News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller is a special guest on the final Mediaweek program for 2018 on the Your Money channel today. Special starting time of 2pm. Here is a preview of some of what he has to say in the extended two-part interview.
The interview started with Miller commenting on the major breaking news of the week – the ACCS’s, digital platforms inquiry: “The ACCC has done a good job in understanding the issues, the next stage is deciding what can be done about it. The ACCC will ultimately be guided by what are the consumers needs and how are they being treated,” he said.
“Advertising is a part of the report, but also the sourcing of journalism. For those of us who are spending a lot of money in journalism, not being able to be renumerated for that investment is a concern.”
Talking about the acquisition of cricket broadcasting rights early in 2018 from Cricket Australia, Miller noted the impact across the group.
“We have the cricket on Foxtel and now Kayo. But we also have the digital rights which we share across the group. We are able to bookend our offering with AFL and cricket across the 12 months. The cricket is key to the rejuvenation of the Foxtel business. It is early days for the streaming service Kayo, but it has had a good start.”
Miller talked about how News Corp continues to pivot the business to be less reliant on advertising dollars. He said growing ad revenue continues to be a challenge. “But the recent data has shown there has been growth year-on-year for print. There has been a little move back to main media and print hasn’t been the only beneficiary of that. Marketers are considering trust to be a key attribute. Trust has been a theme of 2018 and it has played a part in swinging the pendulum back to main media, particularly news media.”
Later in the interview talk turned to the Nine-Fairfax merger, with Miller noting the two groups have much in common. The two companies are both partners and competitors. “Competition is healthy…and we like to win. It is good to have a competitor who does value journalism, which is good for all in the category. If we can manage to grow advertising, it won’t come at the cost of either of us, but will come from outside the category. They will be a formidable competitor, but we tell great stories and have journalists within our company.”