Welcome to the first Mediaweek Industry Awards that give our readers a voice to celebrate the best of the year.
The Mediaweek team has selected nominations in some categories, while readers can vote for anything eligible in other categories.
Our nominations have tended to go for major productions or companies. The nominations in the various categories aren’t exhaustive and there are some omissions. In radio we have stayed with commercial radio because that is our focus at Mediaweek. We don’t completely ignore ABC radio, but it is not our speciality.
In TV, ABC programs are eligible because many of them are made by outside companies, whereas ABC Radio is largely an internal operation. We started rather late planning this year. Next year we anticipate there could be more categories depending on reader feedback.
Fairfax Media shares shall cease trading on today, November 28.
The chief executive of the two companies, which will trade as Nine Entertainment Co, Hugh Marks, has told staff:
“This remarkable merger draws together the quality, strengths, assets and reach of two of Australia’s most famous and successful brands to produce one business – which shapes as one of the largest and most diverse media organisations in the country.
“The scope of the opportunity is quite breathtaking. In addition to our existing television and digital businesses, Nine will include the iconic mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review and through the transaction we will also move to 100% ownership of subscription video platform Stan. The combined business will also have majority ownership of Domain (60%) and the Macquarie Media (54.5%).”
Marks said the merger was about strategy for the future together and it offers opportunities for all employees, clients and audiences.
He added the company was now planning for its first day of operation, Monday December 10.
“There is still much to do, and the teams at Nine and Fairfax have been working together with goodwill from both sides to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
“Over the next fortnight, we will be in a position to share the new organisational structure and impact on the key divisions of the business.”
Marks promised staff he would be communicating regularly over the transition to one company and Nine is offering staff access to online information about the merger.
Antony Catalano, who tried to delay the merger again in court, told The Australian shortly after the decision that he was disappointed, and is considering all his options.
“I believed and continue to believe that at current share prices Fairfax shareholders were entitled to a better deal,” Catalano said.
“I have put my arguments to the court but I have not been successful. I respect the court’s decision and am unlikely to appeal but I will reserve my rights until my legal team has had a chance to review Her Honour’s written decision.”
That decision is to be handed down by Justice Jacqueline Gleeson in the next few days.
The producers call it Australia’s answer to HBO’s Girls – the web series Dee-Brief.
A new deal between the series’ indie filmmakers sees Dee-Brief coming to 10 Peach and 10 Play on December 7.
Set in inner-city Melbourne, Dee-Brief is being branded as the classic love story of our time, one focussed on female best-friendship.
Dee-Brief follows the story of Dee (Alexandra Hines) and Kate (Chloe Martin), two best friends who move in together after Dee ends a long-term relationship.
Based on real life events and stories (with a little bit of artistic licence), Dee-Brief explores life for modern-day women in an honest and unapologetic way.
Produced by indie filmmakers Jessica Pearce and Sarah Hickey (Monster & Bear), Dee-Brief launched mid-2018 as a web series.
The trailer hit 20,000 views within a matter of hours, which indicated how hungry Australia is for intelligent female-lead content.
“Dee-Brief tells the ultimate universal female story. Girl breaks up with long-term partner in her late 20s, moves in with best friend and needs to work out who she is all over again,” said co-writer/director Sarah Hickey. “Yet we are telling it through a different lens. The show is guided improvisation that feels so funny because it is real – comedy that makes you laugh or smile because it makes you say: ‘Oh yes. We’ve all been there before.’
“This is a big step for independent web series creators,” said Jessica Pearce. “As the Australian scene for female filmmakers opens, so does the opportunity to make quality TV at an independent level.”
For the SVOD audience, 10 Play will also host exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, interviews and featurettes for those who want a little bit more.
The show has fielded interest from production companies across Australia. Pearce and Hickey are currently working with CJZ (The Ex-PM, Gruen, House of Hancock, Go Back To Where You Came From) developing Dee-Brief season two.
For the fourth and final Red Room ARIA Week show, the brand returned to inner-city Sydney hotel The Lansdowne, which hosted three of the four gigs.
