says the big area voice is destined to come into play for magazine brands is search. “With voice search coming more common, we need to rethink search engine optimisation,” he said.

ComScore estimates that more than 50 per cent of searches will be voice-based by 2020 and as Everitt notes, voice searches are performed quite differently to written searches; they are much more likely to be question or action based.

“This is set to impact search ranking and the subsequent audience KPIs of traditional publishers,” said Everitt.

To combat this, Pacific has been conducting audience analysis to map out changes that need to be made to search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies. This is particularly important given publishers have, in recent months, moved away from relying on Facebook to drive traffic to see increases in search-led audiences.

“It is going to be a real game changer. Voice SEO is going to become one of the biggest things in search in the next 18 months or so,” said Everitt.  

Netflix reports record growth, releases viewing figures & top 10 lists

Netflix chief executive officer Reed Hastings has reported revenue surpassed US$4.5 billion in Q1 and the streaming TV platform recorded the highest quarterly paid net adds in its history (9.6m, up 16% year over year). “For 20 years, we’ve had the same strategy: when we please our members, they watch more and we grow more,” said Netflix in a note to shareholders.

In Q1 2019, average streaming paid memberships increased 26% year over year.

Paid net adds in Q1 were 9.6 million (with 1.74m in the US and 7.86m internationally), up 16% year over year, representing a new quarterly record.

For Q2 2019, Netflix is projecting total subscriber growth of 5.0m (-8% year over year), with 0.3m in the US and 4.7m for the international segment. This would mean 14.6m paid net adds for the first half of 2019, up 7% year over year.

Netflix commented on price rises and content:

We’re working our way through a series of price increases in the US, Brazil, Mexico and parts of Europe. The response in the US so far is as we expected and is tracking similarly to what we saw in Canada following our Q4 2018 increase, where our gross additions are unaffected, and we see some modest short-term churn effect as members consent to the price change.

We’re looking forward to a strong slate of global content in the second half of the year, including new seasons of some of our biggest series, Stranger Things (July 4th), 13 Reasons Why, Orange is the New Black, The Crown and La Casa de Papel (aka Money Heist) as well as big films like Michael Bay’s Six Underground and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, and expect another year of record annual paid net adds in 2019.

We program Netflix with a wide breadth of content to satisfy the diverse tastes of our nearly 150m paid members and the hundreds of millions of people we hope will one day join Netflix. We continue to see big successes across our programming categories.

For Q1 2019, in scripted English language TV, we premiered another big hit in Umbrella Academy, based on the comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, which has been watched by 45 million member households in its first four weeks on service.

Our original films effort built on the momentum from our Q4 blockbuster Bird Box with Triple Frontier, starring Ben Affleck and directed by J.C. Chandor. This action/heist movie has been watched by over 52 million member households in its first four weeks on Netflix.

The Highwaymen (starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as two lawmen that bring Bonnie and Clyde to justice) is on track to being watched by over 40 million member households in its first month.

Our documentary feature FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened has been watched by over 20 million member households in its first month on Netflix.

In early April, we unveiled Our Planet, our most ambitious entry into the popular nature documentary genre. More than four years in the making and shot in 50 different countries, Our Planet is off to a strong start and is tracking to be one of our most successful global documentary series launches yet, with over 25 million member households projected to watch in the first month of release.

We launched our originals effort for the unscripted genre two years ago with several successful English-language formats like the light hearted cooking competition Nailed It! We’re building on that success by launching locally adapted versions in Mexico, France, Germany and Spain. Nailed It!: México was the first and launched on February 8, achieving three times more first-month watchers in Mexico than the dubbed US version.

Ted Sarandos to oversee marketing too

Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett will be retiring this year after a seven year run. During this time, Netflix said Kelly was a key contributor to the transformation of Netflix from a primarily domestic service with only 2nd run content to a global service launching an unprecedented amount of original programming.

