• Pyne Time, ATM Boy movie, iHeartMedia, Wondery
By James Manning
Former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne has told Mediaweek he doesn’t want to be appearing the media too much now that he has resigned from the House of Representatives as the member for Sturt.
However PodcastOne managed to entice Pyne into hosting a new podcast series Pyne Time.
“I will do a column for The Advertiser once a week, Pyne on Monday, and I will co-host on The Project about once a month,” said Pyne. “PodcastOne suggested talking about politics and I have certainly made a lot of good friends in and around politics over the past 25 years.”
Pyne will initially release six episodes and the first two will feature media people – The Project’s Pete Helliar and then ABC’s Annabel Crabb. Pyne has promised that future releases will feature political colleagues. “Very high powered political people,” he explained with his trademark cheeky chuckle.
“I am really enjoying the relaxed nature of the podcast and the way PodcastOne produce the recordings.”
The former politician said he’d had no knockbacks, but he has had to persuade some to submit to an interview. “Not the media people though – they love getting themselves onto a podcast.” [Laughs]
The Annabel Crabb interview should be great fun. Pyne appeared on her Kitchen Cabinet TV series twice (“I was the bunny that did the first one”) and she has organised him to appear at next year’s Adelaide Fringe.
“In a way I am getting my own back on some people after many years of being the butt of other peoples’ jokes.”
Pyne revealed he is working on his second book for publisher Hachette about politics between 2007 and 2019 which should be published mid-2020, he also does the occasional speaking job for Claxton and he runs his own strategy/comms business GC Advisory.
As a podcast listener, Pyne noted as a history buff he loves listening to British or US history podcasts.
PodcastOne crime editor Adam Shand did a two-part podcast on the amazing ATM Boy case as part of his Adam Shand at large series. The story about Dan Saunders and the magic ATM card has intrigued listeners around the world and a movie is currently in development in the US. Shand is a co-producer and script consultant on the movie and just might have a walk on part too.
Shand told Mediaweek there will be more episodes in the saga next year which some twists and turns in the story. “There’s still a mystery as to why ATM Boy’s card did what it did, with no hacking or subterfuge.”
Wondery, the largest independent podcaster in the world, has appointed Ranieri and Co to represent Wondery across Australia and New Zealand.
Wondery produces numerous global hit shows including Dr. Death, Dirty John, The Shrink Next Door, Business Wars, Imagined Life, Generation Why and Over My Dead Body.
In Australia, Wondery has had five # 1 shows and brings an expanded slate to market for 2020. It is also the first podcast network to expand into local language marketplaces with the launch of seven language editions of Dr. Death in August of this year.
Ranieri and Co. is a new Australia and New Zealand podcast company established by former TRIBE executives, Rob Ranieri and Nick Randall.
Declan Moore, head of international for Wondery, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Ranieri and Co. for Australia and New Zealand. Both Rob and Nick bring tremendous knowledge of the marketplace and have a stellar track record in delivering creative solutions for marketers and brands to connect with audiences. These are important markets for us as we accelerate our international expansion. We’re seeing that our hallmark, immersive storytelling approach really resonates with Australian listeners who over index in their consumption of podcasts and we are excited to expand our presence in the region with Ranieri and Co.”
Ranieri and Co co-founder and CEO Rob Ranieri, said: “We are equally ecstatic, grateful and humbled at the opportunity to represent such an iconic creative powerhouse as Wondery. The team’s ability to continuously captivate audiences across a broad range of podcast genres through deeply emotive storytelling is something we truly admire. Wondery currently has the number one podcast in Australia with The Mysterious Mr Epstein and a swag of great content to come. Australians have an insatiable appetite for great storytelling and are becoming more and more obsessed with podcasts. Taking the Wondery proposition directly to Australian brands is a dream come true.”
iHeartMedia and actor, comedian and producer Will Ferrell have launched Big Money Players Network, a podcast company focused on comedy shows. Listeners can expect the new shows to roll out in 2020.
