Nine Upfront explained – Chief sales officer Michael Stephenson

• Superbrands on radio, 9Now better than social video, Olympic alternative

By James Manning

Without any major new programming announcements, Nine’s chief sales officer Michael Stephenson was able to tell buyers and marketers exactly what they would be getting next year with their Nine investment.

Stephenson also took the opportunity to update on the completed Fairfax integration.

Here he talks to Mediaweek about the 2020 advertising opportunities.

Nine’s portfolio of Superbrands

The merger of the Fairfax assets has given Nine access to an amazing group of brands – not just The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review – but household brands like Drive, Traveller, Good Weekend, Domain and Sunday Life. People have engaged with their content in our newspapers for many, many years and they all have amazing digital homes.

Now as part of the Nine family they are now finding a home on television. That might be like Domain on a Saturday morning or Good Food which will be live in primetime later this year. Or the extension of Good Weekend and Sunday Life into the Today show.

If there is an advertiser interested in the automotive category or consumers who are in that funnel, we have a solution. If they into food or property we have a solution, as we do for travel and lifestyle.

There is also now an opportunity to extend those brands into radio with Macquarie.

While we have amazing brands that exist on television and are amplified through digital and print, the Superbrands are beginning in print and then amplified across the rest of our business.

No one else can do that except Nine.

9 Now a better place than social video

I am passionate about the power of linear television and BVOD working in combination to deliver real sales outcomes for advertisers. It has been proven it delivers better outcomes.

Over the past five years $700m has moved out of the television market into the social video market. We have the ability to measure incremental reach through TV and BVOD with the VOZ database that is coming. There is further investment from Nine in content that is specific for that platform as we transition from a catchup service into an on demand platform in its own right, which is massively important for our company.

The world is becoming more and more addressable and 9Now is the vehicle to allow us to enable that for advertisers.

Data unification across merged business

We now have 11m deduplicated signed in users and subscribers across the merged business. It was one of the first projects we went with after the merger because we knew how important it was creating the addressable market. The project is complete and we have the ability internally to use that data to better inform some of the content decisions we might make, but at the same time for all of the people who will be at our Upfronts they have the opportunity to use that data to target more effectively.

Not just across 9Now, but across our broader digital ecosystem. It is one of Australia’s largest data assets and it will continue to grow as 9Now users continue to grow.

See also:

Watch the Mediaweek interviews with Nine’s Michael Stephenson and Hamish Turner on TickerTV.

Channel Nine Upfronts – what to expect next year

Mediaweek on Ticker – The Channel Nine Upfronts. James Manning speaks with Nine's head of programming and sales. Mediaweek Ticker Channel 9

Posted by Ticker on Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Will dollars get sucked out of the market by the Olympic Games?

The Olympics are a great event and Seven will do a great job with it. The reality for us is next year we will spend $1b on creating local Australian content and what advertisers and agency visitors to the Upfront will see is the launch of Australia 2020.

That is the opportunity for advertisers – four partners – to advertise on all our major formats from the Australia Open into Married At First Sight, The Voice, Lego Masters, The Block, Love Island and the State of Origin amongst others. Powered will build big ideas for them. That will be 52 weeks of primetime coverage, not the 16 days of the Olympic Games.

For advertisers and sponsors who are not part of Australia 2020, but are advertising during the 16 days of the games, we will open up 9Galaxy for the very first time to our primetime inventory.

For any advertiser that invests with Nine over that period, every campaign will be fully automated and fully guaranteed.

[Stephenson explained the Australia 2020 investment for 52 weeks of the year will be a similar price point to what Seven is pricing an Olympic sponsorship.]

We already have a lot of people who are talking to us about this.

How will Nine finish the year?

I don’t think you need to use 9Predicts to work out the results. 2019 has been our greatest year ever. We have had a really clear strategy about creating the greatest content and distributing that content across every platform to engage our audiences and advertisers. We have also invested in data and technology.

We are #1 in every buying demographic that matters to advertisers and while we don’t focus on total people – we don’t program for it and don’t do anything with it – but we will win that as well I suspect. We will win under 50s and we will win over 50s. It’s been a great year for Nine and we offer consistency to advertisers that quite simply no one can deliver.

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