The company announced Ted Sarandos has led content for nearly 20 years here, and is ready to run both content and marketing, so he is leading the search for the new CMO, who will report to him.

Product and partnerships

Netflix said it has been expanding its bundling initiative and is now distributing Netflix through 10 different operator bundles across the globe.

“To date, these bundles have had a positive effect on our business, driving incremental acquisition at similar economics to other partnerships where Netflix is offered ȧ la carte.”

Netflix to test top 10 charts for first time

For subscribers who are frustrated when it comes to searching for its most popular content, Netflix had an announcement for you today:

Later in Q2 we’ll be running a test to improve our UK member experience by releasing weekly top 10 lists of the most popular content on our UK service across various programming categories. For those who want to watch what others are watching, this may make choosing titles even easier. After a few months we’ll decide whether to end or expand the test.

Netflix also did something it often doesn’t do, comment on competition:

Recently, Apple and Disney each unveiled their direct-to-consumer subscription video services. Both companies are world-class consumer brands and we’re excited to compete; the clear beneficiaries will be content creators and consumers who will reap the rewards of many companies vying to provide a great video experience for audiences.

We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings. We believe we’ll all continue to grow as we each invest more in content and improve our service and as consumers continue to migrate away from linear viewing (similar to how US cable networks collectively grew for years as viewing shifted from broadcast networks during the 1980s and 1990s).

Top Photo: Olivia Colman in The Crown season three

Updated: Game Of Thrones final season breaks global records

The much-anticipated start of the final season of Game Of Thrones has delivered a massive episode one audience for Foxtel’s Showcase channel.

Foxtel screened the first episode live at 11am and then there were further screenings at 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, 8.30pm and 10.30pm.

The combined audience – 962,000 watching one of those screenings and then another 273,000 watching On Demand or via Foxtel Go – takes the total to 1,235,000.

The overnight linear audience across all airings of 962,000 viewers is an increase of 17% on the season seven premiere in 2017. Foxtel anticipates continued record-breaking performance once the consolidated data becomes available.

The VPM VOD audience was the biggest daily VPM audience so far this year, overtaking Nine’s best Married At First Sight one-day VOD numbers.

Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s executive director of television said: “The Wall may have fallen but last night’s ratings have rocketed Game of Thrones higher than ever as Australia joined the rest of the world in watching this global television event in numbers never before seen on Foxtel.

“Yesterday’s viewership is a testament to the hunger that fans have had over the past two years for the return of the unrivalled action, drama and intrigue that only Game of Thrones can deliver and we are thrilled with the result. Frankly there is no other show like it. It is the television series of a generation,” he said.

Game Of Thrones launched initially on Foxtel with 56,000 watching the very first episode of season one. The audience then grew for every successive season.

The audiences for each season premiere (via sett top box, live and same day):

• Ep 1 S7 (914,000)
• Ep 1 S6 (777,000)
• Ep 1 S5 (642,000)
• Ep 1 S4 (331,000)
• Ep 1 S3 (245,000)
• Ep 1 S2 (140,000)
• Ep 1 S1 (56,000)

Source: OzTAM

In the US, the final season premiere was watched by a record 17.4 million viewers Sunday night, across HBO’s platforms (linear, HBOGO and HBO NOW), exceeding the previous series high of 16.9 million viewers for the season seven finale.

Compared to the season seven premiere audience of 16.1 million, the season eight premiere grew by over a million viewers.

The HBO NOW streaming service saw a jump of approximately 50% in viewing when compared to last season’s finale and nearly doubled (97%) when compared to the seventh season premiere. Yesterday accounts for largest night of streaming activity ever for HBO.

On social media, the premiere was the most-tweeted-about episode of Game of Thrones ever, with more than five million tweets, and 11 million mentions throughout the course of the weekend.

In the UK, almost 200,000 were up at 2am watching the first screening of episode one, season eight. After a screening later that day, and counting timeshifting viewing, the total Sky Atlantic audience was 3.4m.

