Wednesday April 24, 2019

TV Business Part 2: Transforming TV trading & audience measurement

Interviewed just before the Easter break, Mediaweek was joined by one of Australia’s biggest TV advertisers, OMD’s national chief investment officer Melissa Hey, and the sales boss of TV’s #1 network, Nine chief sales officer Michael Stephenson.

By James Manning

Stephenson was asked if the new-look Nine was writing more business for its new assets: “I hope so, otherwise I am in real trouble!

Everything has gone as smoothly as it could have. When you have two significant media companies coming together there is much to do. We co-located sales teams around the country from January 7 in each metro capital.

“Stage two was completing our sales transformation which we have done. We have aligned teams in television and digital, in publishing, and we have created a new team called Nine Plus to focus on the small to medium business market and Powered is the glue that brings everything together.

“The strategies that Nine and Fairfax had are aligned. That was to create the greatest content – video, written word, journalism on news, sport or lifestyle content – and distribute that across every platform you can to aggregate the greatest number of eyeballs to engage audiences and advertisers. That is what we had both been doing independently. To bring the two companies together and accelerate that strategy has been the focus.”

See also: 
Melissa Hey and Michael Stephenson examine the business of TV
How new sponsors clamoured to be part of TV’s hottest property

Listen to the Mediaweek podcast: 
TV Business: How Nine rules Q1 2019

Pitch to new advertisers from Nine

“The focus to advertisers is that they can come to Nine now and have a conversation with us about creating a marketing platform for their brands. As opposed to coming and buying advertising.

“We have proven media at the top of the funnel in television, in print, magazines plus radio. In the middle of the funnel we have our addressable advertising product with 13-14m unique IDs across the entire business from newspaper subscribers to 9Now subscribers to Domain to Stan.

“We use our performance based advertising at the bottom of the funnel to deliver sales outcomes.”

When asked if Nine was doing better with the Fairfax assets than Fairfax was achieving previously, OMD’s Melissa Hey replied: “Yes. Before they had Fairfax, Nine had a strong team selling the content and the partnerships.”

Stephenson said there had been some good cross platform success, not all initiated from the TV side. “We have a campaign coming for a brand with a foundation in Good Weekend. We have extended Good Weekend into Nine’s broadcast and the print brand will have a video and television presence.”

Does Nine having print – via newspapers and magazines – make the medium any more appealing for advertisers?

Hey: “Print is in decline and I don’t think that is going to change because consumers aren’t reading. If Nine can show in their data that people are reading, then that could mean it will be reconsidered.”

Stephenson: “We do have print revenue that is growing at Nine and I think we can do a better job with what I call proven media in the eyes of advertisers. As an industry we can do a better job of marketing, researching and proving the impact it has in terms of real sales outcomes which is a huge opportunity for ourselves and News and Seven West Media to align on communicating that much more effectively.

Transforming TV trading

Melissa Hey: “From a buying perspective on TV, 9Galaxy in market is the strongest. The other networks are still in development and not anywhere near where 9Galaxy is. That earns Nine business because it makes the process easier.”

Cross platform audience measurement

Stephenson: “We will be launching progressively from July through until the end of the year, the ability to measure the consumption of all of our content across linear, live streaming and on demand. Inside and outside of the house on a national basis.

“That will give our media buying clients the ability to measure cross platform reach and frequency for the very first time.

“We are literally leading the world when it comes to this type of measurement.

“There will also be new audience segments – new car buyers, home loan intenders etc. As an industry we will have 40 demographics, 30 to 40 audience segments, one currency measured from one source.

“That is a real game changer. Outside of going from black and white to colour, this is the biggest change in television we have seen for many, many years.

“That is part one of the future of TV. But that doesn’t mean anything unless you have the technology to be able to buy it and sell it.

“Galaxy 2.0, which we launched in February this year, has all of our video on demand inventory – all of 9Now. Anyone in any agency can come to Nine and buy linear TV and BVOD in one transaction.”

2019 adspend outlook

Hey: “I’m surprised the market is softer than what we were expecting.

It was interesting seeing the out-of-home numbers year-on-year. I don’t think we will be seeing [overall] the growth of what we were expecting. We have metro TV up 1-2%. The results over the past couple of months is a sign that TV should be relatively flat.

Nine would be hoping for a bigger share and they will [get it] if they can keep their Q1 momentum going.”