It was also the final Red Room event of the year – a year that saw the Nova Entertainment brand running 40 separate Red Room events, 41 if we include the memorable smoothfm Michael Bublé show last month.
The highlight of the week of shows was the intimate venue giving fans the chance to get up close to the stars. That was part of the attraction last night too with what was arguably the hottest property of the local-based artists – Vance Joy. His fans entered the venue in a rush when the doors opened and then staked out their positions at the front of the small stage. Then they filmed every moment of the show, making it at times difficult to see what was happening through the sea of phone screens!
Smallzy again took to the stage at the start and the end of the set to introduce the Red Room artist. He wished Vance Joy luck with his three ARIA Award nominations for tonight. The venue is not far from the Nova Sydney studios and the evening radio ratings machine was soon back on air, interviewing Rita Ora and giving away cash to listeners.
Liberation Records artist Joy started the set with Georgia, a single from 2015 and a track from his first album Dream Your Life Away.
Next followed, a song from his second album Nation Of Two.
Joy then described how he went over to LA to do some co-writing, and he started mumbling words to a beat he made up. The co-writers loved where it was going and it ended up becoming the hit song The Fire and The Flood from his first album.
Joy was having quite the chat with the audience, next talking about what motivated Saturday Sun.
The guitar changes were coming thick and fast and he next chose his ukulele to begin playing Riptide, with the crowd singing along to each word and swaying with the beat, while being careful to hold their cameras steady.
(After the gig, Smallzy told Joy it was the most guitar changes ever at a Red Room gig.)
One last guitar change and Joy belted out his hit single Lay It On Me, which is up for an award for Apple Music Song Of The Year at the ARIAs tonight.
Flying the flag for Nova Entertainment last night was the program director for the Sydney and Adelaide stations Ben Latimer. He was joined by Stephanie Loupelis, head of commercial partnerships at Nova Entertainment.
Tuesday Red Room guests included Jaddan Comerford and Rachael Tulloch from Unified Music Group, plus Dan Baker, head of radio and streaming at the Mushroom Group.
And there was a special tribute to the team behind the 40 Red Rooms this year – the Music Marketing Department at Nova, led by director Claire Marshall, and her team of Danielle Kosoric, project manager and Briar Louise-Rose, coordinator.
Nova Red Room ARIA Week Show #1: Vera Blue at The Lansdowne
• The exclusive show attracted a mix of listeners and Nova staff, all eager to see Vera Blue in action.
Nova Red Room ARIA Week show #2: Amy Shark at The Lansdowne
• She managed to play two Red Rooms in 2018, both of them at The Lansdowne.
Nova Red Room ARIA Week show #3: Keith Urban
• A really intimate gig for just 20 lucky listeners!
• GQ a mix of celebrity and stories that really need to be championed
GQ Australia editor Michael Christensen said the 20th anniversary of the title in Australia was the perfect time to celebrate the past, the present and the future in one night at the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
“The 20 awards we handed out earlier this month were a real mix of up-and-comers and icons.”
This was Christensen’s first year running the awards. He was appointed to the role of editor at the time of the awards last year, but he has been with the title for some time.
“I have been with GQ since 2012, rising through the ranks. It still can happen,” he laughed.
A big challenge for any awards night with winners from around the world is attracting the talent to the event and on that score GQ Australia did very well this year. Among the guests at the Sydney event were supermodel Emily Ratajkowski and two overachieving Aussies now based in the US – Joel Edgerton and Naomi Watts.
But it is not all about celebrity. Christensen: “Part of what GQ needs to be is not just covering important figures in men’s lives. We also need to be battling the bigger issues as well. This year we had a really nice mix of celebrity and some of the stories that really need to be championed.”
One of the stories GQ helped champion this year was one of its award winners, Walk Free Foundation. Founded by father and daughter, Andrew and Grace Forrest, the foundation has global ambitions to stop modern slavery.
Christensen also noted the GQ brand attracted a good mix of international and Australian sporting greats this year at the awards. Winners ranged from the Australian Invictus Games Team to Kurt Fearnley and Ben Simmons to mixed martial arts fighter Robert Whittaker.