That audience makes it the biggest ever UK audience for a non-sports program on the Sky platform.

The Game of Thrones series seven finale held the previous record with 3.03 million overnight viewers.

TV Demand: Netflix chart swap as Sabrina replaces Umbrella Academy

The first episodes of the Netflix supernatural drama based on the Archie comic book series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, first dropped on the subscription TV platform in October last year.

Parrot Analytics first tracked the series on its TV Demand chart ranking it #3 on the Australian and New Zealand Digital Originals chart in the last week of October 2018. The following week it jumped to #1 on that chart in both markets and stayed there across four consecutive weeks. The series also spent a fortnight on the Overall TV charts in November last year.

Now that Netflix has dropped a second batch of 10 episodes the series has bounded back to #1 in both countries.

Also new on the Australian Digital Originals chart this week is the new season of The Good Fight. It qualified for this chart because it is made for CBS All Access, yet it premieres in Australia on SBS.

Game of Thrones continues to rank #1 on the Overall TV chart and that probably won’t change for some time. GoT has topped this chart in both markets for the past 10 weeks. How hot has this series been? Very. It has been in the top 10 in Australia every week since June 2018. Despite the fact no new episodes screened last year.

New on this chart this week is the second season of Killing Eve, which debuted in Australia on iview and then gets a primetime Friday night slot on ABC from Good Friday.

TV Ratings Analysis: April 16

• Seven wins third successive night of week 16, eight in a row
• 7.30pm Easter battle: MKR v Paradise v Big Bang Theory
• Not forgetting Leigh Sales v Michael Portillo of course!

Tuesday: Week 16 2019 (Easter week 1)

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,007,000/1,003,000
• Nine News 918,000/829,000
• A Current Affair 696,000
• ABC News 714,000
• 7.30 558,000
• The Project 285,000/448,000
• 10 News First 417,000
• SBS World News 144,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 310,000
• Today 233,000

Seven

Seven has won the first three nights of Easter week 16. And it has actually won every night – eight of them – since the end of Married At First Sight.

Sunrise pushed above 300,000 with live coverage of the Notre Dame fire. Today lifted over 200,000 with around 550,000 metro watching the two commercial breakfast shows.

The Home And Away audience hardly changed, after 675,000 Monday, it did 677,000 last night.

The Tuesday episode of My Kitchen Rules offered much for longtime fans of the franchise. The audience of 829,000 was a clear timeslot leader, yet was down on 854,000 a week ago.

Some of MKR’s favourite teams from the past 10 years returned to judge dishes from the five remaining semi-final hopefuls.

Victor & G served underdone chicken to an unimpressed David & Betty, but Josh & Austin impressed with one of the best dishes they’ve ever served in the competition. However it was a triumphant Pat & Bianca who scored the third semi-final place, cooking the dish that brought them together (in a food sense) a classic, simple yet ever popular, carbonara. There is no show tonight, but it returns Easter Sunday with a triple elimination.

Another entertaining episode of The Ultimate Road Trip with Gordon Ramsay and friends followed with 301,000 after 326,000 a week ago.

Nine

A Current Affair shed exactly 100,000 viewers, down from 796,000 Monday to 696,000.

A new Big Bang Theory episode then did 544,000 followed by a repeat on 494,000.

A repeat of 1984’s Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom did 326,000

10

Share continued to hover around a much-improved 12%.

Bachelor In Paradise performed well with its key demos as #1 16-39 and 18-49 plus a strong leader in all demos for women under 50. The audience of 526,000 narrowly trailed the audiences close to 550,000 for the first two episodes last week.

NCIS then did 274,000.

ABC

The premiere of The Recording Studio screened at 8pm with 338,000.

The second of the three-part Employable Me then did 341,000 after launching with 355,000 a week ago.

A bit of Easter programming followed with 174,000 watching a repeat of Jesus: Countdown To Calvary.

