The ambitious business news video platform Ticker, that Ahron Young launched earlier this year, has just released an app for iOS users.
The hours that Ticker broadcasts online from its Melbourne studio has grown quickly over that time. Among the newest programming is Mediaweek on Ticker, plus new daily lunchtime and early morning programs.
“We are excited to launch our new Ticker TV App on the Apple store, which delivers live programming, as well as catch up for our shows and interviews,” Young told Mediaweek.
“It allows casting on your Apple TV so you can catch Ticker wherever you are.”
Ticker TV is happy to sit in a couple of categories: “Ticker is a news and ‘business lifestyle’ channel – with fast paced business and tech news as well as programs focused on founders and doers,” said the journalist and bureau chief-turned TV mogul. “They say starting a business is a lifestyle choice, so I guess that makes us a lifestyle channel.”
The Ticker founder explained the business model: “We believe in what we are doing and believe in paid platforms. All the investors we spoke to in the beginning were worried about the idea of providing content for free. They begged us ‘don’t do it, or your business will be worth nothing’.
“If you look at FTA networks, they’re moving towards establishing paid platforms. The newspaper industry has been through it. We don’t charge much, but we believe our content should be worth something. Business news has always been the leader in paid platforms. From Reuters in the early days, to the Wall St Journal.”
Ticker doesn’t have ads breaks, but will integrate commercial opportunities in everything it does – from the morning newsletter, through to the studio plasma, to the coffee mugs on the desk, and of course the opening titles.
Young: “Program sponsors have their logo featured right through the program in our lower third graphics. So that allows us to focus not just on views, but also on engagement.
“If you see our content in your social media feed, even if you scroll past it, you’ll see the logo of the company that sponsors the show.”
Ticker TV will break commercial opportunities down to several streams said Young:
“Sponsors: From shows, to the app, to the newsletter, to the coffee mugs on the set! We make the sponsor logo part of the experience, from the opening titles, to the studio plasma, to the lower third graphics. So even if someone scrolls past it on their feed, they still see the sponsor logo. Each of our sponsors is somehow connected to their show. For example our brekky ticker is sponsored by Daytrade Scans, who provides our data, so you’d expect to see them there.
Corporate packages: Where we work with companies to get their message on Ticker. We can even do shows focusing on their product or cause, hosted by one of our presenters. We don’t sell our editorial beliefs though. We want the companies to have fun, and for the viewer to not feel like they’re being fed something, because that doesn’t work.
“Carriage agreements: As we increase our programming hours and shows, we will be appearing in a lot more places. Stay tuned!”
Ticker begins the day with a daily newsletter which drops at 7am. Next up is a show commuters can tune in to, Morning Express, on their iOS device.
“Morning Express is a fun and irreverent take on what you need to know, as well as interviews with business leaders and startup founders,” said Young. “Then at midday every weekday, we bring viewers Lunchtime Express while they’re on their lunch break.”
Young has been keeping a frantic pace since he left Sky News Australia and launched Ticker. Has he been overwhelmed about the task ahead?
“I haven’t really had time to think about that! Business is dynamic and TV takes the word dynamic to a new level. The biggest task has been automating our processes as much as we can. We have 20 guests a day, so coming up with a way to handle that process, through to our graphics and studio control. Everything is a process and my job has been to make it simple for everyone.”
Ahron Young’s daily diary
A typical day for me starts at 5am, I head into the studio and start producing Morning Express. We go live at 8am, then at 9am we cut it all up to go on socials.
From 10 I go into meetings with new hosts or commercial partners, then at 11am we produce one of our daily feature programs. At midday I cohost Lunchtime Express. Then we produce a topical show at 1pm. By about 2pm, I carry on with meetings and then when I get home I usually go for a bike ride to wind down, before sitting down to plan the new shows we have coming on board, from designing opening titles and plasmas to training the hosts how to present. Let me say that choosing 10 second theme music takes way longer than it should!
Eventually of course, I’ll replace myself with hosts and designers. But I really love doing a bit of everything.
We choose experts in their field to be hosts, who are confident in what they are saying, and then I just help them out with the TV stuff, like timing and presenting naturally.
Over recent weeks we have launched a bunch of new shows, including Innovate Today, Mediaweek on Ticker, She’s The Boss, Remarkable Influencers, Not For The Average, Ticker Music, Handle Your Own PR and 30 Life Crisis. In coming weeks we have more programs coming on board, including Ticker Moves.
CV: Ahron Young
“I’ve always dreamt of starting something like Ticker, but until recently, you couldn’t deliver TV without a broadcasting licence or satellite network. Now, finally, it’s free game for everyone. I’m shocked to say that next year marks 20 years since my first paid journalism job. Straight out of high school I got a job with a local newspaper on the Mornington Peninsula, so I never went to uni. My bosses were fantastic, and taught me the world of commercial and editorial, and how important they are to a small media business. Number one tip – keep your backend costs down and only spend money on what people can see. Never has that been truer than the media landscape today.
“At age 19 I moved to radio and actually started a little radio company, providing radio news bulletins from my lounge room to community stations around Victoria. That got me in the door at 3AW (our competitor for radio news!) and I spent a few years there chasing down gangland criminals – literally chased Carl Williams into a toilet block. I went to Thailand to cover the Boxing Day tsunami, and that gave me the feel for overseas news.
“I came back, quit my job, and moved to the UK where I worked as a freelancer for Aussie radio and TV, and covered the death of Pope John Paul II and the London bombings. By chance I went for a job interview and afterwards found out the job was with a Russian TV station starting up in Moscow! So off I went and spent a year there. Working at a startup in Moscow was incredible. The culture of East v West, especially in journalism, was terrifying at times but taught me so much.
“I moved back home and Angelos Frangopolous offered me a job in Sydney with Sky News Australua. Four days later he sent me to head up Melbourne bureau, where I spent 13 incredible years. I worked for Sky News Business in the first few years when it launched, and moved back across to news, where I came up with a show called The Melbourne Report. Ticker actually reminds me a lot of that show. Entrepreneurial and a hard slog, but a lot of fun as well. I ran the Melbourne bureau, taking it from a little studio at GTV, to designing and project managing the facility they are in now. It was hard work, but perfectly set me up for Ticker.