On winner who wasn’t able to make the event was the brand’s Woman of the Year, Elizabeth Debicki.
“Unfortunately she’s in what will be a very successful film directed by Steve McQueen – Widows. She had to attend the premiere in Los Angeles, but she sent us a great acceptance speech.
“We also had an International Woman of the Year as well, as we were rewarding a couple of more women than we have done in the past, which I think is important.”
International Woman of the Year was Emily Ratajkowski.
Australia celebrated its winners with three different covers of GQ Australia on sale this month.
Christensen noted print remains hugely important to the GQ Australia business model.
“We are a brand, but the brand has been built from the magazine upwards. We are now very much a multiplatform creator of content and we remain the leading men’s lifestyle title in Australia and in the world.
“It is very important to have the magazine to showcase all the stories we have and all the photo shoots we have done with all the stars.”
The good thing about being part of the Condé Nast stable is that the title can sometimes share photo shoots, which is what happened with the Woman of the Year. GQ Australia shared the Elizabeth Debicki photo shoot with Vogue Australia.
Helping facilitate that of course was Condé Nast Australia editorial director Edwina McCann, who overseas both titles.
In 2019 GQ Australia will publish six editions of the magazine. The magazine recently relaunched GQ Style, which Christensen said was part of the celebration of turning 20.
“It seemed the right time to bring back an even more fashion-forward title. That will publish again next year too.”
When it comes to the strongest covers of the past year, Christensen noted its Harry Styles cover was a major seller earlier in the year.
“We also had a very successful digital cover featuring Troye Sivan, which was hugely popular.
“We also had a good month recently with Chris Hemsworth, who guest-edited our November edition. It was nice to hear from him where the main focus wasn’t on his latest films.”
Foxtel has just unloaded its summer programming schedule that goes some way to explain exactly what subscribers get for their fees.
The summer schedule includes programming from Australia and around the world, from the best in sport, drama, lifestyle and entertainment as well as factual, news, kids and movies.
Foxtel’s executive director of television Brian Walsh said: “As the year winds down, Foxtel is taking it up a notch with a wide range of new and returning series across entertainment, factual and lifestyle available to watch and stream. Our movie lineup is always a huge hit over summer, and we have a great lineup of pop-up channels and blockbuster titles to look forward to. Viewers will also be treated to plenty of live sport, music specials and kids programming.
“Our On Demand offering also means there’s an abundance of must-watch content to catch up and discover over the summer break. With more than 1,000 movies to stream at any time and over 100 complete drama series at your fingertips, this summer is the perfect time for Foxtel.”
It wouldn’t be summer without cricket and Foxtel will be bringing viewers the biggest and best lineup of cricket ever offered in the one place and available in 4K.
Catch all the action from every home-soil Australian Test Match, the KFC Big Bash League and the One Day Internationals against India live in HD, 4K and ad break-free.
Other sporting events to watch out for include the NBA Boxing Day lineup and the AFC Asian Cup.
Headlining Foxtel’s drama schedule this summer are a number of new and exclusive dramas including the epic three-part drama series War of the Worlds, HBO’s Succession, teen drama Roswell, New Mexico and the Sky Italia Original The Miracle.
These new dramas will complement a strong lineup of returning series including True Detective S3, Mr Mercedes S2, Victoria S3 and Luther S5.
Foxtel will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of what has been hailed “the greatest television drama of all time” – The Sopranos – with every season available to stream On Demand in January.
Movie buffs are in for an unrivalled experience this summer with over 1,000 premium On Demand titles available to stream on Fox Flicks (iQ3 and iQ4 boxes) and 24 hour a day content across Foxtel’s linear movie channels.
Special movie events include Fox Flicks playlists Christmas is Coming and Merry Me, pop-up movie channels A Taste of India to celebrate India’s cricket tour of Australia, 12 Days of Christmas and Aussies in Film for Australia Day, plus special channel programming including Romance Advent Calendar and Disney Summer Favourites.