The Big Money Players Network will recruit top comedic talent and curate a variety of formats and styles – both scripted and unscripted – within the podcast medium. The network is set to launch 10 podcasts over the next 24 months all produced by Ferrell and iHeartMedia that will be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere else podcasts are heard.
Ferrell is set to star in the comedy feature Eurovision and the drama Downhill. Additionally, he has recently produced a number of popular titles across film and television including Succession, Dead To Me, Hustlers, Booksmart and Vice.
iHeartMedia has continued to invest heavily in podcasting, from acquiring HowStuffWorks in 2018 to producing an ongoing slate of new iHeartRadio original shows like The Ron Burgundy Podcast, Disgraceland, Chelsea Handler: Life will be the Death of Me, Noble Blood and Committed.
• James Warburton: Proposed merger is a game changer for advertisers and media buyers
Seven West has announced two strategic initiatives that it claims will transform the company and position the network as the leading wholly-owned commercial premium broadcast, video and news network across Australia, reaching over 18 million people each month. Seven West Media will:
• Merge SWM with Prime Media Group Limited (Prime) through a 100% scrip-based Prime scheme of arrangement
• Divest SWM’s Western Australian radio assets (Redwave) to Southern Cross Media for cash consideration of $28 million, representing an FY19 Enterprise Value/EBITDA multiple of 8x.
SWM and Prime have entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed under which it is proposed that SWM will acquire all Prime’s issued shares through a Scheme of Arrangement (Scheme) under which Prime shareholders will receive 0.4582 SWM shares for each Prime share that they hold (Proposed Transaction). Following completion of the Proposed Transaction, existing SWM shareholders will own 90% of the combined entity, with Prime shareholders holding the remaining 10%.
The combined business will be led by James Warburton, SWM Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, and will be chaired by Kerry Stokes, Chairman of SWM.
Seven West Media said the merger will deliver significant value creation by:
• providing advertisers with a single platform that will deliver superior audience reach across metropolitan and regional markets;
• unlocking the revenue potential of regional audiences;
• enhancing the audience proposition through re-investment in content and expanding the digitaldelivery of SWM’s offering in regional markets
• generating expected cost synergies of $11 million on an annualised basis and potential revenue upside. The costs savings are expected to be fully realised within 12-18 months from completion of the Proposed Transaction.
The directors of Prime have unanimously recommended that Prime shareholders vote in favour of the Scheme, in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the Scheme is in the best interest of Prime shareholders. Subject to those same qualifications, each Prime director has indicated that he or she intends to vote all Prime shares held or controlled by them in favour of the Scheme.
Commenting on the Proposed Transaction, SWM’s Chairman Kerry Stokes said: “SWM and Prime have had a longstanding relationship and are key partners in the industry. The combined group will cement our position as Australia’s leading content provider and presents excellent value to shareholders.”
Prime’s Chairman John Hartigan commented: “The Prime Board has carefully considered the Proposed Transaction and believes it is in the best interests of Prime shareholders. It represents an exciting opportunity for Prime shareholders to maintain their exposure to the broadcast television industry in a stronger and larger combined group that is more relevant and resilient.”
SWM’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer James Warburton said: “The Proposed Transaction is a game changer for advertisers and media buyers and cements SWM’s position as the superior advertising offering. Overnight, SWM will be the leading wholly-owned commercial premium network that amasses a monthly Australian audience reach of 18 million people.”
The first monthly Australian Podcast Ranker was launched today at the national Radio Alive conference in Brisbane, providing a first look at Australia’s top 100 most downloaded and listened to podcasts in September 2019.
The podcasts accounted for 10 million downloads in Australia during the four week reporting period.
The ranker has started with a foundation group of podcast publishers including News Corp Australia, PodcastOne Australia, Nova Entertainment, Southern Cross Austereo, Australian Radio Network, Macquarie Media and SEN/Crocmedia.