Stephenson: “I have every expectation we will continue to dominate the ratings in share and thousands. None of us can control the market, but I am optimistic post-election that things can return to normal and the market settles down.

Through challenging times comes massive opportunity for those willing to take it. We have the right assets, the right content, the right data strategy and the right technology. It is now up to us to create really big ideas for brands to leverage all of the content and the assets we have.

Thoughts about regional media’s Boomtown campaign

Stephenson: “It is an awesome campaign, looks fantastic and is the right message. People should invest more into regional Australia and they should take that money from Facebook and Google. They should invest where they can get the best possible return on the investment.

All of the people representing the regional assets have done a brilliant job coming together and creating a platform for advertisers in another part of Australia.”

Hey: “I agree. Regional is way under invested in and has been for some time. Regional is the first to go when people are cutting budgets. This is a great campaign and it should invigorate why regional is such an important part of marketing.”

Aimee Buchanan: OMD Australia chief on growth + adspend outlook

OMD Australia ranks as the top media agency in the country, with over 600 staff nationally and has also consistently ranked among the best places to work in Australia.

By James Manning & James Daggar-Nickson

Some of Australia’s biggest companies rely on its expertise to invest their marketing spends. That list includes Coles, Target, Qantas, Estee Lauder, Hasbro, Mazda, McDonald’s and Telstra.

To talk about the agency and the advertising climate this year, OMD chief executive Aimee Buchanan was Mediaweek’s guest on Your Money recently. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

“We had a very good year in 2018,” Buchanan told the Your Money audience. “Winning Suncorp was the pinnacle which we won in December. It was a fantastic achievement from the team because of the challenges they posed to us.

“Some of the 2018 successes that weren’t as widely spoken about were some of the client extension work we were given like Qantas awarding us their international business and Tabcorp awarding us UBET.

“We try not to talk about it as a wave of success, it is more about a sustainable, long term approach. We don’t want to grow in a way that compromises our people or existing clients. You can get a little bit too greedy and all that happens is that your people and your clients suffer.

Many of key roles at OMD are filled by woman, which is part of the media agency’s success story.

“About 77% of our workforce is female. There has been a long-standing challenge getting representation at senior levels, but 73% of our executive team are female.

“We have done a lot of work supporting women through different life stages. When women have children, or get into their 40s, which is considered old in our industry, they tend to leave. We have done a lot of work on retaining them. We have doubled our parental leave policy and introduced a flexible work policy for all staff and we have seen our rates of retention of women returning from work after having children go from 29% to 89%. That is experienced, great talent we didn’t want to lose.”

Aimee Buchanan

Buchanan said there is roughly an 8% talent shortage in the industry so there is a big demand for talent. “It is known as an industry with high burn out. We are a people based business and we are only as good as the people sitting behind the desk.”

2019 Q1 ad spend and outlook

“It is a bit of a surprise in that we didn’t anticipate a decline in the first few months. We did anticipate a slowing of channels that had a lot of growth. Our view is the year will probably end up flat.

“Digital is coming back to 12-13% growth as it reaches maturity after historically being in a 20%+ growth cycle.

“None of our clients are indicating a massive decline in budgets. The only interesting shift we are seeing is a lot of clients seeing the need to invest in a digital data technology ecosystem which is taking a little bit of budget to invest in the infrastructure required. But that is not enough to tip the numbers.”

Regional media spend

When asked about the regional media Boomtown campaign, Buchanan said regional was “a totally overlooked part of the market”.

She added: “There is a big opportunity and the Boomtown initiative is a fantastic thing. We have lacked an industry body in that space for a while and there is an educational job to be done for both marketers and agencies.”

Buchanan was asked digital viewability, accountability and safety.

“You need to separate them out. I would say there is a massive education job that is being done with the first two with advertisers, publishers and agencies to measure and manage. Brand safety poses an interesting moral dilemma for advertisers. Do we support and promote platforms that are user generated content based and not moderated or editorially controlled. Do we do that or do we compromise on the efficient scale and reach that we can get through those channels.

Buchanan said the agency and client share equal responsibility in those discussions.

Has the consolidation in print with Fairfax now part of Nine changed the outlook for that sector?

“We are seeing the decline of print slow. But I don’t think that is a result of consolidation. It is a result of the people who were reading newspapers still reading newspapers.

“We won’t see massive volume shifts off the back of consolidation. People won’t suddenly be booking a lot of ads in newspapers because of the Fairfax-Nine relationship.

