Thursday August 6, 2020

Swanny and friends
Podcast Week: Matt & Alex make a million, Trace returns, Racetrack Ralphy

By James Manning

Plus Lee Rogers’ Blank Canvas, JMo with Grey’s star & Kochie’s tax guide

Matt and Alex 1m milestone

It was only May when comedy duo Matt Okine and Alex Dyson served up Australia’s first on-demand breakfast show, Matt & Alex – All Day Breakfast, on PodcastOne Australia. Fast forward to August and the duet are already celebrating with a champagne breakfast after notching up an impressive 1 million downloads!

Matt and Alex reckon there is no higher art form than podcasting and feel the need to gift their very own Podcasting Masterclass to the country to mark their epic milestone. Watch their MasterClass video here.


Listen to All Day Breakfast here.

Award-winning Trace returns with series two: The Informer

ABC’s Trace podcast returned this week to probe the story of Nicola Gobbo – one of Australia’s most controversial and high profile barristers.

The full story behind what made Nicola Gobbo, the barrister and gangland lawyer, turn police informer has never been told…and the implications are real and enormous.

Trace: The Informer investigates a complex world of covert policing and underworld operations that spans decades.

Host Rachael Brown and co-reporter Josie Taylor examine what makes a lawyer representing some of Australia’s most dangerous criminals risk her career, and even her life, to feed information to the police.

Trace: The Informer launches as the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants, which was sparked by Gobbo, nears its conclusion.

Nicola Gobbo remains in hiding but Brown and Taylor have secured the only media interview with her since the exposure of her secret identity as Lawyer X.

Bringing never-before broadcast information and recordings to light, they investigate how Gobbo was permitted, and even encouraged, to turn informer. And they ask whether the very organisation entrusted to uphold the law – the police force – has in fact undermined it.

Trace won the Innovation award at the 2017 Walkley Awards recognising excellence in journalism, Melbourne Press Club’s 2017 Quill awards for Podcasting and for Innovation in Journalism, and the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards in the Documentary category.

Listen to Trace here.

Ralph Horowitz on his podcast journey

Broadcaster, podcaster and thoroughbred racing analysist Ralph Horowitz, aka Racetrack Ralphy, has a colourful background in media

He worked as a producer on Nine’s successful The Footy Show during its glory days before getting headhunted to 3AW in 2006. Working on the broadcaster’s AFL coverage, Horowitz managed to sign Craig Hutchison to spearhead the radio calls. “We won the ratings and I got a big bonus for beating Triple M, because nobody thought they could beat Triple M,” Horowitz told Mediaweek. 3AW subsequently lost Garry Lyon to Triple M and after one bad survey, parted company with Horowitz.

Changing sporting codes, Horowitz started an app and a website branded RaceTrack Ralphy giving assistance to punters. He did some media work with Victorian sports radio station RSN, commenting on horse racing for five years. He met a successful punter called Vince Accardi. Horowitz said: “Vince revolutionised the way horseracing is timed. After RSN let me go I also bumped into a Grey Advertising chairman Paul Gardner who suggested podcasting. I had been a fan of podcasting for 10 years but had never worked out how to get it right here. Now every Monday for the past four years Vince and I review the racing via his timing platforms. We have monetised it by promoting the fact we are independent from corporate bookmakers and we have supporters who pay either $5 a month or $20 a month. The majority of people who fund us just like what we do.”

The podcast lives on the PG Podcast Network and can be found on all major platforms.

Horowitz has also been involved in a number of football podcasts, some more infamous than others. He has podcasted with Shane Crawford and James Hird on a twice-a-week podcast Crawf & Hirdy during 2018. “It didn’t keep going because we didn’t monetise it. It was a great show and the loyalty to the show from Essendon supporters was amazing. That was my toe back in the water after a decade out of footy media.”

A more infamous podcast was one with former footballers Scott Cummings and Dane Swan. “Hump Day with Scotty and Swanny was supposed to be a bit of weekly silliness across 2019. The podcast got very popular but was out of control with some of the content. There were supposed to be no rules in podcasting, until we broke them!” Horowitz disputes most of the claims made about the podcast, noting cancel culture went after them, targeting Cummings in particular.

Swan was defiant and wanted to keep podcasting, and 12 months ago launched Hump Day with Swanny & Friends with Horowitz and Samantha Riches (pictured above).

Cummings meanwhile just recently has returned to the airwaves on SEN football commentary.

During his time at The Footy Show, Horowitz was Sam Newman’s producer. After previously recording podcasts at Crocmedia, Horowitz now uses Sam Newman’s studio he set up for Newman’s own podcasts. When asked if he produces Sam’s controversial podcast, Horowitz replied: “No. I get blamed for a lot of things, but not that one!”

Listen to Year Round Carnival with Vince Accardi and Racetrack Ralphy here.
Listen to Swanny and Friends here.

Turn to Kochie to get your tax completed

What should you be claiming tax deductions on? Finance guru David Koch shares his guide to paying just the right amount of tax…not too much and not too little in a special episode of Kochie’s Easy Steps to Financial Success podcast. Kochie listeners you through the expenses they can legitimately offset against income to reduce tax and gives a handy shortcut for calculating working from home tax deductions during Covid-19.

Listen to Kochie’s Easy Steps to Financial Success Podcast here.