The first ranker lists the most popular podcasts across the launch group of publishers that can be both heard in Australia, and importantly from a commercial perspective, into which advertising can be sold in Australia.
A number of additional publishers, including the ABC, will join the ranker in the next couple of months, and all podcast producers with Australian and international content are invited to participate.
IAB Tech Lab-certified global audio technology services provider Triton Digital has been appointed to provide measuring and reporting services for the ranker following an extensive global tender process. The ranker is compliant with IAB Tech Lab’s version 2.0 podcast measurement guidelines and will be independently audited.
“We’re excited to work with current and future partners across the podcast sector and with Triton Digital to create a reliable, agreed and regular reporting tool for the podcast industry,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
“One of the main objectives of the Australian Podcast Ranker is to increase awareness for consumers and therefore grow podcast consumption, while also creating a framework and guide to assist advertisers to understand opportunities within the podcasting space.
“This work was initiated by the radio industry because of the significant investment made by radio broadcasters in the podcast space, not only into catch-up radio podcasts but into original content outside of the radio offering.”
Jo Dick, head of partnerships, outdoor and audio, Omnicom Media Group and a member of the podcast committee, said: “This is a major initiative for podcasting in this country. I fully support this work as I see it as a first step to allowing advertisers to have confidence in an agreed reporting approach around this new area of investment. I look forward to continuing to develop this tool in collaboration with the foundation and new members of the group in the coming months.”
Australians are spending seven minutes more time every day listening to audio entertainment than last year, with radio staying dominant and podcasts overtaking owned music for the first time, according to the fourth annual GfK Share of Audio study.
In a typical day, consumers spend three hours and 28 minutes listening to audio, seven minutes more than last year.
Australian radio remains the most popular choice, accounting for 61.3% of daily listening, followed by music streaming on 15.0%.
Podcasts jumped into third place with a 7.3% share of listening (up from 3.8% previously), moving ahead of owned music, which includes CDs and digital purchases, on 7.0%.
“We’ve seen an overall resurgence of audio with radio staying dominant and podcast listening enjoying a big jump. For the first time in history, consumers are spending more time listening to podcasts than to their own music collections,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia.
Podcast listeners are most likely to be under 40, managers and professionals, and parents with children under 17. Time spent listening to podcasts rose to an average of 15 minutes per day from seven minutes a year ago.
Radio continued to perform strongly despite the increase in listening choices, with Australians spending on average 2 hours and 7 minutes per day listening, up 2 minutes from last year and little changed since the first survey in 2016.
Music streaming was also relatively steady at 31 minutes a day compared to 30 minutes a year ago. Within that, ad-free subscription streaming accounted for 21 minutes of daily listening and ad- supported services made up nine minutes.
The Australian commercial radio industry has entered a new partnership with Google to make it simple and easy for listeners to find and listen to live streams of local Australian radio stations on Google Nest devices.
The partnership between industry body Commercial Radio Australia and Google will make more than 300 Australian AM, FM and DAB+ digital radio stations easily accessible on Google Nest devices, including Nest Home, Nest Mini, Nest Max and Nest Hub Max via voice command.
“The Australian radio industry is delighted to have entered this partnership with Google to ensure our live and local content is easily discoverable and accessible on Google Nest devices,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA.
“Google Australia has shown an openness and willingness to work closely with us as an industry to ensure consumers have the best radio experience with their voice assisted devices.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Commercial Radio Australia to bring Aussies more ways to enjoy local radio stations on Google Nest devices,” says Mel Silva, managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand. “We hope this makes it easier for people to tune in, discover and follow their favourite Aussie stations with a simple voice command.”
The agreement includes joint marketing activities to promote easy reliable access to local radio on Google Nest devices.
The Infinite Dial Australia 2019 research found that 2.7 million Australians (13%) own a smart speaker.
Terry Kennedy’s 18 years driving the Big Sports Breakfast show on Sky Sports Radio comes to an end today.