Foxtel Movies will also showcase the best of the AACTA Awards – which take place in December and this year marks the 60th Anniversary of AFI | AACTA – with a week of the best nominated and winning Australian titles including The Sapphires, Red Dog, The Water Diviner, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Muriel’s Wedding, Animal Kingdom, The Great Gatsby, Hacksaw Ridge and Mad Max.
There is a huge lineup of lifestyle and factual content, including new local crime series Ron Iddles: The Good Cop. This 6-part Foxtel Original series follows Ron Iddles, arguably the best homicide detective Australia has ever known, as he takes us behind the scenes of his most challenging murder cases. Foxtel will also premiere Bushfire Wars, a new local production that tells the story of the men and women who risk their lives fighting bushfires. The eight-part series is a world first as specially “fire-trained” camera crews go into the field alongside the firefighters to capture the action.
Entertainment is covered with returning favourites Top Chef, Vanderpump Rules and Million Dollar Listing LA sitting alongside new series Lindsay Lohan: Paradise Boss, spinoff series America’s Got Talent: Champions, and Game of Thrones fan show Thronecast: Gameshow of Thrones ahead of the eighth and final season of the global television phenomenon in 2019.
Foxtel is also the home of awards shows, bringing viewers live and exclusive coverage of the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards, the 24th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, all in January.
For complete coverage of all Foxtel summer programming also see:
• Foxtel’s epic summer schedule: Show by show – drama
• Foxtel epic summer schedule – entertainment
• Take Me Out & Good Doctor help Seven to narrow win
• 10’s Ambulance Australia wins timeslot with biggest audience
• Michael Portillo new episodes push SBS over 300,000
• Queen: Days Of Our Lives on air again, this time on Gem
By James Manning
The 7pm soap Home And Away started its week on 630,000 and was steady on 626,000 last night.
The final of Take Me Out seems to have finally screened some time since the series first launched. The final episode shouldn’t deliver its smallest audience ever, but it did – 394,000. The program was even out-rated by Family Food Fight. (Broadcasters haven’t been saving their best for the last week of survey.)
The Good Doctor then managed to build the audience to 586,000 after a poor lead-in.
A Current Affair went from 767,000 on Monday to 721,000 last night, which was still enough to win the slot. One of the stories last night uncovered mums crashing the schoolies celebrations in Bali.
We were a little premature farewelling Family Food Fight yesterday – seems there is still a bit more to go. Last night the program did 405,000, narrowly out-rating the final of Take Me Out.
Two Big Bang Theory episodes followed with 429,000 for the new ep and 356,000 for the repeat.
Two Kath & Kim episodes screened later with audiences of 226,000 and 190,000.
Powering the Nine multichannel Gem last night was yet another screening of the brilliant doco Queen: Days Of Our Lives which is still a great watch the third time around! The audience watching the close to three-hour event was 107,000.
The Project started the week with a Monday audience of 414,000, which became a Tuesday crowd of 423,000. Guests included surfing superstar Stephanie Gilmour and frequent Australian visitor Billy Bragg.
Ambulance Australia set a new series high of 652,000 after 560,000 a week go. The episode easily won its timeslot and was #1 in all key demos and was #1 entertainment show and #1 after 7.30pm.
Three hours of US crime drama followed with FBI on 313,000, then two episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles did 219,000 followed by the repeat on 123,000.
Simply Nigella did 332,000 at 8pm.
Part one of the three-part My Family And The Galapagos did 345,000.
Gatwick: The Last Chance Hotel did 317,000, a fair bit lower than the season final of The Block at the Gatwick, an episode where the Gatwick owners bought one of the renovated units in the historical building.