SBS

Michael Portillo was on Deutsche Bahn’s best last night crossing Germany for 270,000 viewers of Great Continental Railway Journeys.

Insight then did 244,000 followed by Dateline on 170,000.

Week 16 TV: Tuesday
TUESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.1% 7 21.3% 9 17.8% 10  12.6% SBS One 6.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 3.2% 10 Bold 3.6% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.1% GEM 3.3% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.9% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.3%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 16.6%   29.9%   26.4%   18.3%   8.8%

 

TUESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.5% 7 20.7% 9 16.0% WIN 10.0% SBS One 5.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 4.1% GO! 3.5% WIN Bold 3.2% VICELAND 1.8%
ABC ME 1.4% 7mate 5.5% GEM 5.2% WIN Peach 2.2% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 1.7% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 15.1%   32.1%   26.7%   17.1%   9.0%

 

TUESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
86.4% 13.6%
TUESDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,007,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,003,000
  3. Nine News Nine 918,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 882,000
  5. My Kitchen Rules Seven 829,000
  6. ABC News ABC 714,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 696,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 677,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 558,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 547,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory Nine 544,000
  12. Bachelor In Paradise Tue 10 526,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 497,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 494,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 448,000
  16. 10 News First 10 417,000
  17. Employable Me Australia ABC 341,000
  18. The Recording Studio ABC 338,000
  19. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom Nine 326,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 325,000
Demo Top 5

16-39

  1. Bachelor In Paradise Tue 10 214,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 181,000
  3. Home And Away Seven 139,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 123,000
  5. Seven News Seven 117,000

 

18-49

  1. Bachelor In Paradise Tue 10 314,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 293,000
  3. Nine News Nine 225,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 215,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 215,000

 

25-54

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 344,000
  2. Bachelor In Paradise Tue 10 312,000
  3. Nine News Nine 283,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 274,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 263,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 229,000
  2. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 190,000
  3. PJ Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  4. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  5. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  6. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  7. School Of Roars AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  8. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  9. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  10. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  11. Little Princess AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  12. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  13. Kazoops! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  14. Death In Paradise 9Gem 142,000
  15. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 132,000
  16. Olobob Top AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  17. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  18. Frankie Drake Mysteries PM 7TWO 130,000
  19. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 128,000
  20. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
TUESDAY STV
  1. Paul Murray Live: Pub Test Sky News Live 63,000
  2. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 62,000
  3. The Simpsons FOX8 62,000
  4. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 58,000
  5. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 57,000
  6. Jones & Co Sky News Live 55,000
  7. The Simpsons FOX8 52,000
  8. Family Guy FOX8 51,000
  9. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 50,000
  10. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 49,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 45,000
  12. Credlin Sky News Live 43,000
  13. Live: WWE Raw FOX8 39,000
  14. NCIS TVH!TS 37,000
  15. Paul Murray Live: Pub Test Sky News Live 35,000
  16. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 35,000
  17. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 32,000
  18. The Great Kiwi Bake Off Lifestyle FOOD 31,000
  19. American Dad! FOX8 31,000
  20. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 29,000

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

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Robert Thomson in Australia: Time to rein in the tech giants

For too long politicians around the world have been seduced by the Silicon Valley technology giants allowing them to grow unchecked, News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson has said.

In wide-ranging speech at the Keith Murdoch Oration at the State Library of Victoria last night, Thomson said the dominance of the digital search and social media giants allowed for bad behaviour to be “institutionally ingrained”, reports The Australian’s Richard Gluyas.

Thomson, a long-time critic of the rising dominance of the Silicon Valley behemoths including Google and Facebook, said the “line of least compliance” should not have been the starting point for the world’s journey into the future.

“As a result, we have institutionally ingrained some seriously bad behaviour and have dominant digital companies culturally ill-equipped to cope with contemporary challenges,” he said.

[Read the original]

Read an edited extract of Thomson’s speech here.