Kennedy, or “TK” to friends, viewers and listeners said the timing was right to finish-up on the eve of Australia’s richest race, the TAB Everest, where he plans to celebrate his marathon stint behind the microphone along with more than 40,000 of his “mates” at Royal Randwick.
“I’ve achieved everything I wanted when I started out on the program, it’s been a wonderful but weird existence getting up in the middle of the night, it’s simply time to live a more normal life,” he said.
Kennedy joined the program on the then 2KY sitting beside Richard Freedman, then formed a formidable partnership with former Aussie test opener Michael Slater for a decade, before hosting the past two years with rugby league legend Laurie Daley.
“When I first joined from the world of TV, I honestly thought two years of early morning starts would see me out, but I enjoyed the banter with my hosts, experts, sporting heroes and the listeners so much I stayed,” he said.
Kennedy said breakfast radio takes a toll on your lifestyle and, with his contract ending at the end of December, he has opted for a quick goodbye before moving onto other opportunities.
“I’d love to have found more winners for the viewers and listeners over the year, but I’ll leave them with one final tip – Pierata to win the TAB Everest,” he said.
Tabcorp EGM Media & International, Darren Pearce, praised Kennedy’s passion and contribution: “I’d like to commend TK’s dedication to 18 years in breakfast radio and for leaving a great legacy for the BSB to build on into the future.”
BSB regular Dave Stanley will move into the co-hosting chair alongside Laurie Daley while plans are finalised for an exciting new BSB line-up in 2020.
News Corp had previously worked alongside Whooshkaa as it Australian podcast partner.
Cathy O’Connor (pictured), Nova Entertainment’s CEO said, “We are proud to be working in the podcast space with News Corp Australia, who share our ambitions for growth in the podcast sector and who also believe in the power of audio to amplify their market leading content.”
Michael Miller, News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman said, “News Corp Australia’s media brands continue to invest in original high quality audio storytelling. Through NewsCast, our audio network, we are delighted to partner with Nova Entertainment, accelerating our commercial and production capabilities.”
The new partnership draws on Nova’s expertise in audio sales and News Corp Australia’s premium audio content. Acast remains the hosting and distribution partner for Nova and will also host, distribute and monetise News Corp Australia’s content while providing detailed analytics on consumption behaviour of their podcast content.
Nova Entertainment and Acast will host all of News Corp Australia’s podcasts across sport, health, lifestyle, travel, food, finance and the popular true crime genre.
News Corp Australia is the publisher of the global smash hit podcast The Teachers Pet, which has amassed more than 45 million downloads world-wide. News Corp Australia’s podcast portfolio includes Who The Hell is Hamish?, Life and Crime with Andrew Rule and The Matty Johns Podcast.
The partnership will also see Nova Entertainment and News Corp Australia collaborate on co-productions. Following their success with the Police Tape podcast series, which launched in March this year, another series will be released in November.
Jay Walkerden, Nova Entertainment head of podcasting said, “This partnership sees our companies come together to offer listeners some of the best podcast content in Australia and ensure we continue to develop high quality podcast content in line with Australian audience expectations.”
Former Executive Producer of Insiders and News Breakfast, Erin Vincent has been named the EP of ABC’s weekly national affairs discussion program Q&A.
Vincent will take over the running of the program for its next season. She replaces Q&A’s creator and founding EP Peter McEvoy, who announced in August he would step down at the end of this year.
Vincent joined the ABC in 2009 as a reporter, working across TV and radio. Her roles over the past decade have included working as the ABC NEWS Victorian Chief of Staff and as Executive Producer of Insiders and News Breakfast. Most recently she was ABC NEWS’s Content Development and Innovation Lead, developing projects and strategies to help reach new audiences.
Vincent said. “There is no other program in Australia quite like Q&A. The ABC and Australian audiences are indebted to Peter McEvoy for bringing the concept to life more than a decade ago, and I look forward to leading the talented team behind it.
“The audience is the heart of this show and I can’t wait to find new ways for people to participate in the debate and engage with public figures on the social issues they care about.”