JMo tracks down Grey’s Anatomy star in Perth lockdown

Busy Daily Telegraph entertainment reporter Jonathon Moran has caught up with Kate Walsh aka Dr. Addison Montgomery in Grey’s Anatomy. Speaking on Moran’s podcast JMo Confidential, the Hollywood star reveals she’s been in Perth since COVID-19 hit and is living the Aussie dream!

Listen to JMO Confidential here.

Lee Rogers paints on The Blank Canvas

A new podcast from director and producer Lee Rogers features him chatting with trail blazers, artists, thought leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs and creators – stellar individuals who inspire many to live large.

Acclaimed artist David Bromley is the first guest on The Blank Canvas which launched this week. New episodes will then roll out every Monday, with Rogers wife, legendary Kate Ceberano, up next. Still to come are serial entrepreneur and powerhouse business advisor Anne McKevitt, Tony award nominated composer Eddie Perfect, “the world’s greatest impressionist” Jim Meskimen and New York Times best-selling author of We First, brand futurist and leading global keynote speaker Simon Mainwaring.

Tradie turned film director and producer, Rogers has directed Emmy, Golden Globe, Grammy, AFI, ACCTA & Logie winners, Prime Ministers, Miss Universe, Olympic Gold medallists, captain’s of the All Blacks, Wallabies, Indian cricket royalty Virat Kohli and Academy Award nominated superstar Margot Robbie…winning dozens of awards along the way. After several music videos which topped the ARIA charts (Ratcat’s history making hit That Aint Bad), Lee’s first foray into long-form content was writing, directing, producing, and starring in the acclaimed movie Dust Off The Wings, literally busting down the door of the digital movie revolution (“Rogers is incredibly clever” Margaret Pomeranz on The Movie Show). As a TV commercial director Lee’s directed over 300 high-end commercials around the globe. In TV drama, his work has been seen in over 130 territories with such hits as The Doctor Blake Mysteries (Netflix USA/BBC1 UK), Home and Away and Neighbours.

Lee has also been a mainstay in Kate Ceberano’s management team for nearly three decades. As partner in Kate Ceberano Productions, Lee has been instrumental in delivering Kate’s extraordinary creative output.

Listen to The Blank Canvas here.

TV networks on ad spend outlook: 10 share climbs, Seven rebuilding

The television industry yesterday revealed its advertising revenue figures for the total TV market (FTA regional and metro, STV and BVOD) for the financial year.

See: TV ad market worth $3.4b in 2019-20, -13.7% YOY, Last six months -22%

Gone are the days where the networks would take public pot-shots at each other putting their spin on the numbers. Instead the commentary is left to the marketing body to quietly talk up the overall results. In a tough market the number that was focussed on was the growing BVOD business for Seven, Nine and 10.

Over the full financial year Nine and 10 are believed to have slightly improved their figures. Seven slipped, but it was ranked #1 for the December 2019 half.

Big Brother housemates

Seven’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette told Mediaweek the network is seeing a marked improvement for July and August in terms of spend. “It looks like being an improved quarter compared to April to June which has been one of the worst we’ve seen. We need to see the full impact of what is happening in Victoria. The good news is television is continuing to grow audience across the board.

“For Seven we are very happy with where Big Brother was and now Farmer Wants a Wife is delivering and we have a big strong slate of content coming. With the AFL finals moving deeper into the year and the start of the cricket it creates an incredibly powerful marketing platform for brands. The back quarter of [calendar] 2020 will be one of the biggest we have ever seen because of the critical nature of the messaging that will need to take place as a result of this year. It will be one of the most important Christmas ad markets we have ever seen.

Seven’s Kurt Burnette at Seven’s Tokyo 2020 launch

Seven’s Kurt Burnette at Seven’s Tokyo 2020 launch

Burnette noted Seven was ahead of the overall growth in the BVOD market, and he pointed to increased revenue from too. “Recent performance has been helped by our leadership across the last eight weeks in the demographics in broadcast and BVOD. We have great momentum with the increased AFL activity helping us kick on through the year.”

Network 10 & ViacomCBS chief sales officer Rod Prosser told Mediaweek: “We’ve had some really great momentum in market over the last 12 months. Our shows have been performing well and our audiences have been strong. This has been reflected in our revenue performance which has grown consistently year-on-year since October 2019.

Rod Prosser

“What I’ve been most encouraged about is how, in the last few months under challenging circumstances, the team has worked exceptionally hard with agencies and marketers to extend important brand messages at scale on 10 and our digital platforms. Their hard work has been recognised with a continued increase in revenue share.

“In these uncertain times, the overall TV industry has remained resilient and held up well, cementing itself as a critical part of the marketing mix.”

The metro revenue shares for the 2019/20 financial year are believed to see 10 up to above 22%, Seven around 38% and Nine over 39%.

TV ad market worth $3.4b in 2019-20, -13.7% YOY, Last six months -22%

Broadcasters have revealed the total TV advertising revenue figures for the six and 12 months to June 30, 2020.

The total TV market, which includes metropolitan free-to-air, regional free-to-air, subscription TV and broadcast video on demand (BVOD) and excludes SBS, recorded combined revenue of $3.4 billion for the year to June 2020, which was down 13.7% compared to the same period to June 2019.

In the June half, TV advertising revenues were $1.49 billion, a decrease of 22.1% when compared to the same period ending June 2019.

