The paywall for the Perth Now news website has been taken down, the first time News Corp Australia has removed a pay barrier since they were introduced to all its major newspaper brand mastheads in the middle of last year.
Mumbrella understands the paywall for the site, which houses The Sunday Times’ content, was quietly removed yesterday as part of a major refresh on the site, as it seeks to compete with the free online offerings of rivals West Australia News’ The West Australian and Fairfax’s WA Today. The move means users are no longer blocked from reading when they reach the monthly limit of free articles.
A News Corp spokeswoman refused to be drawn on the decision saying: “Shortly we will be revealing a new Perth Now design which has no impact on our current digital subscription model. Read more »
Creative agency Tongue and sister STW agency Ikon have been handed the creative and media buying accounts for the new National Rugby Championship, the new competition which combines super league and local premier grade players.
The nine team competition, which kicked off last week, runs for 11 weeks with one match per round broadcast on Fox Sports. It is being billed as an “opportunity for the next generation of players to step up to the next level and mix it with the best”, with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) hoping it will help incubate more talent for the national side.
“It’s an absolute privilege to be asked to generate ideas for one of our national sporting brands,” Tongue managing partner John Du Vernet said.
Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, our daily roundup of what’s happening in media and marketing.
- Mike Carlton pens first post-Fairfax column for Crikey
- TV ratings: Animal couples preferred to people in Thursday night tele
- Video advertising now dominant in digital spend as mobile surge continues
- Southern Cross Austereo shuffles entertainment management after Songl closure
- Dr Mumbo: Every dog has his day
- Dr Mumbo: You’ve done the best, now try the rest
12.44pm – AOL’s “digital prophet” has described Australia as a “mid sized audience” for its Huffington Post brand and said he does not understand why there is not more innovation going on here. Full story here.
11:29am - Consumer group Choice has launched a campaign against government plans to push for internet filters, as the piracy debate hots up.
10:39am - TV ratings are in, and it seems once again cute animals beat bitchy humans in the viewership takes, as Ten’s The Bachelor couldn’t compete with Oddest Animal Couples on Seven.
9:24am - The IAB has launched its latest media spend report and is claiming mobile is now worth more than magazines in ad spend, whilst FMCG brands are driving video spend
8:23am - Morning all, here’s what’s been happening overnight internationally: Read more »
Australian mums are turning away from reading and writing blogs in a sign the gloss may be coming off the mummy blogger phenomenon, according to a new survey.
Just 15 per cent of mums questioned in the study are currently writing blogs, a sharp drop from the previous study in 2012 when 27 per cent said they were blogging. Of those who are blogging, seven out of 10 are doing so to promote their business with the remainder penning articles about their personal lives.
The study was conducted by social research agency Mums Now, which spoke to 1,500 Australian mothers about their social media habits and technology interactions.
In addition to the decline in writers, mums are reading 47 per cent fewer blogs while the number asking questions on forums has declined 29 per cent.
Mums Now partner Mary-Anne Amies said the findings indicate the mummy blogger boom may be over. “As with many things, when something is new everyone jumps on it but it then loses its excitement,” she told Mumbrella.
AOL’s digital prophet has admitted the company sees Australia as a “mid sized audience” for its Huffington Post brand and said he does not understand why there is not more innovation going on here.
Speaking at an Exponential event in Sydney last night David Shing admitted the much-mooted launch had not happened yet because “The truth is with 22m people here it’s a mid-sized audience for us,” but the Australian added “I do advocate for it”.
Last month HuffPo’s general manager Koda Wang told Mumbrella the site would be a market leader in three-to-five years here, and said it was in the process of finding a local publishing company to partner with., whilst Inception Digital Media has been appointed to head the sales function for the site here.
Speculation around the site’s launch has been rife since mid-2011, although the publisher admitted last year it had delayed its plans as it focussed on high-growth markets of Japan and Brazil. Read more »
Virgin Australia is to sell 35 per cent of its Velocity Frequent Flyer program to private equity in a move the airline says will accelerate the growth of its loyalty division and enable it to realise its “full potential”.
The sale of the minority stake to Affinity Equity Partners will boost Virgin’s cash balance by $336 million with the deal, which values the program at $960m, expected to be completed by the end of October. It is subject to conditions, including approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
The announcement came as Virgin reported an underlying pre-tax loss of $211.7 million, in line with market expectations, as the airline followed Qantas in posting a grim set of figures amid tough market conditions.
Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti described the past 12 months as “one of the most difficult operating environments in the history of Australian aviation”. Read more »
Consumer advocacy group Choice will next week run a crowd funded TV ad targeting the government’s approach to internet filtering and piracy calling on them to “work smart, not hard, to beat online piracy”.
The satirical advertisement, featuring a fictitious Minister for the Internet, will run next week on WIN Television in the ACT and has also been posted on YouTube.
The 30 second ad shows the minister launching his crude hand made internet filter and is part of Choice’s campaign against proposals which it claims would make the internet more expensive without effectively addressing piracy.
“We believe the government has its policy settings wrong when it comes to combating online copyright infringement,” said Choice campaigns manager Erin Turner. “Australians are frustrated with not being able to access and pay for timely and affordable content. Read more »
The company confirmed Foster’s exit saying she wanted to “pursue other interests”.
Foster spent almost three years in the marketing role before a management shake-up saw her take over as group general manager in August last year. She was also a director at Myer-owned fashion brand Sass and Bide.
Lyon was the founder of the Australian arm of Tribal Fusion and was most recently part VP of ad tech solutions at Telstra’s newly formed global applications and platforms team.
“Appointing Vicki Lyon to the position of chief commercial officer is a major step forward for Site Tour,” said Michael Scruby founder of Site Tour. “Vicki is one of the most forward thinking people in media and has worked globally driving programmatic innovation. She will be instrumental to Site Tour as we extend our product offering and expand into new markets.” Read more »
The documentary which aired for an hour at 8pm and looked at unusual animal relationships, was one of the strongest performers on a lacklustre Thursday night which had only one program, Nine News, above the one million viewer mark according to the OzTam preliminary overnight metro ratings.
Last night saw Nine win the night on the back of strong performances for the NRL, which drew 645,000 in just Sydney and Brisbane for a match between the Bulldogs and The Rabbitohs, while in the other states The Block drew audiences of 494,000 at 7.30pm in the other three markets, up against The Bachelor. Read more »
Strong interest from FMCG brands has helped video advertising become the strongest performer in the online advertising space with demand for the medium growing 76 percent year on year to reach $196m in the last financial year.
The surge in video advertising comes at an important time for the industry with Nine and Fairfax this week formally announcing their subscription video on demand (SVOD) business StreamCo, Seven and Foxtel rumoured to be launching their own SVOD business and the free-to-air networks next week launching its HbbTV service Freeview Plus, which promises to put catch up television in the homes of millions of Australians.
“The fusion of video advertising with mobile has been transformational for advertisers and publishers alike,” said Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia. “Mobile inventory has been somewhat undervalued, but the cross platform opportunity that video advertising brings to it has unlocked considerable value and potential for both sectors.”
Welcome to Mumbrella’s live blog, our daily roundup of what’s happening in media and marketing.
- Nine Entertainment boss slams government inaction on media ownership, as it posts improved profits in first full results since December float
- Mike Carlton pens first column since quitting Fairfax for Crikey, on Gaza conflict
- Michael Smith returning to Australia from Singapore but remains in regional Singtel role
- TV ratings: Mixed bag for Ten as Nine wins night, ABC shows show resurgence
- Life jacket company censured for ad featuring screaming woman
- Qantas admits it looked at splitting loyalty business as it posts heavy losses
- Opinion: National security bills compound existing threats to media freedom
- Opinion: Why banner ads must die
3:32pm- Mike Carlton has returned to writing, penning his first column since quitting Fairfax in a storm of controversy for Crikey. And it’s about Gaza.
1:15pm – Nine boss David Gyngell has slammed the government’s failure to act on media ownership rules, ruled out a merger with Fairfax while it still has print assets, and questioned why Seven and Foxtel would do a deal
11:02am - Yahoo!7 CEO Ed Harrison has been elected chair of digital industry body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
10:13am - TV ratings are in and it’s a mixed bag for Ten, with the Bachelor boosting, but Wonderland dropping again and Extant being beaten by Eleven’s repeats of The Simpsons. Nine won the night with new and The Block.
9:54am - Nine Entertainment Co has posted improved profits for its first report since its stock market float in December, with profits up 5 per cent and TV revenues up 10 per cent. Events business Nine Live also saw a 33 per cent surge in earnings. Read more »
Southern Cross Austereo stalwart Grant Tothill has been handed a new role with the media company as director of joint ventures and music partnerships following the closure of the Songl streaming service.