ABC Director, News Gaven Morris said Vincent was one of ABC NEWS’s most talented editorial leaders.
“Erin is a highly experienced journalist with a strong track record leading program teams,” he said. “Her work at News Breakfast in particular was outstanding – taking the program through a period of renewal and helping it achieve its current strong audience growth.
“Erin will bring great ideas on how to continue to evolve this flagship program. Under her leadership we’ll be establishing a production unit for Q&A in Southbank, in addition to its existing Sydney base, in order to expand the number of episodes produced out of Melbourne and other locations across Australia.
“More details will follow in coming weeks, once Erin has had a chance to start working with the team on the plans for 2020.”
ABC NEWS Head, Investigative and In-Depth Journalism John Lyons said: “Erin has brought great drive, energy and vision to News Breakfast, Insiders and all other roles she’s had at the ABC.
“I have no doubt she will take Q&A to a new level of excellence and engagement with the Australian public.”
By Andrew Mercado
Executive producer Ken Corday has just visited Australia and told Mediaweek that while US ratings are healthy, they have never told the real story because “Nielsen meters don’t take in single parent homes, college dorms or jails”.
Corday was taught by his mother (Betty Corday who created the show with husband Ted Corday in 1965) to watch the show as it aired so as to study which ads play during the breaks. “It’s critical to know who your audience is,” he said. So, baby diaper ads mean younger viewers are watching, but adult diaper ads mean it’s skewing older? Corday laughed, “Exactly, and what you never want to see are Public Service Announcements, because that means they couldn’t sell a spot.”
Online, however, it is a vastly different story. “Days is the most watched show on the NBC website, and that includes all their prime time shows. We are now at the table renegotiating for a better deal because the production company gains no revenue from that.”
NBC’s new streaming service, The Peacock, will launch next April but Corday is unsure yet if classic DOOL episodes will be included. “If they are smart, they will do Greatest Weddings or Best Comebacks because we have a huge back catalogue,” which is currently at over 13,700 episodes.
Recently, the show’s most iconic couple, John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deirdre Hall), were featured in a tie-in campaign advertising Tide washing detergent and the NFL. “They approached us about them doing ads to be seen during Sunday Night Football”, which has an audience of over 20 million viewers. “Tide also has a product placement deal within DOOL, but it is more subtle there.”
The show’s recent ratings surge is thanks to legendary head writer Ron Carlivati, who also dramatically increased viewership for One Life to Live and General Hospital. “After a year under his pen, we garnered more awards in one night than any show ever had before in Daytime Emmy history,” says Corday. “Ron likes outlandish plots, but always keeps it familiar by using popular and returning characters. For example, Dr Rolf (William Utay) is back again because he is our new villain (replacing Stefano Di Mera after Joseph Mascolo died in 2016) and also provides some comic relief.” Hope (Kristian Alfonso) may not be laughing after Dr Rolf shot her up with some mysterious serum last week, but fans hoping she is going to turn into Princess Gina again, are definitely smiling.
Within weeks, the show is promoting it will do something that has never been done before in daytime. “Let’s just say that the Friday cliffhanger is so gobsmacking, we are now trying to figure out how we can possibly top it for our 55th anniversary next year.” Corday teases that we should look to how This Is Us goes forwards and backwards in time. “It’s also a chance to bring back a few characters to the show,” he said, but Bo (Peter Reckell) will not be one of them. “He is happily settled in Indiana and not coming back to Hollywood.” Another debunked tabloid tale is Jennifer Aniston appearing alongside her dad for John Aniston’s (Victor Kiriakis) last episode. “He is not leaving,” laughed Corday. “But we are always talking to Jennifer, so you never know.”
Corday has always wanted to film in Sydney, but “only if a storyline can fit into the fabric of the show. I would love to bring down around four actors and use an Australian crew, but it has to work within the budget.” Once upon a time, daytime soaps travelled all over the world for exotic shoots, but that’s because there was much more money. “We are getting a million dollars less a week to make the show in 2019, as opposed to the 1980s, and today we are making eight shows a week, not five.”