The total revenue for the metropolitan free-to-air networks was $1.01 billion for the six months to June 2020, down 21.9% compared to the same period last year. For the 12-months, metropolitan free-to-air advertising revenue was $2.33 billion, down 14.1%.

The record-breaking performance of BVOD platforms 7Plus, 9Now, 10 Play and Foxtel Now continues with BVOD revenue up 23.4% to $83 million for the six months to June 30, 2020. BVOD revenue for the total financial year was $170 million, up 32.7% year-on-year.

ThinkTV CEO Kim Portrate said: “The past 12 months have been tough for the media sector with COVID-19 making the last six months more challenging than any of us could have imagined. This is reflected in the latest SMI data which suggests the total advertising market was down 14.7% for the financial year. However, demand for TV advertising is strengthening as we move into the new financial year.”

Screen Australia development funding to 40+ drama projects, online & movies

Screen Australia has announced 14 feature films, eight online projects and 20 television dramas that will share in $1.6 million of Story Development funding.

The latest slate includes Toni Collette’s directorial debut with feature film The Best Of, and ambitious anthology of Shakespeare’s works re-imagined by teams of creators including Leah Purcell, Elise McCredie and Anchuli Felicia King called Shakespeare Now.

Screen Australia’s head of development Nerida Moore said, “While this has been a turbulent, challenging time for many in the industry, it hasn’t stopped the drive, passion and imagination of Australian creative teams. In fact we have continued to see applications coming through with really strong and distinctive content, with the application numbers across March-June this year up 76% on the same period last year.

“It’s exciting to see re-imaginings of well-loved stories such as Shakespeare Now and an animated series inspired by The Sapphires. We continue to support storytelling on all platforms, with two online series from comedians Gabriel Willie (better known as Bush Tucker Bunjie) and Chloe Black who are each creating their first scripted narrative comedies.”

This slate is the final funding awarded in the 2019/20 financial year. During this period Screen Australia received 534 Story Development applications across the Premium and Generate Funds, up 41% from the 378 applications received in 2018/19. In the last 12 months, Screen Australia has provided funds to a total of 110 projects out of a pool of 508 projects that were creatively assessed. This included 50 through the Generate Fund for lower budget projects and 60 through the Premium Fund for higher budget projects from established creators.

Moore continued, “We are really pleased to see more ambitious television projects in the pipeline, with 32 television projects funded through the Premium stream in the past 12 months, up from 12 projects last year.”

In April 2020 Screen Australia launched the Premium Plus Fund to provide late-stage development funding to high-budget projects with firm market interest that were impacted by COVID-19. In this time, the agency funded 17 projects. Recipients include ABC drama The Newsreader and feature film You Won’t Be Alone. The fund closed on 31 July 2020.

The TV projects include development funding going to Bunya Entertainment, Northern Pictures, Princess Pictures, East Tiger, Lingo Pictures, Goalpost Television, Hoodlum Entertainment, Endemol Shine Banks, Beyond Entertainment, Porchlight Films, Every Cloud Productions, See-Saw Productions, Bazmark (Baz Luhrmann), Hopscotch Features and December Media.

Television projects include:

• Six-part dramedy New Animal, from writer Marieke Hardy (Laid), based on the upcoming debut novel by Ella Baxter. The television series follows 28-year-old oddball Amelia who works as a cosmetician at a family funeral parlour. After the sudden death of her mother, she is drawn into the local BDSM community in an attempt to deal with her grief. New Animal will be produced by Jason Stephens and Helen Bowden of Lingo Pictures (Lambs of God).

• Shakespeare Now, an anthology of adaptations of Shakespeare’s works for television, including Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Macbeth, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night. The works are led by teams of all-female creatives including Anya Beyersdorf (It’s Me), Corrie Chen (Five Bedrooms), Lucy Coleman (Hot Mess), Elissa Down (Feel the Beat), Anchuli Felicia King (play White Pearl), Michelle Law (Homecoming Queens), Claire McCarthy (The Luminaries), Elise McCredie (Stateless), Leah Purcell (The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson), Amelia Roper (The Great), Sarah Scheller (The Let Down), Nadine von Cohen, Vivienne Walshe (Everything’s Gonna Be Ok), and Rachel Ward (Palm Beach). This project is executive produced by ABC’s Sally Riley; Lucky Chap Entertainment’s Margot Robbie, Brett Hedblom, Tom Ackerley and Josey McNamara (Maid); and Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield and Kerrin McNeil of Hoodlum Entertainment (Harrow). It will be developed with the support of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

• Toni Collette’s directorial debut with The Best Of, a feature film based on the novel by Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project) and written for the screen by comedian and writer Mark Watson. This romantic comedy follows amateur musician turned IT specialist Adam Sharp who has a stable, unexceptional life with his matter-of-fact wife Claire. But when his first love, Angelina, gets in touch with an offer of reuniting, Adam must choose between the fantasy of a life unlived and the reality of his marriage in its quiet beauty. This project will be produced by Collette and Christopher Simon (Miss You Already), and co-produced by Jen Turner.

• The Sapphires Animation, a television series inspired by hit Australian film The Sapphires. This series re-imagines Gail, Julie, Cynthia and Kay growing up in today’s world, as they follow their musical dreams and learn about life, love, and who they are in the process. A celebration of sisterhood, sass and sweet grooves, this project will be written by Kodie Bedford (Mystery Road) and produced by Rosemary Blight and Kylie du Fresne with Tony Briggs, who worked on the original film.