Great American Railroad Journeys returned to the schedule with 302,000 at 7.30pm. Michael Portillo was on the rails between Reno and the Napa Valley with the first two episodes of the second half of season three.
|ABC 2||2.7%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||4.1%||10 Boss||3.6%||VICELAND||1.7%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||4.0%||GEM||3.7%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||1.5%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||1.1%||7mate||6.20%||GEM||5.2%||ELEVEN||2.1%||Food Net||1.5%|
|ABC NEWS||1.9%||7flix||0.90%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||0.9%||NITV||0.1%|
|TUESDAY 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
For many, the media business is different, even special. But the merger of television pioneer Nine Entertainment and the 177-year-old Fairfax Media newspaper empire approved yesterday by the Federal Court is basically the triumph of technological change over politicians’ attempts to curb the power of the media.
The marriage of the old houses of the Packers and the Fairfaxes, or something like it, was bound to happen after federal parliament last year removed pre-internet era restrictions on who could own what technologies for delivering news and information.
The merged Nine-Fairfax promises to deliver the scale and scope needed to compete in the ultra-competitive digital world. The reach of its Nine television network and its Fairfax print and digital mastheads will be directed at driving new business to Domain and its joint venture streaming venture, Stan, which is helping to disrupt News Corp’s struggling cable TV business Foxtel.
The Financial Review‘s newsroom culture and journalistic capability has survived the most disorienting period of digital disruption well enough to yield greater commercial value by servicing its target audience and serving its higher purpose of promoting a more prosperous Australia.
We will now have five major media groups in Australia – with very different structures to each other, and also very different to the old 20th century world of dominant and separate print and FTA TV groups, writes News Corp columnist Terry McCrann.
The new Nine-Fairfax is similar but still significantly different to Kerry Stokes’s media grouping around the Seven Network.
The “similarity” bit does not bode well for the new group. That’s the mix of FTA TV and mainstream print.
Stokes has not only got it in Perth – with Seven and the old WA Newspaper group – but he has total dominance in that city, given the historical and continuing domination of Seven Perth, irrespective of who’s winning the Nine-Seven network war nationally.
Yet despite that, it has not proved a money-spinner either for the Seven company or its shareholders, who came from the separate Seven and WA Newspaper companies – just like is happening with the Fairfax and Nine shareholders.
The significant difference is that Nine-Fairfax will have the Stan streaming arm (100%) and the partly majority owned Domain – neither of which Seven has.
Disgraced former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley has told close colleagues he will abandon a threat to sue journalist Ashleigh Raper and the ABC over her allegations he sexually harassed her at a 2016 Christmas function, an allegation that led to his resignation this month, reports The Australian’s Andrew Clennell.
Foley is expected to put out a statement by the end of the year confirming he is abandoning the threat to sue.
Labor focus groups have detected disgust from voters in recent weeks at the way Foley handled his sexual harassment scandal, hurting the Labor brand.
Fox Nation, the subscription-only streaming service – think Netflix for conservatives – has launched and it ushers the cable news business into a brave, uncertain new era, reports The New York Times.
For US$5.99 a month, viewers can purchase on-demand access to live political commentary and hundreds of hours of original programming from familiar Fox News faces.
Another “Fox & Friend,” Brian Kilmeade, has a history show called What Made America Great. Maria Bartiromo interviews Eric Trump for The First Family. Borked covers the 1987 Supreme Court non-confirmation of Robert H. Bork.
True-crime enthusiasts can opt for The Fuhrman Diaries, in which famous cases are examined by Mark Fuhrman, the former Los Angeles police detective who was revealed as a racist during the O. J. Simpson trial.
Fox Nation may be the id of Fox News, but it is also a potentially shrewd bet for the Murdoch family, which is testing the digital waters ahead of news rivals CNN and MSNBC.
Crocs, UFOs and the weird and wacky have been immortalised in the NT News’ second book of front pages, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Croc.
The book features the front pages that have made headlines in their own right around the country and the world.
The new book is a sequel to the sellout book, What a Croc.
NT News editor Matt Williams said the new book would be a wonderful Christmas gift. “There’s some cracking front page headlines in there and this time around it’s a bit different because people can read the stories behind the headlines,” he said.
“If you want to make someone’s Christmas, you simply have to buy this book!”
Publishers Hachette Australia said the book celebrated all that is good about the Territory’s newspaper.