Staff at The West and Sunday Times meet to discuss redundancies

Newly appointed senior editor Anthony De Ceglie is set to meet staff at The West Australian and Sunday Times newspapers in Perth who have expressed interest in a voluntary redundancy, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

De Ceglie, who joined Seven West Media in January from News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph, told staff that “all applications will now be considered and outcomes provided to individuals as soon as possible” after expressions of interest closed on April 12.

“I will start meeting with individual employees who applied for a voluntary redundancy today and aim to have all conversations completed by Thursday,” De Ceglie said in an email that was sent to staff this morning, which has been seen by The Australian.

Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance WA Director Tiffany Venning said around 23 staff have expressed interest in voluntary redundancy.

[Read the original]

Netflix reports record subscriber growth in Q1 2019

Netflix chief executive officer Reed Hastings has reported revenue surpassed US$4.5 billion in Q1 and the streaming TV platform recorded the highest quarterly paid net adds in its history (9.6m, up 16% year over year).

“For 20 years, we’ve had the same strategy: when we please our members, they watch more and we grow more,” said Netflix in anote to shareholders.

In Q1 2019, average streaming paid memberships increased 26% year over year.

Paid net adds in Q1 were 9.6 million (with 1.74m in the US and 7.86m internationally), up 16% year over year, representing a new quarterly record.

See separate Netflix Q1 results feature today.

News Brands

Bill Shorten in testy clash with reporter from Network 10

Bill Shorten was involved in a testy exchange with a journalist in Adelaide yesterday over Labor’s refusal to release costings for its emissions-reductions target, reports The Australian’s Elias Visontay.

The Opposition Leader sparred with Network 10 journalist Jonathan Lea, who interrupted Shorten repeatedly as he grew dissatisfied with the responses given to his question at the doorstop press conference in the seat of Boothby.

Once Shorten had finished, the journalist complained: “You’re not answering the question, Mr Shorten.”

The Opposition Leader then tried to move onto another journalist’s question. Lea interrupted.

“Answer the question. When can people know? When can people know, Mr Shorten, the cost to the economy? You didn’t answer the question.”

[Read the original]

Television

Foxtel keeps the HBO hits coming: Big Little Lies 2 launch date

The “Monterey Five” are back, Foxtel has announced just a day after the premier of Game of Thrones.

Another Foxtel hit series should be the anticipated second season of the smash-hit HBO series Big Little Lies, which will premiere on Foxtel on Monday June 10 at 11am AEST, the same time as the US, with a primetime encore on Fox Showcase at 8.30pm AEST.

Season two will see the return of the star-studded cast Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz, along with the addition of iconic award-winning actress Meryl Streep.

The darkly comedic seven-part drama series will continue to explore the malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and vicious ferocity of sound parenting.

Multiple characters are set to deal with the death of Perry Wright (played in season one by Alexander Skarsgard) and the prospect of moving past a life-altering event.

The first season of the award-winning Big Little Lies is based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling book. The season took home eight Emmy Awards in 2017, including Outstanding Limited Series and acting wins for Kidman, Dern and Skarsgard. It picked up the same four awards at the Golden Globes.

Creator and writer David E. Kelley returns for season two, with Andrea Arnold directing. Witherspoon and Kidman are executive producers.

Every episode of season one of Big Little Lies is currently available to stream through Foxtel On Demand on internet-connected iQ set-top-boxes and on streaming service Foxtel Now.

Harsh reality of TV wages: Bachelor in Paradise salaries revealed

The cast of Bachelor in Paradise might be in Fiji for a second shot of love in front of TV cameras, but that’s not the only treason they are there, reports news.com.au’s Hannah Paine.

The contestants of the Network 10 reality show also get paid to sip cocktails by the pool – a pretty lucrative way to make money while you holiday.