• A Top End Wedding Story, a one-hour comedy drama series based on the Australian movie Top End Wedding. From Goalpost Television with writers Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler, producers Rosemary Blight and Kylie du Fresne and co-producers Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler.

• The Sisters Antipodes, from Endemol Shine Banks. A drama set in 1965, two families collide. Affairs ignite, couples switch and the scandal pushes the realigned families to opposite sides of the world. Reeling, two little girls are given each other’s fathers. The Sisters Antipodes is the ensuing story of the lifelong competition between them and the tragedy that ends it. Writers Fiona Seres and Rebecca Rigg, producers Imogen Banks and Asher Keddie.

Asher Keddie

• Full list of the latest funding approvals for television development here.
• Full list of the latest funding approvals for feature film development here.
• Full list of the latest funding approvals for online development here.

Women look to reinvention post Covid: Bauer Herpulse survey

The impact of COVID-19 is driving women to consider reinventing their careers as four in ten (44%) say they are concerned about the future for women in Australia after the global pandemic comes to an end, Bauer Media’s latest consumer sentiment survey has revealed.

One in three are thinking about investing in furthering their education, with half of 30 to 34-year-olds saying they are actively looking at. More than one in four (28%) are contemplating changing their career path completely, with a quarter considering finding a new job in the same field. When it comes to returning to the office only 38 percent said they felt comfortable returning to their workplace and more than half (53%) want to maintain the flexibility of working from home.

Bauer’s fifth HerPulse survey of 672 women carried out in July also found six in ten were doing the majority of the work around the house including cooking meals. For mums, seven in ten said they were doing most of the childcare and 62 percent said they were doing the majority of homeschooling. Almost half (46%) said they felt overwhelmed by working from home in addition to homeschooling their children.

As the majority of Victorians continue life under a new lockdown, the mood of women in the state is understandably less positive than the rest of the country. Half (51%) said they were ‘concerned’ compared to 40 percent in all other states. Nearly four in ten (38%) said they felt ‘stressed’ compared to 29 percent nationally.

Despite ongoing concerns about issues and events at home, women are also looking outward when it comes to issues such as racism and the environment. Nearly eight in ten (78%) of all women said they were ‘worried’ about racism around the world. This rose to 88 percent amongst 25 to 29-year-olds. On the environment, 79 percent said they were worried about the planet when it came to the worldwide context, rising to 85 percent in the 25 to 29 cohort.

Health and wellness remains a key focus during the pandemic. Almost three in ten (28%) said they were taking more vitamins and 27 percent were trying to lose weight, up from 21 percent in May.

Dora Papas, editor of Better Homes and Gardens, Bauer’s multi-platform brand which reaches 384,000 women with kids under 16 every month said: “Women in general and mums in particular were taking on double duties during the lockdown. Working at home as well as schooling their children has understandably overwhelmed many.

“They continue to actively seek out content which offers escapism and inspiration and that trend has remained consistent from the beginning of the Covid crisis. Across food, lifestyle and homes, we at Better Homes and Gardens will continue to support their content needs, as all Bauer brands continue to do in print, digital and social.”

Nat Bettini, research director at Bauer Media added: “While many parts of the country, with the exception of Victoria, slowly return to some semblance of normality, there continues to be ongoing concern by Australian women about what the future holds for them. This is leading them to look at their options moving forward, with many thinking about gaining new skills or changing their career paths completely, which offer opportunities to providers of these services.”

Screenrights $295k funding for projects supported by 2020 cultural fund

Screenrights has announced a record seven projects will be supported by its 2020 Cultural Fund. The total funding amount increased from $250K to $295K for this year’s initiatives, submitted around the focus of ‘New Voices’.

The Screenrights Cultural Fund was established in 2018 to support innovative projects that foster the creation and appreciation of screen content in Australia and New Zealand. With support usually available up to $250K total, in its third year Screenrights has been able to offer additional funding from the balance of previous funding rounds.

Five recipients will each receive $45,000: Bus Stop Films, to support the expansion of their award-winning Accessible Film Studies Program to Queensland, Victoria and South Australia; Tai Huri Films, for a training and skill development workshop for rangatahi Māori aged 15-25 to explore cultural narratives using the art of cinematic storytelling; Northern Rivers Screenworks, who will partner with Princess Pictures and Hoodlum Entertainment to run a program to train undiscovered, diverse and talented screenwriters living in regional Australia with specific skills to meet industry requirements; Southland Creative Inc, for My Home My Culture – a short film program that will mentor ten aspiring 16-24 year-old regional South Coast NSW filmmakers to share their stories with audiences and communities; and Script to Screen, who will run a 3-stage Paerangi program that finds new voices in remote regions of New Zealand, and gives isolated and inexperienced aspiring filmmakers the tools to develop a captivating story for screen.

Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation will receive $38,720 for Our Ganalili Heroes, a youth digital media project that will give 12 young people in the Pilbara region the digital media skills to contribute their voices to the deep cultural and community-held knowledge of the Yindjibarndi people; and Cinespace will receive $31,280 to roll out an online educational program that gives culturally diverse creatives the tools to be able to access industry, building capacity towards greater representation on Australian screens.