If you don’t live in paradise and want to get your hands on the book you can purchase it online at ntnews.com.au/crocbook2
The New York-based publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ issued this statement overnight:
To realise the full potential of Condé Nast – for our audiences and our business partners – the time is right for the US and International companies to truly function as one company.
We’ve launched a search for a CEO with global experience to run Condé Nast.
Once this CEO is hired, Jonathan Newhouse will become chairman of the board of directors and will relinquish his position as CEO of Condé Nast International.
Bob Sauerberg will continue as CEO of Condé Nast/US until the transition is completed, and then will leave to pursue other opportunities. Other members of the senior operating management teams, including Wolfgang Blau as president of the international division, will remain in their positions.
Operating as one global company will only help us realise our ambition to deliver the highest quality journalism, experiences and value to our audiences, advertisers and partners. It will also create new opportunities to enhance the collaboration among colleagues around the world.
During the transition, it will be business as usual and we will continue to pursue our strategic plans and growth initiatives.
It has been a huge year for our Aussie artists at home and across the globe, with the likes of Troye Sivan, 5 Seconds of Summer and Amy Shark leading the way.
Now they’re all back in town and ready to let their hair down at Australia’s music night of nights. Even though it looks set to be a very wet red carpet, here is why this will be the best ARIAs ever, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.
It is all about Aussies smashing the charts here and overseas, across multiple genres — Troye Sivan, 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Courtney Barnett, Tash Sultana and Dean Lewis to name just some.
“Aussie artists are dominating both here and around the world,” ARIA chief executive Dan Rosen told Moran.
“It is wonderful that they are all back in town for the ARIAs.”
Women dominate the nominations with Amy Shark and Courtney Barnett in the lead.
“Women are killing it and the ARIAs reflect that. It is wonderful to see,” Rosen said.
Stephen Hillenburg, whose daffy animated SpongeBob SquarePants became an international hit, has died aged 57, reports AP.
Nickelodeon says Hillenburg died on Monday of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Hillenburg conceived, wrote, produced and directed the animated series that began in 1999 and went on to spawn hundreds of episodes, movies and a Broadway show.
“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS,” Nickelodeon said in a statement. “He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humour and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination.”
The first episode of SpongeBob SquarePants aired on Nickelodeon in the US on May 1, 1999 and 250 episodes have aired to date.
“There were days when I was worried about coming to set, with a real heaviness in my heart. Because the set has been me and Craig for six years,” actress Nadine Garner tells TV Tonight.
“But with the pace of the show and the way we are shooting, I haven’t had time, which has been really good.
“The grief that we have about losing (The Doctor Blake Mysteries) has been woven into this new story, because the character is grieving too. So we get to play that.
“Art imitating life…”
Garner is talking in between filming scenes of The Blake Mysteries, Seven’s phoenix-like attempt to continue the world of The Doctor Blake Mysteries following the absence of star Craig McLachlan.
Seven announced its plans for four telemovies in late 2017, but a lot has changed since then. Now it is only committed for one telemovie as it waits to see how audiences warm to the idea of Jean Blake, housekeeper-turned-wife, catapulted into the lead role. It is a move in circumstances nobody has welcomed, but seen as a progression to continue the show.
Telstra is adding Foxtel’s sports-streaming service, Kayo Sports, to its broader content portfolio with the telco saying the app will complement rather than detract from the sporting content it already provides, reports The Australian’s Supratim Adhikari.
Telstra, the exclusive partner of Kayo, already streams AFL, NRL, netball and A-League soccer to its customers. The telco’s consumer and small business group executive, Michael Ackland, told The Australian he did not expect Kayo to steal viewers from the telco. According to Ackland, the main difference is price, with Telstra customers accessing the content through the telco’s Live Pass apps for free.
“We offer these services to our customers free of charge. Where Kayo fits in is that it offers our customers access to more than 50 sports and a bunch of other viewer experiences — our focus is making sure our customers get access to as much content as possible.”
Kayo, owned by News Corp, starts at $25 a month with no lock-in contracts and will be billed as a separate item for Telstra customers as part of their monthly package.