“What I think we will see is the Fairfax-Nine team [offer] really great strategic solutions that meet the needs of a client which will make them reappraise it.”

Television spend and audience habits

“There is always opportunity and challenge in these things. The challenge is how do you maintain reach and scale with increasingly fragmenting audiences. That is every advertiser’s challenge and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t struggle with that day-in and day-out.

“The opportunity is we are seeing consumers go to the content that they want to watch when they want to watch and they have control over that.

“That opens an opportunity for us to buy at an audience level versus a demographic level which comes with is own challenges.”

Watch Mediaweek on Your Money Thursdays at 2.30pm

Suncorp Super Netball launches 2019 season on Saturday

Suncorp Super Netball returns on Saturday, April 27 at 3pm on Nine and 9Now.

After an electrifying finals series in 2018, Suncorp Super Netball’s third season will again showcase the best netballers from Australia and around the world.

Netball fans can follow their favourite teams and enjoy four live games a week with coverage starting from 3.00pm on Saturdays and 1.00pm on Sundays on Nine, 9Now and Telstra TV.

Fresh from her appearance on The Block, former Australian netball vice-captain Bianca Chatfield will be joining Nine’s commentary team along with Collingwood netball and AFLW star Sharni Layton.

Queensland star and golden girl of netball Laura Geitz, who led the Firebirds to back-to-back premierships, will be on the sideline, bringing her expertise and expert comments to the coverage.

With a knee injury keeping her sidelined for the season, Abbey McCulloch of the NSW Swifts will take time out from her captain duties to provide insight to the coverage as a current player. Megan Anderson, a former Diamond and current Australian assistant coach, will also join the on-air team.

Hosting all the action will be Clint Stanaway, Aislin Kriukelis and Julie Snook, joined by these expert commentators: netball legends Liz Ellis, Cath Cox, Annie Sargent and Sue Gaudion, plus Nine’s Seb Costello and Tom Rehn. Sideline reporters will include Paddy Sweeney and Jack Berketa.

This season there will be a four-week break between Round 9 and 10 as the competition’s best netballers travel to Liverpool in England for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019. Nine will exclusively broadcast the World Cup live and free from Friday, July 12, on Nine, 9Gem and 9Now.

Nine’s head of netball Keeley Devery said: “After a thrilling Grand Final, an exciting trade period and a long pre-season, I couldn’t be more excited to see how the third season of Suncorp Super Netball plays out on Nine.”

Former Australian captain and Nine commentator, Liz Ellis, said: “Season three of Suncorp Super Netball is the most exciting yet. With some fantastic international players and emerging young guns taking to the court for the first time, I cannot wait to call all the action.”

Suncorp Super Netball will also be broadcast this year on 9Now, Telstra TV and the Netball Live app.

TV Demand: Game Of Thrones interest soars – is anything else on?

No surprise that Game Of Thrones continues to rank number one on the overall TV show charts in Australia and New Zealand. What is interesting is how much it dominates first charts after just two episodes of the six episode final season.

By James Manning

In Australia, Parrot Analytics calculated Game Of Thrones had over 18 million Demand Expressions* last week while the TV series at #2 on the Overall TV Chart, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, had just over 3 million Demand Expressions.

There was a similar dominance in New Zealand where Game Of Thrones had 2.3 million Demand Expressions with the #2 TV show sitting on 440,000.

Foxtel has reported that episode two of the final GoT season had an audience of over 1m again from linear TV viewing and on demand in Australia on Monday.

On the Digital Originals chart, Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina holds again that number one in Australia, while Star Trek: Discovery has taken top spot in New Zealand and moved to #2 in Australia. The Star Trek surge comes after the final episode of season two was made available.

The main mover on the Australian chart this week was the Twilight Zone, which chartered at number at #8. The series has already been charting in New Zealand for three weeks.

It will be interesting to watch next week the impact that Chris Lilley’s new series, Lunatics, which just launched on Netflix, has on the chart.

* Demand Expressions represent the total audience demand being expressed for a title, within a country, on any platform. The audience demand is a weighted, country-specific measure of demand. Television demand data captures what content people want in a particular country.

Box Office: Easter sales flat ahead of Avengers: Endgame release

There was no major blockbuster release in cinemas over the Easter weekend, which meant box office takings were down slightly on the previous weekend. There was a sense that people might have been holding back to rush cinemas from 8am today for the first screenings of the much-anticipated Avengers: Endgame.