Before wrapping up, I return to Corday’s comment about the show’s jail fanbase. Does he know about Aussie journalist Trent Dalton’s acclaimed novel, Boy Swallows Universe, in which the lead character writes to a prisoner in Boggo Road Gaol to keep him up to date with DOOL storylines? Dalton confirms that prison officials would turn off the number 2 yard TV as punishment, so that inmates could not watch Days, and this was grounds for riot! “I am not aware of that,’ Corday says, as he scribbles down the name of the book, “but I shall be buying it at Sydney Airport as I depart.”
Top Photo: Days of Our Lives star Mary Beth Evans with Ken Corday at the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards
• Seven wins its first night with News, Home and Away and Wonder Woman
• Gogglebox drives 10, channel #1 under 50 for third time in last four days
By James Manning
• Seven News 879,000/845,000
• Nine News 761,000/753,000
• A Current Affair 639,000
• ABC News 627,000
• 7.30 460,000
• The Project 252,000/445,000
• 10 News First 324,000
• The Drum 167,000
• SBS World News 123,000
• Sunrise 279,000
• Today 179,000
Home and Away finished its week on 513,000 after three nights on 627,000, 570,000 and 562,000.
The movie Wonder Woman then did 317,000.
A Current Affair was on 639,000.
No Thursday episode of The Block this week. Instead RBT did 473,000.
Love Island Australia then did 228,000.
The Project dropped from 487,000 on Wednesday to 445,000 last night.
The Bachelorette was a touch under 700,000 followed by a strong episode of Gogglebox with 794,000, ranking it #2 for the night, behind only Seven News.
After a week off, Escape From The City returned with 403,000.
An episode of Vera followed with 299,000.
Ainsley’s Australian Market Menu was the channel’s best with episode two on 170,000.
Monty Don’s Paradise Garden followed with 120,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.0%||7TWO||4.3%||GO!||2.7%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||2.8%||GEM||2.7%||10 Peach||2.3%||Food Net||1.3%|
|7Food||0.9%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.5%||7TWO||7.3%||GO!||2.8%||WIN Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||1.6%||7mate||3.8%||GEM||4.5%||WIN Peach||1.7%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||1.1%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.8%||9Life||2.6%||Sky News on WIN||1.7%||NITV||0.2%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.5%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
MediaWorks has announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Auckland property which includes its television head office and studios.
The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS.
The Flower Street property in Auckland will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.
MediaWorks chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment.
“The ongoing success of our radio business and recent merger with QMS demonstrates that MediaWorks has a very bright future. We are in the fortunate position of having two very strong growth platforms in radio and outdoor that deliver both revenue and margin growth. Our focus now is to accelerate the opportunities that exist for those platforms.
“We are in a commercial environment and have to face commercial realities. The market that free-to-air television operates in is tough and has been exacerbated this year. This is reflected in the performance of all free-to-air television operators in New Zealand, not just us. Clearly the market – alongside the structural hindrances we operate under – has a larger impact on Three given its genuine commercial imperative.”
MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson said: “We are very pleased with the progress that Three has made over the past five years. This year we have had record ratings and revenue share highs and we are very proud of our stellar local content.
“The role Three plays in New Zealand society is significant, from Newshub through to investment in local comedy and drama. We believe MediaWorks TV is now in a place where it can be separated from the radio and outdoor business to be operated under a new owner in a more sustainable fashion – and, ultimately, for profit.”
Two months after Kerry Stokes liberated him from the top job at Seven West Media, Tim Worner is a favourite to win the Melbourne Cup, reports The Australian’s Margin Call.
The serious, and seriously expensive, tilt at the race that stops the nation is Worner’s first commercial venture since he was swiftly removed from the top job at billionaire Stokes’ Seven West in August.
Margin Call can reveal Worner was a member of the wealthy syndicate that paid nearly $1.6m for fancied Irish horse Constantinople in September.