“The third year of the Screenrights Cultural Fund has seen our strongest field of applicants yet, and we are delighted to be able to support so many initiatives, especially in such a challenging year for the screen industry,” said Screenrights Board Director and Cultural Fund Working Group Chair Geoffrey Atherden. “These projects engage meaningfully with our New Voices focus, intended to advance those who, for whatever reason, have found doors not readily open to them. We look forward to seeing the positive impact of these initiatives across the Australian and New Zealand screen landscape well into the future.”

Applications were assessed by a panel of professionals with both local and international expertise in screen, media and education.

More details of all projects here.

Top Photo:  Photo caption (L-R, Top to Bottom): Jonnie Leahy from Southland Creative Inc.; Daniel Schultheis from Cinespace Inc; Eloise Veber from Script to Screen; James Dickinson from Screenrights; Jason Taylor from Tai Huri Films Limited; John Kassab from Cinespace Inc; Jonnie Leahy from Southland Creative Inc.; Lisa O’Meara from Northern Rivers Screenworks Inc; Maha Ismail from Screenrights; Ryan Drechsler and Eagle Felix from Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation; Tracey Corbin-Matchett from Bus Stop Films; Wimiya Woodley from Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation

SCA reports streaming radio audiences listening longer and more often

SCA’s audiences continue to embrace digital radio platforms and are listening longer and more often, the broadcaster has reported, to reach a new milestone of 10.1 million listening hours in July, an increase of 30% year on year.

More people are tuning into Hit and Triple M than ever before, with live radio streaming increasing by 20% year on year to 1.1 million listeners* and catch up radio jumping 80% year on year to 3.5 million* downloads.

Smart speakers too are an increasingly popular choice for listeners, reporting 2.1 million listening hours in July, up 69% year on year, and an average session duration of 2 hours and 20 minutes^.

PodcastOne Australia’s original podcasts have also reported record listening growth – rising 155% from March 1 to July 31**.

Listening on demand, including live radio streaming across mobile, tablet and smart speakers, as well as catch up radio podcasts, has soared again in July:

• 8.5 million active live radio streams, up 36% year on year, with 10.1 million total listening hours, up 30% year on year*

• Total listening hours on mobiles and tablets is up 12% year on year, desktops up 10% and smart speakers are up 69%*

• There were 316,000 downloads of SCA Smart News in July, up 95%^ month on month

• Triple M’s annual No Talk Day on 1 July saw live streams increase by 53% year on year and a 42% jump in listeners

• SCA’s PodcastOne Australia listening was up 155% from March to July**

“Live radio streaming and catch up radio podcasts have continued to grow, despite COVID-19 restrictions easing, and are now firmly a part of people’s daily routine. Smart speaker listening is also showing remarkable growth, with almost a quarter of SCA’s audience owning a smart speaker and showing enviable time spent listening. Digital audio growth in radio and podcasting is set for a big year as more listeners tune into Hit and Triple M, more often and for longer than ever before,” SCA Chief Sales Officer, Brian Gallagher, said.

* Adswizz Audiometrix July 2019 v July 2020 
^ Omny Studio July 2019 vs July 2020 
** Omny Studio March to July 2020

Instagram launches Reels for short-form edited videos with audio and music

• Offers new video editing tools, timers, countdowns, speed controls, AR effects, and music library.

Instagram Reels launches in Australia today – the new Instagram format that gives anyone the ability to create and discover short form, edited videos with audio and music.

This announcement from Instagram today

Available now to the Australian community, Reels is a big part of the future of entertainment on Instagram – with Reels, Stories, Live & IGTV, Instagram is giving people more ways to create and enjoy video the way they want.

At Instagram we’re always taking inspiration from our creators and community, and they’ve told us they want more fun and easy ways to edit and create videos in the app. In the past month, 45% of all videos posted to Instagram Feed were short form (under 15 seconds). With the launch of Reels you can access a range of new video features including editing tools, timer, speed controls, AR effects, countdown and a new align tool. You can create a Reels video using multiple clips, and then add original audio or music from our massive library.

With Reels it’s never been easier for your content to reach new audiences and be discovered on a global stage. From today, your Explore page has a whole new look which puts Reels front and centre. This creates a new space where public accounts can share, watch, and discover Reels with Instagram’s community of over 1 billion people. Additionally, there will be a dedicated tab for Reels on users’ profiles. Reels can also be shared in Feed, through Stories, Close Friends, or just with friends over DMs.

“Instagram is where millions of Australians come everyday to express themselves and be entertained. Our community is telling us they want to make and watch short-form, edited videos, which is exactly how we’ve developed the Reels experience. Whether you are a creator with a passion to share or a business with a story to tell, our new Reels format empowers your creativity and helps you reach new audiences on a global stage.” said Will Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia & New Zealand.

Hard Quiz
TV ratings Wednesday August 5, Week 32, 2020

By James Manning

• ABC hits a sweet spot with biggest and most consistent 2020 week
• Hard Quiz #1 non-news with Streisand, Wolverine & Handmaid’s Tale
• Best of the rest: Mad As Hell, H&A, Emergency & Bachelor in Paradise

Seven News 1,194,000/1,123,000
Nine News 1,097,000/998,000
ABC News 835,000
A Current Affair 725,000
7.30 693,000
The Project 376,000/567,000
10 News 446,000/308,000
Sunrise 281,000
The Latest 269,000
News Breakfast 235,000
Today 214,000
SBS World News 200,000
The Drum 199,000

Tuesday TV

Seven: Home and Away dipped from 650,000 Monday to 600,000 Tuesday and then lifted to 626,000 last night.
A Highway Patrol special on Seven then did 407,000.
The Front Bar as on 300,000 as it went up against live AFL on Fox Footy as Melbourne finally found some form in the last quarter to win the second of a mid-week double header. 