By James Manning

There was only one new release in the top five, which was again dominated by two superhero releases, which had the biggest Easter screen averages.

The total for the top 20 movies from Thursday to Sunday inclusive was $11.96m, which was down 8% on the previous weekend.

#1 Shazam! $2.52m

After three weekends of release Shazam! managed to again rank #1 with total takings now just short of $15 million. The movie remained on 315 screens over the weekend with a screen average of $8001.

 

#2 Dumbo $1.31m

Dumbo is one of the releases holding in the top five across April and it has quietly worked its way to $10m in that time. After four weekends in cinemas it is still on over 300 screens and had an Easter weekend screen average of $4081.

 

#3 Captain Marvel $1.22m

A strong performance again from Captain Marvel, but its audience will surely start to evaporate with the release of Avengers: Endgame. After seven weeks on the chart, Captain Marvel has racked up ticket sales of $40 million. It was on 241 screens across Easter with the second best screen average in the top five of $5092, which represented a week-on-week increase of 15%.

 

#4 Wonder Park $1.06m

The animated movie about an amusement park has held at #4 on the chart for a second week. It remained on just over 300 screens with takings actually up 7% week-on-week with a screen average was $3516.

 

#5 The Curse Of The Weeping Woman $909,000

Not long after the release of Us (still on the box office chart at #8 with takings of $8.91m after four weeks) comes another horror movie. This is the sixth instalment in The Conjuring Universe franchise and it opened on 218 screens with the screen average just over $4100.

 

TV ratings Analysis: April 23

• My Kitchen Rules semifinal, return of Interview win for Seven
• Matt and Luke score record-busting 59 out of 60, into MKR grand final
• Andrew Denton with Angry Anderson launches Interview season 2

Tuesday: Week 17 2019 (Easter week 2)

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,084,000/1,057,000
• Nine News 929,000/931,000
• A Current Affair 753,000
• ABC News 692,000
• 7.30 586,000
• The Project 271,000/491,000
• 10 News First 423,000
• SBS World News 149,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 274,000
• Today 19,000

Seven

Seven’s early evening schedule with the penultimate episode of My Kitchen Rules for 2019 and the return of Andrew Denton has proven an unbeatable winning combo for the channel.

The primary share was on 23.0%, which was the channel’s second-best Tuesday share this year. The winning combined channel share was 31.2%, which was Seven’s best Tuesday share this year.

Home And Away had a good night with just under 700,000 at 7pm.

My Kitchen Rules was the place to be for good food and high scores last night. It was the strongest semifinal in MKR history, including the best dessert Pete Evan’s claimed to have had in 10 years of MKR from Matt and Luke and a caramel flan from Andy and Ruby that took Colin Fassnidge to heaven! Matt and Luke’s creative, confident, modern Australian cooking just edged out the Peruvians’ showcase of culinary heritage to earn themselves a place in the 2019 grand final opposite Ibby and Romel. After the first round of judging, Andy and Ruby looked like grand finalists with a score of 57out of 60. However they were blasted off the show with five scores of 10 from the six judges. The only thing between Matt and Luke and a perfect 60 was judge Colin who gave them a nine.

(Seven has not been revealing too much about their Sunday schedule. But the first all male MKR grand final in a decade will start at 8pm Sunday after the season premiere of House Rules with new judge Jamie Durie.)

A fascinating first episode of the second season of Andrew Denton: Interview followed MKR. Special guest was Angry Anderson and his daughter Roxanne. In a prelude to the episode, Denton revealed some of the guidelines for the interview. If you tuned in late and missed that you could have been wondering exactly what they were talking about as specifics of what happened in the guests lives were not discussed. The show returned winning its timeslot with 538,000. It proved to be a big day for Denton with news that his new Interview podcast had been ranked #1 on iTunes.

Nine

A Current Affair dropped from the 800,000s to the 700,000s with the episode winning its timeslot.

An hour of The Big Bang Theory followed with 544,000 for a new episode from the final season followed by a repeat on 455,000.

Another Indiana Jones movie followed with 415,000.

10

Share slipped a little from Monday and Tuesday week-on-week.

The Project at 7pm delivered the second-biggest audience with 491,000 watching Peter Helliar with Christopher Pyne. It started strangely, but finished strongly. With Pyne declining to answer some of the tougher questions, 10 might be hoping he is a little more forthcoming when he guests on their election night coverage next month.