Word is that Worner – whose purchase was clearly aimed at winning the Melbourne Cup — thinks the three-year-old, David Hayes-trained horse is the best thing to happen to him since the creation of My Kitchen Rules.
Nine, Seven West Media, Network Ten, Foxtel and SBS have put traditional rivalries aside to develop a new joint platform which will allow media agencies to buy advertising across commercial television in one place, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
The five companies have committed to building a demand-side trading platform for big media groups and independent agencies. They have commenced due diligence to scope out a technical supplier with the expectation it will be ready for use by April 2021.
Nine chief sales officer Michael Stephenson said the introduction of Virtual Oz, a new integrated database combining linear TV with live streaming and catch-up on all devices which will be available early 2020, was the starting point.
“For agencies to be able to buy those audiences, it’s really important they have a leading piece of ad tech,” he said.
Seven chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said the industry has been talking about a combined trading platform for a long time. When combined with Virtual Oz, he believes it will make a big difference to buying and planning television.
“One of the absolute needs is an industry platform that uses Virtual Oz in the way it can be used. We need to make it easy.”
Rod Prosser, Network 10’s chief sales officer, said Virtual Oz will be a reset moment for TV.
“As part of this reset, we’re excited to be uniting as an industry to make it easier to buy across TV. The single trading platform will utilise best-in-class technology and we’ll reveal more on this soon.”
Stranger Things helped propel Netflix to a strong summer, but there could be headwinds for the company going forward, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The streaming giant, which now has 158 million total subscribers, on Wednesday reported that it added nearly 6.8 million members during the third quarter, 520,000 in the U.S. and 6.3 million abroad. That’s just slightly less than the 7 million subscribers that Netflix earlier forecast it would add during the three months from July to September. Wall Street was also looking for about 7 million total subscriber additions, 800,000 subscriber additions in the U.S. and 6 million internationally. Though the U.S. is becoming a softer market for the streamer as it reaches market saturation, the news was received positively and sent shares up Wednesday, where they peaked at around 10 percent.
“As we’ve improved the variety, diversity and quality of our content slate, member engagement has grown, revenue has increased, and we’re able to further fund our content investment,” reads Netflix’s quarterly letter to shareholders.
The disclosure marked a recovery for the Reed Hastings-led company after a second quarter in which it lost 130,000 subscribers in the U.S. and missed its 5 million target by 2.3 million. At the time, Netflix blamed the soft quarter on both a recent price increase and on its content slate, which lacked a Stranger Things-sized debut, and the news caused its stock to plunge more than 10 percent. Shares have been trading down around 20 percent since July’s financial disclosure.
Going forward, Netflix will start reporting membership guidance for its global audience instead of breaking it into U.S. and international reporting segments. “As we self-produce and license more original content that has global rights, we are finding U.S. vs. international segment contribution margin reporting is becoming less useful internally,” the company said.
Seven Studios, the content production division of Seven West Media, has been awarded the Premier’s New South Wales Export Award for Creative Industries.
The Award acknowledges outstanding international success across all creative industries, including music and performing arts, film, television and radio, software and interactive content such as VR and AR, writing, publishing and print media, architecture and design, and visual arts.
Therese Hegarty, CEO of Seven Studios, said: “With our productions reaching over 190 countries globally across broadcast and streaming platforms, Seven Studios has established itself as a truly global player. This award coincides with Seven Studios furthering its international presence at MIPCOM 2019 in Cannes, France, selling our productions to a global audience.
“The Premier’s New South Wales Export Award for Creative Industries is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the Seven Studios team. From writers, producers, directors and crew, as well as the world-renowned Australian stars that features in our productions, Australia has the very best talent in the world, and this award demonstrates that.
“Seven Studios is thrilled to be recognised with this prestigious award, and we celebrate with our team both in Australia and abroad that have made this possible.”