Nine: A Current Affair started the week on 813,000 and then did 728,000 Tuesday with 717,000 last night.
Nine’s factual programming then helped it secure a midweek win with RBT on 472,000 followed by Emergency with 507,000.

10: Bachelor in Paradise is getting close to the end with 490,000, just below its Tuesday number.
The Project was on 567,000 as the program discussed Jonathan Swans’ already legendary Trump interview and then Marty Sheargold talked about life after radio, sort of. When asked about “turds” he had met in his radio career he called Shane Warne “one of the great turds”.

ABC: Shaun Micallef has helped boost share for a second successive night with the return of Mad as Hell on 691,000 and in the top 10.
The biggest audiences early tuned in for ABC News on 835,000 and then 693,000 for 7.30 with Leigh Sales still at home despite her negative Covid-19 result.
Hard Quiz performed spectacularly again with 746,000 up from 701,000 a week ago. The guest’s epical subjects last night ranged from Barbara Streisand, to Wolverine, video game Halo and The Handmaid’s Tale.
ABC share has been surfing a wave this week with every night so far over 14%, something that it hasn’t achieved so far this year. 

SBS: World News was one of three programs that cracked 200,000. The others were The Other Pompeii repeat on 225,000 and then Building the Channel Tunnel on 216,000.

Week 32 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.3% 7 18.8% 9 19.0% 10  11.4% SBS One 5.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 3.1% GO! 2.4% 10 Bold 4.7% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.8% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.9% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 1.1%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 19.1%   26.5%   27.3%   18.2%   9.0%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.6% 7 18.6% 9 17.5% WIN 9.0% SBS One 4.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 3.3% GO! 2.8% WIN Bold 6.1% VICELAND 1.9%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.6% GEM 4.8% WIN Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 2.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.9% 9Life 2.5% Sky News  on WIN 2.2% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 1.2%
TOTAL 17.9%   27.5%   27.6%   19.6%   8.6%


85.1% 14.9%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,194,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,123,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,097,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 998,000
  5. ABC News ABC 835,000
  6. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 746,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 725,000
  8. 7.30 ABC 693,000
  9. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S12 ABC 691,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 626,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 611,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 593,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 567,000
  14. Rosehaven ABC 508,000
  15. Bachelor In Paradise 10 490,000
  16. Nine News: Late Edition Nine 461,000
  17. 10 News First 10 446,000
  18. Highway Patrol Special Seven 407,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 388,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 376,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Bachelor In Paradise 10 190,000
  2. Nine News Nine 152,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 143,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 130,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 128,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Bachelor In Paradise 10 289,000
  2. Nine News Nine 270,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 267,000
  4. Seven News Seven 266,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 263,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 325,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 320,000
  3. Seven News Seven 317,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 304,000
  5. Bachelor In Paradise 10 295,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 213,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 210,000
  3. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 173,000
  4. ABC News At Noon PM ABC NEWS 168,000
  5. Little J And Big Cuz AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  6. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  7. ABC News Mornings AM ABC NEWS 141,000
  8. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 138,000
  9. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  10. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  11. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  12. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  13. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  15. Play School Story Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  16. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  17. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  18. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  19. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  20. Digby Dragon AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  1. Live: AFL Adelaide V Melbourne FOX FOOTY 251,000
  2. Live: AFL Geelong V North Melbourne FOX FOOTY 176,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 77,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 75,000
  5. Live: AFL Post Game FOX FOOTY 75,000
  6. Alan Jones Sky News Live 73,000
  7. Credlin Sky News Live 67,000
  8. Newsday Sky News Live 60,000
  9. Newsday Sky News Live 55,000
  10. The Windsors: Inside The Royal Dynasty UKTV 51,000
  11. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 50,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 45,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 43,000
  14. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 42,000
  15. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 42,000
  16. AM Agenda Sky News Live 39,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 37,000
  18. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 37,000
  19. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 35,000
  20. PML Later Sky News Live 34,000

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

Disney takes $5 billion hit but pandemic impact not as bad as feared

Walt Disney Co on Tuesday avoided the unmitigated disaster some investors feared as it eked out an adjusted profit amid the coronavirus pandemic that shut down parks, movie theatres and sporting events across the globe, reports Reuters.

The company took a nearly US$5 billion charge due to the pandemic and shifting media habits. COVID-19 wiped out $3.5 billion in operating profit in the parks division.

“The majority of businesses worldwide have experienced unprecedented disruption as a result of the pandemic,” Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek told analysts. “Most of our businesses were shut down, and this had a huge impact.”

Investors overlooked total revenue that fell short of expectations by nearly $600 million and focused on divisions including parks and its media networks with revenue declines that were not as bad as expected.

The Disney+ streaming service, which had 60.5 million paying customers as of Monday, was a bright spot in the quarter, Chapek said. Disney had reported 54.5 million subscribers as of May 4.

“What we plan to do is invest even more in our content in order to keep that machine cranked and going,” he said.

Combined with Hulu and ESPN+, Disney has attracted more than 100 million streaming customers worldwide since launching its big streaming effort nine months ago. Netflix Inc, which got a head start in the market when it began streaming 13 years ago, boasts 193 million.