Bachelor In Paradise had the biggest crowd of the night for the channel with 513,000. The program did its job as #1 Tuesday program under 50 and it helped 10 to rank #1 channel 16-39.

NCIS then did 284,000 followed by NCIS: Los Angeles on 176,000.

ABC

The second episode of The Recording Studio did 416,000 after launching with 341,000.

The final of the three-part Employable Me series was on 376,000 after 342,000 a week ago.

SBS

Michael Portillo was travelling through the homeland of his father, Spain, on an entertaining repeat episode of Great Continental Railway Journeys with 264,000 watching.

A repeat episode of Insight then did 238

Week 16-17 TV: Tuesday
 TUESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.7% 7 23.0% 9 19.2% 10  11.9% SBS One 5.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 2.6% GO! 2.8% 10 Bold 3.3% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.7% GEM 3.4% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.3%
    7Food 0.5%            
TOTAL 16.0%   31.2%   27.3%   17.3%   8.3%

 

TUESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.2% 7 23.1% 9 16.3% WIN 9.5% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 3.5% GO! 3.1% WIN Bold 3.8% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 1.5% 7mate 5.4% GEM 5.2% WIN Peach 1.9% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 0.9% 7flix 1.1% 9Life 1.9% Sky News  on WIN 1.8% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 15.6%   33.1%   26.5%   17.0%   7.8%

 

TUESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
86.6% 13.4%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,084,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,057,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 931,000
  4. Nine News Nine 929,000
  5. My Kitchen Rules   Seven 825,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 753,000
  7. ABC News ABC 692,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 685,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 597,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 586,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory Nine 544,000
  12. Andrew Denton: Interview Seven 538,000
  13. Bachelor In Paradise Tues 10 513,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 492,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 491,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 455,000
  17. 10 News First 10 423,000
  18. The Recording Studio ABC 416,000
  19. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull Nine 415,000
  20. Employable Me Australia ABC 376,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Bachelor In Paradise Tues 10 224,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 166,000
  3. Seven News Seven 154,000
  4. My Kitchen Rules Seven 145,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 134,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. Bachelor In Paradise Tues 10 330,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 279,000
  3. Seven News Seven 269,000
  4. My Kitchen Rules Seven 265,000
  5. Nine News Nine 225,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. Seven News Seven 327,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 326,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 317,000
  4. Bachelor In Paradise Tues 10 315,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 297,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. Death In Paradise 9Gem 166,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  4. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 132,000
  5. Neighbours 10 Peach 129,000
  6. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 128,000
  7. Full Custom Garage: Sports Car Editio N7m-PaMte 123,000
  8. Vegas Rat Rods PM 7mate 122,000
  9. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  10. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  11. Pawn Stars PM 7mate 120,000
  12. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  13. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  14. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  15. School Of Roars AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  16. Pj Masks AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  17. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  18. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  19. Rbt 9GO! 112,000
  20. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
Tuesday STV
  1. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 94,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 63,000
  3. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 57,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 56,000
  5. Jones & Co Sky News Live 49,000
  6. Family Guy FOX8 48,000
  7. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 46,000
  8. Credlin Sky News Live 44,000
  9. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 42,000
  10. Family Guy FOX8 40,000
  11. Game Of Thrones FOX SHOWCASE 39,000
  12. PML Later Sky News Live 39,000
  13. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  14. Shimmer And Shine Nick Jr. 34,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 32,000
  16. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 31,000
  17. Speers Sky News Live 30,000
  18. Open Mike FOX FOOTY 30,000
  19. Csi: Crime Scene Investigation TVH!TS 27,000
  20. Curious George Nick Jr. 27,000

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

Three bidders: Tussle looms over Nine’s regional media business

The tussle for Nine’s regional publishing business is set to be played out between private equity firms Anchorage Capital Partners and Allegro Funds, and former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano, report The AFR’s Max Mason and Sarah Thompson.

Sources close to the sale of Australian Community Media (ACM), which includes Illawarra Mercury and The Canberra Times, said there is a high probability final bids from each of the three potential buyers will be lodged by the Wednesday deadline. Speculation also abounds that a third private equity firm may enter the fray.

Catalano’s bid is backed by Rich Lister and Thorney Assest Management billionaire Alex Waislitz. He is being advised by law firm Arnold Bloch Leibler and accounting and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Anchorage has enlisted the help of former ACM director John Angilley for advice and Allegro brought in former Seven West Media chief operating officer and Bauer Media chief executive Nick Chan.