Tothill, who has been with SCA for more than a decade in a number of roles, has been managing SCA’s involvement with the DMD partnership which included Sony Music and Universal Music, and managed the soon to be defunct Songl service.
It was announced on Monday Songl was to be wound up, with subscribers to be moved to the Omny service, and the company being renamed Songl Solutions shifting to a business to business focus, including creating branded streaming solutions for partners.
SCA’s chief content officer Guy Dobson said: “Grant will be an integral part of the content team that will see SCA lead the charge into new music initiatives as well as managing our various joint ventures. These new endeavours will deliver music firsts and leading content creation for our clients and audiences. We’re excited about the new move and Grant is the man for the job.”
Former Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton has written a column for Crikey today on the end of the conflict in Gaza.
It is understood to be the first column Carlton has written since he quit Fairfax earlier this month over claims he had abused Jewish readers in emails and on social media, following some strident complaints about a column he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald on the conflict between Israel and Gaza.
Carlton this afternoon told Mumbrella the column “was jut something I wrote last night and offered it to Crikey”, adding it was not a paid-for piece, and he had no deal in place with the independent publisher.
In the preamble for the piece Carlton is described as a “former ABC war correspondent and naval historian”, with no mention of his time with Fairfax. Read more »
CEO of Nine Entertainment Co David Gyngell has admitted the company is frustrated by the stalling of media reform and has declared he has no interest in a merger with Fairfax Media while it still has major print assets.
During an investor call on today’s end of year results today Gyngell also questioned the logic of a much-speculated tie up in video streaming between Seven West Media and Foxtel, saying such a deal would “destroy some value” in the pay-TV operator’s business.
His comments on media reform come a week after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted there would be no changes to the laws on media ownership, including rules limiting companies to owning just two of either print, TV or radio assets in one market, until there was greater consensus between executives from the major companies.
“You never know. You go in on the day and they say they are going to change it,” said Gyngell. “But you are still 50/50. With the rhetoric going on at the moment nothing seems to be getting through. I don’t know what the priorities are for the media reforms, but it could be an embarrassment if they don’t get through.”
Ooh Media has said it will not reinstate the controversial free Palestine billboard which was taken down in Melbourne at the end of last week, citing commentary from political leaders who suggested it could incite hatred and concerns over the safety of contractors working at the site.
A statement released by the outdoor company this morning said: “The advertisement generated significant concern and an emotional response from two differing points of view. It has also been subject to commentary from political leaders who publicly stated their objection to the advertising being displayed, with a Government MP warning that it could incite hatred.”
The billboard was placed by Australians for Palestine with an intended run of 28 days, but was taken down after just three days, with the group describing the removal of the ad as a breach of its freedom of expression, however Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Matthew Guy told The Australian: “This type of advertising achieves nothing except to cause more friction in our community.’’
Samah Sabawi, a volunteer for Australians for Palestine, has accused the company of breaching its contract, which had a clause saying there has to be seven days notice given to remove the billboard, however Ooh has rejected this claim, saying it was “within its rights to have taken the course of action it has”.
RadiumOne has hired Mi9′s director of programmatic trading Patrick Darcy as its Asia Pacific commercial director, Mumbrella can reveal.
Darcy, who took on the head of programmatic role with Nine Entertainment Co’s digital arm last July, will lead the advertising platform’s sales efforts across Australia, Japan and South East Asia.
“When I look at where the market is heading with automated media buying, I see RadiumOne’s combination of proprietary data and delivery capability as uniquely positioned to service the next stage of evolution in the market”, said Darcy. Read more »
Topshop/Topman Australia has vowed to continue its “innovative” approach to marketing as it prepares to collaborate with Uber and Mini Cooper to drive customers into its Sydney store and provide them with a “real shopping experience”.
Managing director Sonia Bettega said online retailing, while continuing to rise, will never replace the experience of visiting bricks and mortar stores, something Topshop is keen to encourage by thinking “outside normal fashion retail marketing”.
She revealed the British retailer would also be expanding its Australian footprint with the opening of a second Sydney store in Miranda at the end of March.
Under the promotion, which kicks off tomorrow and runs over the weekend, Uber drivers will give consumers a free ride to the Topshop store in Sydney’s CBD by downloading the Uber app and entering the code “Topshopmini”. On arrival at the store they will receive a VIP personal styling session and a $50 gift card.
“We are trying to think differently from usual fashion retail marketing. So much retail is now online but we wanted to take people back to the traditional retail experience and give them a real experience in-store,” Bettega said. Read more »