[Read more]

Jenny Morris: Aussie music ‘an untapped goldmine’

Australia has an untapped goldmine of music talent that could become a major export earner, bringing $7bn to the national economy, says singer-songwriter and music industry spokeswoman Jenny Morris, reports The Australian’s Andrew McMillen.

The international success of artists including Sia, Gotye, Tash Sultana and Vance Joy already is helping earn export revenue worth $195m annually, but Morris says the nation could be reaping so much more from its musical talent.

In an address to the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday, Morris said Australia could become a net exporter of music, and reverse the trend of Australians spending more on foreign artists than we sell to the world.

She set an ambitious target of Australia earning 5 per cent of projected global music industry revenue by 2030, or the equivalent of $US7bn a year.

“We need a clear vision, and I think that vision should be for Australia to become a net exporter of music,” said Morris, the chairwoman of industry body APRA AMCOS.

[Read more]

Digital revenue exceeds print for first time at New York Times Co

Over a three-month period dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and a slowdown in advertising, The New York Times Company for the first time reported quarterly revenue that owed more to digital products than to the print newspaper, reports the publisher.

As much of its staff worked remotely, The Times brought in $185.5 million in revenue for digital subscriptions and ads during the second quarter of 2020, the company announced on Wednesday. The number for print revenue was $175.4 million.

The company added 669,000 net new digital subscribers, making the second quarter its biggest ever for subscription growth. The Times has 6.5 million total subscriptions, a figure that includes 5.7 million digital-only subscriptions, putting it on a course to achieve its stated goal of 10 million subscriptions by 2025.

In a statement, Mark Thompson, the chief executive, called the company’s shift from print revenue to digital “a key milestone in the transformation of The New York Times.”

[Read more]


Newman, Sheahan, Scott apologise to Nicky Winmar after mediation

Sam Newman, Mike Sheahan and Don Scott have issued an apology to Nicky Winmar, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

Last month they settled during mediation over comments made by the trio on their controversial podcast, You Cannot Be Serious.

They agreed to a formal apology and a rumoured $100,00 settlement for questioning the intent of Winmar’s famous jumper lifting moment to take a stand against racism in 1993.

After working through finer details, the apology was read out by Sheahan on their behalf and published on podcasting platform Podbean on Wednesday.

“I am reading this on behalf of myself, Michael Sheahan, Sam Newman and Don Scott. During our 23 June 2020 podcast we talked about Nicky Winmar lifting his jumper and pointing to his skin at the end of the 1993 Collingwood and St Kilda match during which he had been racially abused.

“We acknowledge that what Nicky did was an act of Indigenous pride and defiance. It was also a powerful statement of solidarity for Indigenous Australians who are subjected to racism and vilification.

“Any suggestion otherwise was wrong. We have reflected deeply on the issues.”

After the fallout Sheahan quit the podcast, saying he had been shaken by the scrutiny.

[Read more]

See also: Podcast Week: Matt & Alex make a million, Trace returns, Racetrack Ralphy

News Brands

Journalists at risk of jail in contempt law overhaul

Journalists could be jailed for articles found to undermine public confidence in the courts or interfere with a person’s right to a fair trial, under new contempt of court laws proposed in Victoria, reports The Australian’s Nicola Berkovic.

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance warned that “public-interest journalism must not be criminalised” and vowed to seek clarification on any proposed recommendations to ensure journalists were not jailed for “legitimately and ethically doing their jobs”.

A new contempt of court act would for the first time codify the law of contempt – developed by judges over many years – to make it clearer, so that people know what behaviour will be punished and what penalties they face.

Under the changes recommended by the Victoria Law Reform Commission, anyone “involved” with the commission of a contempt could be guilty of an offence.

Under the law reform commission’s proposed changes, the maximum jail term for the general category of contempt would be 10 years. Judges would be required to have regard to nine overarching principles, skewed heavily in favour of protecting the courts rather than free speech.

[Read more]

Quaden Bayles sues Miranda Devine for suggesting bullying was 'scam'

A nine-year-old Indigenous boy with dwarfism is suing News Corp columnist Miranda Devine for defamation over tweets suggesting he pretended to be a victim of bullying in a viral online video, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michaela Whitbourn.

Quaden Bayles‘ mother Yarraka filed Federal Court proceedings on July 31 on his behalf, and is also suing Devine and her employer in her own right.

At the centre of the defamation case is a February 21 tweet by Devine, a columnist at The Daily Telegraph in Sydney on secondment at The New York Post, and two replies on February 22.

In the initial tweet, Devine retweeted a post by American twitter user Paul A. Szypula, who has the username “Bubblebathgirl”. He alleged Quaden was an “Australian actor whose mom … posted a fake sobbing video of him” and “the MSM [mainstream media] and Hollywood fell for it and got him $300K+ in donations”.

In a comment above the retweet, Devine wrote: “That’s really rotten if this was a scam. Hurts genuine bullying victims. Over to @dailytelegraph.”

Quaden’s lawyers, Sydney barrister Sue Chrysanthou and law firm Centennial Lawyers, say the tweets defame him by suggesting he “dishonestly acted out being distressed in a video to obtain money from donors” and “dishonestly pretended to have been the victim of bullying, thereby hurting genuine victims of bullying”.