[Read the original]

Investors join the queue for Nine’s historic Willoughby home

Developers and investors are starting to form an orderly queue as they await the official launch of the sale of the $200 million redevelopment site at the former headquarters of Channel Nine at Willoughby in Sydney’s north, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Carolyn Cummins.

Known as LEPC9, the joint venture consists of Sydney-based property group and funds management company Lotus Group and Hong Kong-based global property group Euro Properties.

It is estimated the site could sell for about $200 million, and could double in value on completion of the masterplan.

Nine, the owner of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, sold the 2.9 hectares in central Willoughby in 2015 to developers LEPC9 for $147.5 million, with the project starting once the media group moved into the Winton Property tower at 1 Dension Street, by about late-2020.

The proposed redevelopment of the Channel Nine site has involved a lengthy assessment process stretching over an eight-year period. There has been a vocal action group, which has fought hard to ensure the development sticks to a height limit and has expansive public spaces.

[Read the original]

Twitter rallies as user count, revenue impress investors

Twitter Inc. topped first-quarter sales projections and reported strong user growth, bolstered by changes to its social-media service that are drawing a wider audience of consumers and advertisers. The shares jumped the most in almost six months, reports Bloomberg.

The San Francisco-based company reported US$787 million in revenue, an 18 percent increase from the year-earlier period. Analysts, on average, estimated $775 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The microblogging site also posted an increase in monetisable daily active users to 134 million, beating analyst predictions for about 128.4 million. That compares with 126 million in the fourth quarter.

Monthly active users were 330 million in the first quarter, Twitter said. That was up from 321 million in the previous quarter, but marked a decline from the 336 million in the year-earlier period. That number has been decreasing year over year for several quarters, and Twitter told investors in 2018 that the metric would likely continue to drop for some time as it removes spam and suspicious accounts. Twitter said this is the last time that it will disclose monthly active users.

[Read the original]

Snap returns to user growth on new shows, Android app – shares jump

Snap Inc on Tuesday beat Wall Street targets for quarterly revenue as its photo-messaging app Snapchat added users for the first time in three quarters, backed by the popularity of its original shows and the launch of a new Android app, sending its shares up 12 percent, reports Reuters.

The owner of Snapchat said the number of daily active users on the app rose to 190 million in the first quarter ended March 31 from 186 million three months earlier, but it was slightly down from 191 million from a year earlier.

The figure, widely watched by investors and advertisers, also beat analysts’ average estimate of 187.2 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

In an effort to increase the amount of time users spend on the app, Snap, which faces stiff competition from Facebook Inc’s Instagram, launched over 50 new shows in the reported quarter.

It also rebuilt its Android app, which had more bugs and a worse user experience than its iOS app. The targeting of Android users is a change of tune for Snap, which prioritized development on the Apple ecosystem through its stock market launch in 2017.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Myanmar’s top court rejects final appeal by jailed Reuter’s journalists

Myanmar’s top court on Tuesday rejected the appeal of two Reuters reporters sentenced to seven years in jail for breaking the Official Secrets Act, in a landmark case that has raised questions about the country’s transition to democracy, reports Reuters.

“They were sentenced for seven years and this decision stands, and the appeal is rejected,” Supreme Court Justice Soe Naing told the court in the capital, Naypyitaw, without elaborating.

Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, have spent more than 16 months in detention since they were arrested in December 2017 while working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys.

[Read the original]

University honour for The Australian’s political editor

His career adviser said he would never make it as a journalist, but Dennis Shanahan, The Australian’s political editor, had the last laugh.

Yesterday he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Wollongong for his distinguished, almost five-decade career as a reporter, commentator and editor, reports The Australian’s Miles Godfrey.

Recalling the start of his stellar career, Shanahan said: “I spoke to the careers counsellor at my school and I told him I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to know more about the field, but he told me, ‘Don’t worry about it, you won’t make it’. That really angered me, so I thought ‘I’m going to prove I’m better than you!’ ”

[Read the original]

Entertainment

Explainer: Who are the Avengers and what is Endgame all about?

Avengers: Endgame is the most hotly anticipated movie of the year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato, writing an Explainer feature for Nine’s newspapers on the day of the movie’s release.

The feature is for readers who missed the first 21 films that make up the story so far. Who are the Avengers? What are the Infinity Stones? And what will Endgame be all about?:

Avengers: Endgame is the closing chapter of a 22-film cycle, which has grossed almost US$18.6 billion at the global box office.