Bachelor in Paradise star Ivan Krslovic (you know, that avocado guy from Ali Oetjen’s season) revealed in a radio interview today he was getting paid between $100-$200 to sun himself at a Fiji resort.

“Yeah we definitely do (get paid), yeah,” he told Hit 103.5’s Carly & Seamus.

When asked to confirm if it was similar to the Married At First Sight cast, who were paid $150 per day during filming, Ivan replied: “Oh thereabouts. I mean, we’re sipping cocktails and sitting around in our boardshorts so it’s not too bad.”

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Podcasts

10 Speaks releases first podcast following partnership with Acast

Network 10 has released its first 10 Speaks podcast, The Professor and The Hack. Hosted by 10’s network political editor Peter Van Onselen and national affairs editor Hugh Riminton, The Professor and The Hack is a weekly show unpacking what’s happening in Australian politics for the average Australian.

Riminton said: “The Professor and the Hack is just PVO and me doing what we do anyway – banging on about politics, what’s going on under the surface and what the hell it’s all about. He’s the Prof and I’m just the Hack with lots of questions. Millions are going to listen to this podcast and we’ll all get rich. That’s the plan.”

Network 10’s chief executive officer Paul Anderson said: “We’re really excited to be launching 10 Speaks with such a fantastic podcast, particularly in the lead-up to the federal election. When it comes to politics, Peter and Hugh are world-class and their banter, insights and take on the world is unique, accessible and relatable. I may be biased of course, but I’d highly recommend the first episode to those who enjoy good ol’ political banter.”

For more see Podcast Week in Thursday’s Mediaweek Morning Report.

Andrew Denton releasing Interview tapes on new podcast series

• Podcast partnership ‘like Married At First Sight without the assholes’

Nova Entertainment and Acast are launching a podcast series with Andrew Denton featuring the interviews from his Seven series Interview With Andrew Denton.

Available from 18 April, the podcast is a companion to the TV series, where Denton attempts to get below the surface of an amazing human being, to find out who they are away from the headlines.

In an era of outrage and increasing polarisation, the series looks for light more than heat, wisdom more than clickbait.

Denton will take podcast listeners behind the scenes, providing insight into his motivation and approach for each guest. There will also be plenty of exclusive material that couldn’t be squeezed into the TV series.

“I love podcasting, because it gets inside peoples’ heads like nothing else,” Denton says. “Nova and Acast know exactly how to reach those heads. We’re so well suited, it’s like Married At First Sight without the assholes.”

Interview with Andrew Denton launches on April 18 with new episodes released every Tuesday and Thursday. Throughout the season listeners can also hear favourite show episodes featuring Daniel Johns, Magda Szubanski, Denise Scott, kidnap survivor Amanda Lindhout, Rebecca Sharrock (the woman who can remember every day of her life), Troye Sivan, Guy Pearce, Tim Winton, Rosie Batty, Dylan Alcott, Mick Fanning and Cher.

Interview with Andrew Denton is sponsored by Belong and Dairy Australia.

The TV series of the same name returns to Seven on April 23 on Tuesdays at 9pm.

Sports Media

Netball ready to talk itself up: Broadcast deal talks later in 2019

Netball Australia chief executive Marne Fechner says it’s imperative for netball to score some big wins in 2019 as it passes the halfway mark of a landmark five-year broadcast deal, reports The Australian’s Eric George.

Fechner said she expected to begin conversations with Nine and Telstra about a fresh rights agreement at the end of the year, and wanted to be able to show evidence of strong growth when those talks began.

“We see this next broadcast window as really critical for our sport. You want to push, drive and demonstrate that we can do this and we deserve a space in the broadcast ecosystem.”

Super Netball’s third season begins on Saturday, April 27. After a second season that featured substantial tweaks to league rules and introduced a controversial bonus points system, this year is all about “growth and consolidation”.

Netball Australia will also be looking for strong ratings in a blockbuster international season this year, which peaks with a two-week World Cup in Liverpool, in July.

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