Roundup: Sunrise’s big move, Snap, Changes at ABC Radio Melbourne


Google tests AI tool, TikTok, Kyle Sandilands, Lego Masters

Business of Media

Snap’s push to tempt creators seems to be working

Snap’s efforts to lure creators and their followers back to its platform show early signs of traction, enticing popular internet personalities with a slice of the ad revenue their content generates, report The Australian’s Lindsey Choo and Megan Bobrowsky.

The company behind the social media app Snapchat – which previously lost creators after cutting a big payout program – started testing a new program last year that allows participants to earn a portion of revenue from the ads shown between their posts.

The new revenue-sharing incentive, called the Snap Star program, opened up to all eligible users in April and has several thousand creators in it.

The program is part of a broader effort to reverse Snap’s declining sales. The company, led by chief executive Evan Spiegel, has been hurt by declining user engagement and a weakened advertising business caused in part by Apple privacy policy changes that have made it harder to track the performance of some ad campaigns. Snap’s stock has fallen almost 23 per cent over the past year.

A Snap spokeswoman declined to say how much money has been doled out to creators in the program or how much of the ad revenue goes to the creator, except that it is competitive with other platforms.

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Google tests AI tool that is able to write news articles

Google is testing a product that uses artificial intelligence technology to produce news stories, pitching it to news organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal’s owner, News Corp, according to three people familiar with the matter, report The New York Times’ Benjamin Mullin and Nico Grant.

The tool, known internally by the working title Genesis, can take in information — details of current events, for example — and generate news content, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the product.

One of the three people familiar with the product said that Google believed it could serve as a kind of personal assistant for journalists, automating some tasks to free up time for others, and that the company saw it as responsible technology that could help steer the publishing industry away from the pitfalls of generative AI.

Some executives who saw Google’s pitch described it as unsettling, asking not to be identified discussing a confidential matter. Two people said it seemed to take for granted the effort that went into producing accurate and artful news stories.

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TikTok is the most popular news source for 12 to 15-year-olds, says Ofcom

TikTok has become the most popular news source for 12 to 15-year-olds, according to the UK’s communications watchdog, reports The Guardian’s Hibaq Farah.

Ofcom’s latest report on news consumption in the UK has revealed that the viral video app is now the most used single source of news across all platforms for young teenagers, followed by YouTube and Instagram.

TikTok’s popularity is driven by a powerful algorithm which curates what people see on their screen, as well as an effective search function that has made the app a captivating platform for young – as well as older – users.

The study found that for children aged 12-15, TikTok is now the most used single source of news across all platforms at 28%, followed by YouTube and Instagram at 25% each. However, the BBC still has the highest reach of any news organisation among this age group when all its news outlets – across BBC iPlayer, radio stations, websites and TV channels – are counted, at 39%.

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Jacinta Parsons stepping back from ABC Radio Melbourne’s Afternoons program

ABC Radio Melbourne’s Afternoons presenter Jacinta Parsons has announced that she will be stepping back from the show from next week, reports the ABC.

Parsons told her audience at the start of her show yesterday afternoon that she had made the decision so she could focus on her responsibilities outside the ABC.

Her last Afternoons broadcast will be next Thursday, July 27.

But Parsons will continue to co-host the Friday Revue with Brian Nankervis from 12.30pm to 3.30pm at the end of each working week.

“Like so many, my life has gone through some changes over the past couple of months, which has meant I’ve had to make some changes to the way I can work,” Parsons said.

“I’m desperately sad to say I’m needing to scale back from the Afternoons show so I can keep up with my other responsibilities.

“I’m grateful to the ABC for their support and very excited to say that I’m not leaving entirely and will continue to join Brian Nankervis every single Friday for the Friday Revue.”

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Kyle Sandilands censored during heated argument on air about Indigenous Australians

Kyle Sandilands was censored on air yesterday morning during a heated debate about Indigenous Australians, reports News Corp’s Christine Estera.

The shock jock clashed with The Kyle & Jackie O Show newsreader Brooklyn Ross when discussing the Indigenous Voice to parliament – a proposed body comprising of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who can advise the Australian government on matters relating to the social, spiritual and economic wellbeing of their people.

Lengthy portions of Sandilands’ rant were censored but the following arguments made the airwaves.

“We have to actually give [Indigenous Australians] money and look after them,” said Ross to which Sandilands replied: “Nah, bulls**t!”

“How about educating people and giving people the chance to build their own life like the rest of us did?” he suggested.

Sandilands is staunchly against the initiative as he doesn’t believe a reported $34 billion in funds should be allocated to Indigenous Australians as the money wasn’t having a positive effect.

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Sunrise set for new dawn

Sunrise will have its final broadcast from its Martin Place studio on Friday, ending a 19 year run in the Sydney CBD, reports TV Tonight.

Hosting are Matt Shirvington and Monique Wright, doubtless leaving Mark Beretta as the ‘last man standing’ for the final day of broadcast, given Natalie Barr is on holiday and David Koch recently bowed out (Edwina Bartholomew joined in 2011 and Sam Mac in 2016).

Also farewelling the space is The Morning Show with Larry Emdur & Kylie Gillies closing a chapter on 16 years sharing the studio space, every one of them a ratings win.

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Auditions open for Lego Masters S6

Endemol Shine Australia is casting for Season 6 of Lego Masters for Nine, returning to new contestants after its Grand Masters seasons, reports TV Tonight.

Passionate Lego builders, of all backgrounds, from locations around Australia can apply.

Gold Logie nominee Hamish Blake returns as host alongside resident judge Ryan “Brickman” McNaught.

“Do you have what it takes to build for glory in the biggest battle of bricks Australia has ever seen? We are on the hunt for the most talented and passionate Lego builders in the country to take part in season 6,” a casting notice asks.

“You can team up with a friend, partner, colleague, child, parent/guardian or any relative. If you do not have a team mate but still share a love and passion for Lego, you can still apply below.”

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