To give that some context, that’s twice the money made by the entire Star Wars franchise – heard of it? – and enough to make all eight seasons of the hit HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones roughly 25 times over.

The Avengers are a fictional team of superheroes first published in comic book form in September 1963, and created by the legendary partnership of writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

The original team included Ant-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the Wasp but, by issue four, Captain America had joined the team. Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver joined in 1965 and Black Panther and Vision in 1968.

In the filmed Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the team includes Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and others.

The MCU is a film and television franchise that shares a single story continuity, and includes individual films for characters such as Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America, Captain Marvel and others as well as a series of Avengers films in which the individual heroes team up.

[Read the original]

Television

Another FTA choice? Push for SBS foreign language channel

Should SBS have a multichannel devoted to programming other than those in English language? asks TV Tonight.

Lobby group Save Our SBS made a submission to the SBS board that it curate a channel devoted to programs in Languages Other Than English (LOTE), with English subtitles, as a way of returning to charter.

In recent years the amount of LOTE titles in primetime has diminished on SBS, SBS Viceland and SBS Food. International dramas from Europe and other international markets will often premiere first at SBS on Demand before late night broadcasts some weeks or months later.

But North American dramas such as The Handmaid’s Tale, The Good Fight, Project Blue Book and Vikings are given prime 8:30 and 9:30 slots to attract better advertising. It’s a trend that has been criticised by rival networks as being too far off charter.

Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard, said: “SBS have assured us that the submission was included in the notice papers for the board’s April meeting and it was discussed at their meeting just before Easter.”

[Read the original]

MKR 2019: Andy and Ruby reveal what’s next after elimination

Andy Vignati and Ruby Kakafo are walking away from My Kitchen Rules with their heads held high after missing out on a spot in the Grand Final, reports News Corp’s Kristy Symonds.

The Brisbane besties, who were eliminated in last night’s second semi-final cook-off against Newcastle cricket mates Matt and Luke, told Confidential they were “so proud” of their time on the Seven show.

“We were so happy, we left with our heads held high and were proud of what we achieved because we cooked our hearts out,” Andy said.

The passionate Peruvians revealed they are already in the process of launching their own cooking classes in Brisbane, which would feature at various venues and markets, and are also working towards putting on pop-up restaurants and a catering service.

Andy, a food blogger, said she was also focusing on her YouTube channel Eating With Andy.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

‘Get back in the kitchen’: women in sport suffer more online abuse

Australian sportswomen face three times as many negative comments online as their male counterparts, an analysis of Facebook comments has revealed, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Mary Ward.

According to research by girls’ rights group, Plan International, 27 per cent of comments about female players on sports news organisation’s Facebook pages are negative, compared to nine per cent of those made about men.

Of those negative comments, 23 per cent referred to traditional gender stereotypes (examples included: “shut up lady, the footy is on” and “get back in the kitchen”) and one in five were categorised by researchers as “belittling” women’s sports, athletic abilities or skills.

The nature of online abuse experienced by sportswomen and sportsmen is also different. Fourteen per cent of the negative comments about women were sexualising the players, while no such comments about men were identified.

AFL Players Association chief executive Paul Marsh said the code’s male and female players deserved to be treated with greater respect online.

“Despite all the great messages the AFLW competition has sent to the community, the athletes, who have done an incredible job to promote the game, have had to put up with nasty and hate fuelled messages through their social media platforms,” he said.

[Read the original]

Basil Zempilas going to Hollywood: Confirms movie offer

An email to 6PR’s Rumour File segment in August 2018 suggested the co-host of the Perth breakfast show, Basil Zempilas, could be heading to Hollywood to re-enact his call of Australia’s Winter Olympics Gold Medal when Steven Bradbury was the last man standing in the speed skating event at Salt Lake City in 2002.

There has been a development with the movie about Steven Bradbury given the go-ahead, 6PR has reported this week.

Zempilas confirmed on 6PR Breakfast that he has been approached by Bradbury, who’s been working with the movie producers: “I can confirm that Steven Bradbury himself actually rang me towards the end of last year to say that a movie was going to be made and he asked me. He said: ‘Would you be interested in playing yourself because I’m working with the producers of the movie’.”

“I haven’t signed on the line yet,” added Zempilas who didn’t answer a question from co-host Steve Mills about how much Zempilas had been offered for the movie cameo.

Listen to Zempilas talk about the movie offer and hear him call the famous race here.

To Top