[Read more]

Pete Hamill, quintessential New York journalist, dies at 85

Pete Hamill, a streetwise son of Brooklyn who turned a gift for storytelling, a fascination with characters and a romance with tabloid newspapers into a storied career as a New York journalist, novelist and essayist for more than a half century, died on Wednesday in the borough of his birth. He was 85.

In another age, when the newsrooms of metropolitan dailies pulsed to the rising thunder of typewriters on deadline, Hamill, a high school dropout who was searching for a future after years of academic frustration, Navy life and graphic design work, walked into the city room of The New York Post in 1960, as he told it, and fell in love with newspapering.

Hamill became a celebrated reporter, columnist and the top editor of The New York Post and The Daily News; a foreign correspondent for The Post and The Saturday Evening Post; and a writer for New York Newsday, The Village Voice, Esquire and other publications. He wrote a score of books, mostly novels but also biographies, collections of short stories and essays, and screenplays, some adapted from his books.

He idolised Hemingway and covered wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Northern Ireland. He lived in Dublin, Barcelona, Mexico City, Saigon, San Juan, Rome and Tokyo. But his roots were in New York, where he pounded out stories about murders, strikes, the World Series, championship fights, jazz or politics, and then got drunk after work with buddies at the Lion’s Head in Greenwich Village.

[Read more]

Australian reporter's hard-hitting Trump interview goes viral

It had all the withering satire of an ABC sketch featuring comedic duo John Clarke and Bryan Dawe, reports Farrah Tomazin for Nine newspapers from the US.

The musings of an American president struggling with the facts. The baffled expressions of an Australian journalist refusing to accept the spin. And all the subject matter you’d expect to find in a game of 2020 Nightmare Bingo: Global Pandemic! Sex Trafficking! Civil Uprisings!

Except this wasn’t satire at all, but a serious political interview with US President Donald Trump merely 91 days from one of the most consequential elections in US history.

To the credit of Axios reporter Jonathan Swan – a former scribe at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald and the son of our own coronavirus guru and presenter of the ABC Health Report Dr Norman Swan – the 37-minute interview was an eye-opener from the start.

It began with Swan asking about Trump’s adherence to “positive thinking” and his tendency to believe something so much in the hope it will become true. In the absence of a clear strategy for COVID-19, which has so far killed more than 156,000 Americans, positive thinking alone simply hasn’t cut it.

[Read more]

Watch the complete interview on YouTube here. So far it has had over 9m views and climbing.


New editor for Emprise Group’s Camper Australia

Experienced travel journalist and touring expert Glenn Marshall has been appointed as editor-at-large for Camper Australia.

Adventures Group Holdings (AGH), the publisher of Camper Australia announced the changes to the editorial team as part of the broader structural changes announced by the Emprise Group last month.

“Glenn brings with him decades of experience in the travel, touring and camper trailer content space and will become the face of our Camper business,” AGH general manager Chris Jefferson commented.

“We are excited to see where Glenn takes the award-winning brand which we know plays a significant role in inspiring travel and helping people choose the best Camper for them.”

Camper Australia is a multi-media brand which publishes a monthly magazine, digital media assets and a market leading app, CAMPERX.

AGH content director Tim van Duyl added, “Camper plays a vital role in connecting passionate consumers to manufacturers and destinations. Our role is to inspire consumers to participate in the lifestyle while at the same time guiding users to help them understand the various options available.

“Glenn’s role will be to guide the content team to ensure we get that balance right to engage with the marketplace while inspiring our readers with the best, most credible content available.”

Emprise Group Holdings is a media and marketing business specialising in the delivery of content and mapping for the outdoor/adventure travel sector. The Emprise business operates four key business streams across media (events, print & digital), mapping (GPS & printed maps and books), marketplaces and technology solutions.

The group operates a number of brands including; Hema Maps, Camper Australia, Caravan World, Trade-A-Boat, Trade RVs and Outdoor.


Tim Chappel and a pink kitten are the real stars of The Masked Singer

Tim Chappel has a storied history of not only learning from his failures but turning them into humorous and often gravity-defying costumes, which, on one occasion, led to an Academy Award, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Samantha Selinger-Morris.

His iconic black and pink foam thong dress, for instance, worn by Hugo Weaving’s drag queen character in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – for which Chappel, then 25, and co-costume designer Lizzy Gardiner, won an Oscar – was, for instance, first fashioned out of strung-together toast spread with vegemite.

With Chappel’s latest project, designing costumes for the second series of the reality show The Masked Singer, Chappel no longer needs to rely on prison labour, nor is he constrained by a miniscule budget, as he has been in the past. (The thong dress was made for $17 from thongs he bought on sale at Target, where his mother then worked.)

The conceit of The Masked Singer is that celebrities compete to be the best singer while wearing outlandish costumes, so the judging panel and audience who vote on their performances will base their verdicts on the contestant’s voice rather than on their (human) good looks.

“The costumes were a torture,” says Chappel of the first season’s creations. They included a pirate-outfitted prawn and a hot pants-wearing spider – and were underpinned by heavy “welded steel” frames.

“We [also] didn’t take into account how hot it would be on set, and that really affected everything; the foam would sag, the glue would melt, it was like the scarecrow from The Wizard Of Oz after a big dance party,” he says.

This season Chappel has punched discreet holes in the heads of the costumes (for better airflow) and used lighter carbon fibre frames.

[Read more]

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