Roundup: Netflix releases first games, MTV Australia, Disney+, Sam Frost + More


• Nine NBN Newcastle, Val Morgan Digital, Lisa Wilkinson, and Neighbours

Business of Media

Disney+ beating out Amazon Prime in race to second place

Disney+ is inching ahead of rival Amazon Prime Video to claim the coveted position as Australia’s No. 2 streaming service, largely thanks to the choice to expand its content offering with the arrival of the Star brand in February, reports AFR’s Miranda Ward.

Australia had 19.4 million streaming subscriptions at the end of the third quarter, representing a household penetration of 60 per cent based on an average number of 3.5 streaming services per household, according to research from Media Partners Asia’s research platform, AMPD.

Australia’s subscription streaming market is maturing, says Media Partners Asia executive director Vivek Couto. The audience is evenly split between men and women, and the 35-49 age group accounts for 24 per cent of streaming users.

“When you’ve got a 60 per cent penetration and the market’s maturing, and you’ve got the potential of two other tier-one services launching in the next 12 to 18 months, aggregation is going to be important,” he said.

[Read More]

Nine NBN Newcastle gets ready to moves to its new home

NBN Newcastle is all set to move from Mosbri Crescent to its new HQ at Newcastle’s Honeysuckle Drive on Monday, November 8.

In a note to staff, Jenny Webber general manager at NBN said “The end of an era is certainly close, everything we have worked so hard to achieve at 28 honeysuckle is all coming together!  Rehearsals are going well, our new television station looks and feels amazing, there’s a real buzz happening. The “new” Nine NBN Newcastle is fast becoming a reality!”

Webber also shared a promo for a documentary called Goodbye Mosbri that will be airing across the Network. 

“Like me, anyone who has grown up watching NBN television, will enjoy the beautiful trip down memory lane in our Goodbye Mosbri documentary leading in to our final News broadcast from our much-loved Mosbri Crescent television station at 5:30pm on Sunday, November 7,” wrote Webber.

The Mosbri Crescent location was the centre of production for a variety of programs including Swallows Juniors, Saturday Date, Jackpot Quiz, Travlin’ Out West, Star Quest, Beating Around the Bush, Ask The Leyland Brothers, Poppa Ryan Breakfast Club, Romper Room, and Big Dog and Friends.

From its inception in 1962, NBN News has focused on covering all the triumphs and the tough times. Some of the big stories that NBN News covered over the decades include the Sygna Wreck, Star Hotel Riots, Newcastle Earthquake, Newcastle Knights Grand Finals and when the Pasha Bulka ran aground.

Val Morgan Digital announces eight new hires across commercial and editorial

Val Morgan Digital has expanded its commercial and editorial teams with several new hires covering its suite of brands: The Latch, PopSugar Australia, Thrillist Australia, and Fandom.

Over the last three months, eight new hires across Melbourne and Sydney have joined the team, each bringing unique and valuable experience.

“The calibre of the talent we’ve recruited is incredibly strong, with each new member bringing diverse knowledge and experience across TV, digital, print and radio” said Amanda Bardas (pictured), publisher at Val Morgan Digital

“We know that the key to a thriving business is the people. These exciting new hires are exactly what we needed to continue building Val Morgan Digital and executing on our big plans for 2022.”

Left to right: Alana Young, Allison Charles, Angela Law, Kevin Armendariz, Sangeeta Kocharekar

Since its inception, Val Morgan Digital’s presence has grown significantly across Melbourne where 20% of its editorial and commercial team members are based.

“One of our key objectives this year was to extensively broaden our presence both commercially and editorially across Melbourne, and through our new hires we’ve been able to achieve this goal.” adds Bardas.

[See the full list of hires here]


MTV Australia’s editor pens farewell for publication

In a post on the website yesterday, the sites editor Alice Griffin confirmed that the website would cease publication this coming Friday:

“After this week, will stop producing editorial, with publishing halting on the site from Friday afternoon. And as for me, I resigned from MTV two weeks ago – the timing felt right to start something new. So, yes, the stakes feel higher than ever to deliver you all with something worthy, a summation of the years of work that so many people have put in to bring this site to life. And after thinking about it long and hard (procrastinating by tidying my room, ordering a poke bowl, painting my nails, etc) I realised that I can’t. There’s just no way a page of words could ever do justice to my time here and to the people who have given this project their all. To the interviews we’ve had and the funny headlines we clapped ourselves on the back over. To the opinions we’ve shared that shifted how people consider the world around them – or at the very least, pissed some people off. (My dad still shakes his head, disappointed, when recalling our Love Actually takedown).

“We’ve found so many hills to die on. We’ve written about Paul Rudd’s aging face, Bridgerton’s mismanagement of race, the commercialisation of Pride, the fabled return of live music, the revival of pop-punk it couples and the ways in which living through a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic changed us forever.”

[Read the full article here]


Netflix’s gaming section launches globally with ‘Stranger Things’ titles

Netflix has released its first slate of mobile games to all subscribers worldwide on Android, Mike Verdu, Netflix’s vp game development, said on Tuesday, reports The Holly Wood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

The slate includes two Stranger Things titles — Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game — that were first launched on Android in Poland in August. Other mobile games available to subscribers are Shooting Hoops (Frosty Pop), Card Blast (Amuzo & Rogue Games) and Teeter Up (Frosty Pop).

Users who log on to their Netflix accounts on their mobile Android devices will see a dedicated games row where they can select games to download and play. The games will automatically switch to whichever language the user has set on their Netflix profile, though the language option will default to English if the desired language is not available yet.

[Read More]


Lisa Wilkinson ‘shocked’ at Karl Stefanovic’s marriage split

Former the Today show host Lisa Wilkinson has published details of the breakdown of the marriage of her one-time on-air ­partner Karl Stefanovic and his first wife Cassandra Thorburn, saying she was shocked when the pair separated, reports News Corp’s Sophie Elsworth.

In Wilkinson’s autobiography, which will is publicly released on Wednesday, The Project co-host writes that she was caught completely off-guard when Thorburn informed her via text in 2016 that Stefanovic had left the family home.

“They had just bought a waterfront property a month or two before, and he had just signed a massive deal with the network,” Wilkinson writes. “I presumed everything was great.”

[Read More]

Home and Away star Sam Frost backflips on Covid-19 vaccine

Home and Away star Sam Frost will now receive the Covid-19 vaccine after previously refusing to get the jab, reports News Corp’s Mibengé Nsenduluka.

The actor, who plays Jasmine Delaney on the Aussie soapie, confirmed she will temporarily depart the Channel 7 show until she is fully vaccinated in February, days after the Seven Network announced its vaccine mandate for all production staff.

“I’m not leaving Home & Away. I’ve got a medical procedure booked in for January. So I won’t be fully vaxxed until mid-late February,” Frost wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.

“I will be written out temporarily, Jazzy is going on an off-screen adventure for a few weeks … but I’ll be back [heart emoji].

“My bosses are amazing, we’ve been in open communication for months. Very grateful we are able to make a plan that works for everyone.”

The backflip comes after weeks of controversy after the former Bachelorette star initially said she would not get vaccinated.

[Read More]

Phoebe Roberts to join Neighbours

Lie with Me star Phoebe Roberts is joining Neighbours. She will play a character named Freya, according to the show’s official Twitter account, reports TV Tonight.

New 10 miniseries Lie with Me is also created by Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison.

Roberts has previously appeared in Nowhere Boys, Ja’mie Private School Girl, Glitch and Utopia.

She will appear in episodes in early 2022, and in Lie with Me tonight on 10.

[Read More]

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