As an award winner, Seven Studios automatically progresses as national finalists to the Australian Export Awards. The Australian Export Awards is a national program where industry winners from all states and territories compete for an Australian industry award, including the coveted Australian Exporter of the Year.
Stan has announced that all eight episodes of the third season of the US adaptation of its original comedy series No Activity will be available to stream from Thursday, 21 November.
Following last season’s disastrous bust gone wrong, season three finds detectives Nick Cullen and Judd Tolbeck back in uniform with a revolving door of quirky new partners and even quirkier criminals, while robots edge in on Janice and Fatima in dispatch.
Co-developer, executive producer, writer and star Patrick Brammall will reprise his role as Detective Nick Cullen, a low-level cop who has spent far too much time in a car with his partner, Detective Judd Tolbeck.
Among the new guest stars this season are Beth Behrs (The Neighbourhood), Joe Keery (Stranger Things), Keegan-Michael Key (Dolemite Is My Name), Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story) and Paula Pell (Stan’s A.P. Bio). They will be joined by returning guest stars including Sunita Mani (Glow) as dispatch operator Fatima, Jason Mantzoukas (Big Mouth) as an undercover FBI agent, Amy Sedaris (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) as dispatch’s mother hen, Janice, and Academy Award-winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Leon, the internal affairs investigator with a fondness for deep sea fishing.
No Activity is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Funny Or Die, Jungle, and Gary Sanchez Productions, and is based on the Stan Original Series produced by Jungle. The series is co-developed and executive produced by Trent O’Donnell and Patrick Brammall, alongside executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Joe Farrell, Mike Farah, Joe Hardesty and Jason Burrows. Nina Pedrad serves as co-executive producer. As in previous seasons, Trent O’Donnell will direct all episodes.
George Calombaris has paid tribute to his “superwoman” wife Natalie and family as he returns to the kitchen following a “brutal” period in his life, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.
Calombaris said Natalie, the mother of their two children, had been his rock of support through recent tough times when he was fined for underpaying staff and exited MasterChef after 11 years.
“That girl is an absolute fricken superwoman,’’ Calombaris said.
“You say you love someone and that’s all good and well, but what she’s done the last six months … I’ve kept it together with incredible humans around me. They’ve had to go through all of my pain.”
Calombaris, who this week launched his new book, Just George, isn’t sure what the future holds.
While rumours swirl that his former MasterChef cohorts Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan are being courted by Channel 7, Calombaris said he was focused on working at Hellenic Republic in Brighton.
Kyle and Jackie O negotiated their new ARN contracts separately and have parity when it comes to their base salaries, reports News Corp’s Andrew Bucklow.
However it’s understood both hosts negotiated individual allowances linked to survey and revenue performance.
Speaking to news.com.au after the announcement, Kyle was uncharacteristically coy about his huge pay day, saying, “I don’t discuss the absurd amount of money I get given to do something I love”.
“Don’t get me wrong, the money’s fantastic, but what really counts for me is the acknowledgment that what Jackie and I have created is one of the most successful shows on earth,” he said.
“There is no secret to the show’s success,” Kyle told news.com.au. “Ultimately it’s genuine chemistry. I love working with Jackie and that simply can’t be created; it’s either there or it’s not.
“A lot of other stations throw strangers together and scratch their heads when it fails miserably. Radio’s actually really easy, it’s just bad programmers that make it unnecessarily difficult.”
The winds of change are blowing through Footy Classified with Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd departing the Channel 9 show, reports News Corp’s Scott Gullan.
That’s unlikely to be the only change with a major revamp planned for 2020 including extra shows and new hosts.
After a tumultuous season in the hot seat where he struggled to combine it with his role as Carlton’s football director, Judd decided to walk away after the final show of the season last month.
The question now is whether Judd will be the only major change from the line-up?
Original host Craig Hutchison’s business commitments continue to expand while Caroline Wilson has also been on the show since its inception in 2007.
Eddie McGuire’s JAM TV produces the Monday night show and is looking to shake it up with an increase to at least two nights a week on the agenda for next year.